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Jaron Lanier Interview on What Went Wrong With the Internet
One of the things that I’ve been concerned about is this illusion where you think that you’re in this super-democratic open thing, but actually it’s exactly the opposite; it’s actually creating a super concentration of wealth and power, and disempowering you. This has been particularly cruel politically. Every time there’s some movement, like the Black Lives Matter movement, or maybe now the March for Our Lives movement, or #MeToo, or very classically the Arab Spring, you have this initial period where people feel like they’re on this magic-carpet ride and that social media is letting them broadcast their opinions for very low cost, and that they’re able to reach people and organize faster than ever before. And they’re thinking, Wow, Facebook and Twitter are these wonderful tools of democracy.

But then the algorithms have to maximize value from all the data that’s coming in. So they test use that data. And it just turns out as a matter of course, that the same data that is a positive, constructive process for the people who generated it — Black Lives Matter, or the Arab Spring — can be used to irritate other groups. And unfortunately there’s this asymmetry in human emotions where the negative emotions of fear and hatred and paranoia and resentment come up faster, more cheaply, and they’re harder to dispel than the positive emotions. So what happens is, every time there’s some positive motion in these networks, the negative reaction is actually more powerful. So when you have a Black Lives Matter, the result of that is the empowerment of the worst racists and neo-Nazis in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations. When you have an Arab Spring, the result ultimately is the network empowerment of ISIS and other extremists — bloodthirsty, horrible things, the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Arab world or in Islam for years, if ever.
criticism  technology  virtual.reality  jaron.lanier  silicon.valley  internet  social.media  ****  nymag  algorithms 
28 days ago by gpe
How Social Science Might Be Misunderstanding Conservatives
Maybe things aren’t as simple as conservatives being more intolerant than liberals, they write. Maybe what’s really going on here is that one side views certain groups as opposed to their interests and beliefs, and the other side views other groups as opposed to their interests and beliefs, and both sides have a penchant for intolerance toward the groups they view as opposed to them. That is: Sure, conservatives are more intolerant than liberals of groups traditionally viewed as liberal — but what happens when you ask liberals about groups they often view as their ideological adversaries, like members of the military or fundamentalist Christians?
authoritarian  liberal  conservatives  comparison  research  critique  NYMag  2018 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
An Apology for the Internet — From the People Who Built It
Noah Kulwin, in NY Magazine: "If the tech industry likes to assume the trappings of a religion, complete with a quasi-messianic story of progress, the Church of Tech is now giving rise to a new sect of apostates, feverishly confessing their own sins. And the internet’s original sin, as these programmers and investors and CEOs make clear, was its business model."
nymag  internet  history  technology  addiction  socialmedia  internetculture 
12 weeks ago by warnick
America’s Brand of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy
In these grisly conditions, social democrats see a textbook case of malignant capitalism. Democracies cannot survive on norms alone. When markets are left under-regulated — and workers, unorganized — the corporate sector becomes a cancerous growth, expanding until it dominates politics and civil society. An ever-greater share of economic gains concentrates in ever-fewer hands, while the barriers to converting private wealth into public power grow fewer and farther between. Politicians become unresponsive to popular preferences and needs. Voters lose faith in elections — and then, a strongman steps forward to say that he, alone, can fix it.
capitalism  democracy  economics  politics  nymag 
12 weeks ago by betajames
I Don’t Know How to Waste Time on the Internet Anymore
Dan Nosowitz: "What happened is that the internet stopped being something you went to in order to separate from the real world — from your job and your work and your obligations and responsibilities. It’s not the place you seek to waste time, but the place you go to so that you’ll someday have time to waste."
internet  internetculture  boredom  time  socialmedia  procrastination  nymag 
may 2018 by warnick
Kate Losse, Former Zuckerberg Speechwriter Interview
A conversation with former Zuckerberg speechwriter Kate Losse on how the Facebook founder thinks and what is hardest for him to wrap his mind around.
up-to-us  research  interview  transcript  katelosse  facebook  markzuckerberg  history  cambridgeanalytica  newsfeed  nymag 
april 2018 by danhon

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