Open post Delusion

The New Net Delusion

In June 2009, large protests broke out in Iran in the wake of a disputed election result. The unrest did not differ all that much from comparable episodes that had occurred elsewhere in the world over the preceding decades, but many Western observers became convinced that new digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook were propelling...

Open post Facebook

People are learning the wrong lessons from the Facebook Papers

Recent Facebook leaks have prompted an avalanche of suggestions for fixing social media’s negative effects on society. These include demands for increased oversight by executives and boards of companies, regulators, or both. However, these proposals do not address the main problem of the attention-economy, which cannot be fixed by top-down control. The problem lies at...

Open post Radio

How to Fix Social Media

Around two o’clock in the afternoon on October 30, 1973, a disc jockey at the New York City radio station WBAI played a track called “Filthy Words” from comedian George Carlin’s latest album. “I was thinking one night about the words you couldn’t say on the public airwaves,” Carlin began. He then rattled off seven...

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Proximity Chat

During the pandemic we’ve gotten used to a primarily virtual social and work life. Meetings take place on platforms like Zoom or Jitsi and are working reasonable well. Watching your coworker with a video-stream is surprisingly effective and generates a kind of remote closeness. Online workouts do not involve sharing the same sweatty gym and...

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