Rebels: Episode 1

Is the Internet Being Ruined?

Anywhere but Medium:

When you give in to the default, and just go ahead and post to Medium, you’re stifling the open web. Not giving it a chance to work its magic, which depends on diversity, not monoculture.


What the argumentative theory says is most parts of the brain we use to reason were actually developed not to reason but to convince people to cooperate with us.

This explains why the minute we stake a position we seem incapable of considering counterevidence. Doubt is read as a sign of risk, and plans that look risky don’t get followers.

…where I’m going is…social media, combined with accretive identity and a strong rhetorical bent, is quite literally inhibiting our ability to think. When everything we say is position-staking and identity construction we become dumber than my bird.

(Graphic by Jakob Staermose)

It should be clear if you follow the thread through those three sources above: we are losing the battle for not the just the web, but our own minds and humanity. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s important to at least consider.

We’ve traded the open web of ideas, creativity and collaboration for a walled compound where we are trained by specialists on how to think, how to desire. We are desiring machines, tuned with algorithms and “arguments supporting [our] views”. We use our hands not to respond with words, but with taps, each recorded and analyzed. I’ve said this before

The pirates have taken over the fleet, and those with discipline and old-world skills are hidden away in enclaves, quietly existing on the resources available to them.

Perhaps now that the pirates have taken over the fleet, the old admirals are the new pirates. And here we land on my Star Wars metaphor with full…force.

[Technologies] make good toys, but terrible addictions…These media may be useful to our art–but they must not possess us, nor must they stand between, mediate, or separate us from [ourselves]. We want to control our media, not be Controlled by them. #

So what do we do? I’m notorious for leaving multi-part blog series unfinished, but I will attempt to answer that question in Episode 2.

And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden rebel base…

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