Friday, January 01, 2016

Why the "nu-internet" really sucks

The nu-internet -- the one controlled by a few big companies just like old media was -- really sucks because it emphasizes broad appeal instead of niche. The idea of the original internet was that, like in a library, each topic could have its own area. The nu-internet is based on the idea that everyone goes to the same areas and does roughly the same stuff.

I find it makes people hateful, this nu-internet, because in order to get along with people on it, you have to accept bad arguments at face value and ignore people's obvious compensatory behavior. What most people say is dumb and ill-informed, but in order to include them in the group, it must be treated as acceptable. This means that standards are low and any thoughts which are not mere repetitions of one of the dozen acceptable viewpoints will be misunderstood.

That is why the nu-internet produces so many angry people. The smart ones are frustrated and retreat from the field of battle, which leaves the true crazies to communicate with one another. That is why we see Tumblrinas: fat, insignificant people with no real skills or abilities and no defining character traits. Generic people, angry people. Nobodies who want to be God.

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Coincidentally, others have noticed. A Slashdot summary says:

Iranian writer Hossein Derakhshan has a unique perspective on the internet. He got into blogging early on, and sparked the spread of blogs across the Iranian internet. In 2008, this earned him a 20-year jail sentence. Late in 2014, he was released early. Derakhshan was a major participant in the early-2000s web, but missed the social media revolution. Here are his thoughts on the change: "The hyperlink was my currency six years ago. It represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web – a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I've realized how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.

But the scariest outcome of the centralization of information in the age of social networks is something else: it is making us all much less powerful in relation to governments and corporations. Surveillance is increasingly imposed on civilized lives, and it gets worse as time goes by. ... I miss when people took time to be exposed to opinions other than their own, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. --Slashdot: "Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Are Killing the Web"

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