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  • Showing only topics with the tag "internet". Back to normal view
    1. The Internet as a superorganism AI ... thoughts?

      This thought just popped into my head, so it's still quite nebulous, but I want to float it out here, see what other's have to say about it, before I really dive into it. Superorganisms are things...

      This thought just popped into my head, so it's still quite nebulous, but I want to float it out here, see what other's have to say about it, before I really dive into it.

      Superorganisms are things like ant and termite colonies and beehives ... and, for the sci-fi minded, the Borg. The theory/idea is that the individual ants/termites/bees are not actually independent living beings (or at least, not exclusively), but closer to cells in a larger, distributed body, with a distributed intellect driving the colony to thrive and reproduce, which only happens when, eg, the beehive throws a swarm that eventually becomes a new beehive.

      The "Earth as Gaia" theory is comparable, suggesting that all of the life forms on Earth form an amorphous, distributed superintelligence that is trying to reproduce ... which would happen once humans colonize Mars, or meteor strikes on the Earth successfully transfer living organisms to another celestial body where life ultimately takes root.

      So ... you see where I'm going with this? Is it a feasible idea to consider the Internet itself as a nascent AI superorganism, made up of both the humans (and, increasingly, the bots) that use it, as well as the assorted hardware and software that comprises it?

      I'm confident I'm not the first person to entertain this idea, and I expect that, as soon as I start searching the 'Net for this topic, I'll find plenty on it. Just wanted to post the idea while it was still just my idea.

      And of course, if I never post here again ... assume the Internet took me out.

      9 votes
    2. What place/places (physical, online, personal) did you leave later than you should have?

      Someday when I leave for good, I'll very likely say r/politicalcompassmemes. The place has always had a right-wing presence but at some point pretty long ago it just became the dominant POV and...

      Someday when I leave for good, I'll very likely say r/politicalcompassmemes. The place has always had a right-wing presence but at some point pretty long ago it just became the dominant POV and the place is now solidly a no-go for minorities and 95+% of leftists unless they were turned into a term of 'endearment' on 4chan first like how 4chan users call themselves autists and whatever. The place is also pretty bad at sourcing the articles it posts about purported leftists doing ridiculous things. I have mostly looked at the place from the POV of "rightwingers saying stuff" for quite some time now, but I haven't gotten around for leaving for good because occasionally there's a moderately critical post of the sub and that I am accustomed to the jargon used more often there that's less commonly used elsewhere.

      19 votes
    3. What kind of text content you like that is hard to find on the internet?

      I'm asking mainly to get an idea of what kind of content I might wanna write for my blog. I intend to share my writings on Tildes so it makes sense to know what might be of interest around here....

      I'm asking mainly to get an idea of what kind of content I might wanna write for my blog. I intend to share my writings on Tildes so it makes sense to know what might be of interest around here. Plus, Tildes is my home on the internet. It would feel weird not to consider fellow Tilderinos when creating content.

      Could be anything: a subject, a theme, a writing style, a certain length, or a combination of factors. Something that you actively seek, but that is not easy to come by.

      For example, I like shorter articles (less than 2000 words) that deal with a very specific philosophical problem in accessible, non emotional language. Philosophy articles are often much longer than that, and also quite complicated.

      7 votes
    4. How do you tend to your digital selves?

      How do you tend to your digital selves? Do you create archives for your blogs/journals/social-media-interactions? How meticulously do you organize your pictures? How protectful are you of your...

      How do you tend to your digital selves? Do you create archives for your blogs/journals/social-media-interactions? How meticulously do you organize your pictures? How protectful are you of your backups? Have you thought about where it'd all end up after you've died?

      16 votes
    5. What are some analog alternatives to digital services or products that you use?

      There has been a bit of talk here recently about people who don't use the internet, why and how they don't. It's a common assumption that it's truly impossible to live without the internet, and to...

      There has been a bit of talk here recently about people who don't use the internet, why and how they don't. It's a common assumption that it's truly impossible to live without the internet, and to some that may be the case. I don't think this should be a roadblock to those who wish to try to withdraw at their own discretion. So what are some analog services or products you use? Maybe it's something that's not broken so why fix it? Maybe in your opinion something is better the old way as compared to the new internet version? I'll start it off with these:

      • I still read paper books. I know this is super common, but I've met several people who consume their literature in exclusively electronic formats. I just can't concentrate when reading eBooks or listening to audio books. I also like the feel and smell of books, reminds me of hanging out in the library as a kid.
      • I really try to not use mapping applications while driving. I think the ubiquity of GPS and mapping applications makes it really easy to not focus on where you are. It takes your eyes off of the road and there are privacy implications as well. I tend to look up directions ahead of time and write some notes down or print it out (cheat). I started doing this after an incident where I called 911, but couldn't tell the operator where I was despite the fact that I drove that route every day.
      • I still write letters. I think letter writing offers element of intimacy, and helps foster good relationships. There's no "lol" or "k." in letter writing (except for one letter a friend sent as a joke), it lends to careful and purposeful composition as clarification is not always a text or phone call away. You can also get creative with your letter delivery. I've picked up more than one letter from bulletin boards at national parks (yes, if you ask they'll probably do that), I once had a friend send me a wax sealed letter via registered mail to a hotel which got quite a face out of the receptionist, and I once had a several letter exchange where the letter contents were encrypted with a basic ciphertext.
      31 votes
    6. Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access?

      I've been turning the question over in my mind since I read this article the other day. A company that delivers milk and basic groceries is moving to online-only billing and account management -...

      I've been turning the question over in my mind since I read this article the other day. A company that delivers milk and basic groceries is moving to online-only billing and account management - the article quotes various people who are "disgusted" that the company are cutting off their "elderly or vulnerable customers". It's one relatively niche example that raises a much broader question, and the idea of people still living without some form of internet access genuinely caught me by surprise.

      The UK has 94.6% internet penetration, relatively low costs (£10/month or less) for basic access, and a variety of subsidised schemes available for people to get basic hardware. That said, there are always gaps for people to fall through, and that last 5% still represents over three million people. At what point does it become reasonable to assume everybody is, or has the opportunity to be, online?

      20 votes
    7. Does anyone here feel like talking about how social media sites are probably used for way too many different purposes at once right now?

      In this thread, @viridian said this: Twitter, in my limited usage, has a completely different problem. It actively encourages you, by rule of the 280 character limit, to strip away all nuance and...

      In this thread, @viridian said this:

      Twitter, in my limited usage, has a completely different problem. It actively encourages you, by rule of the 280 character limit, to strip away all nuance and conversational tone. You can avoid this of course, but the UI ensures that you then suffer the consequences of having to

      split up your posts into multiple tweets, which is bad by design in every single way for the user. Replies become distributed to different tweets, and thus inaccessible without a series of 2*(# of tweets) clicks. Everything about the design is just begging you to

      box in the entirety of your thoughts to 280 character blocks, which I think is the single largest issue the platform has when it comes to encouraging thoughtful engagement. Twitter actives fights nuance and explanation, and so the platforms users follow the bad behavior

      patterns Twitter encourages.

      Completely agree, it is a bit of a feedback loop. You do have to say though that even the fact it's no longer at the original 140 characters is a concession to the fact that the kind of discourse that now happens on there rather than what it was intended for. I imagine designing something to handle both types of usage well while maintaining the platform's identity can't be easy.

      (Okay, this one was said by @culturedleftfoot.)

      It's certainly not an easy problem to solve, it may even be impossible. That said though, maybe a 280 character mass social media platform is just destined to be a net negative for society.

      And it reminded me of this comment I wrote a while ago:

      To be fair it the term 'social media' is pretty useless when it comes to describing a site's purpose. In twitter, for example, you have celebrities rambling about random aspects of their lives, politicians delivering serious to obviously canned responses to serious or made-up problems, anime artists sharing their work, YouTubers sharing sneak peeks for future videos or shilling out, all in the same platform, which is disponible in 33 languages across every continent except Sub-Saharan Africa. (which was started specifically as a SMS & microblogging site, hence the word limit). Not many 'social media platforms' actually have their intended purpose be their sole purpose, which can backfire intensely. Social media platforms might have decided to recommend people with similar opinions to you as an unintended consequence in order to find people with similar hobbies to you, rather than to create an echo chamber of radicals and stifle communication between different political beliefs.

      (Not that the fact that's a real possibility excuses them from not doing anything to combat it once they realized that was one of the side effects of their decision for most or all of my lifetime.)

      One of the IMO most underrated problems with the state of social media today is that social media platforms are used in far too many ways for any one site to be designed around.

      YouTube for example is used as a meme-consumption feed, source of education, video-game feed, ASMR feed, news feed, music feed, child cartoon feed and more.

      And since YouTube was designed mostly for video sharing, things like the comment section were of secondary importance and areas like educational or political content are greatly harmed by that since the YouTube comment section is basically impervious to serious discussion. The algorithm also appears to be basically universal for all these vastly different types of content. This also hurts educational and political channels (unless they somehow accommodate to that, usually by lying ala PragerU) but also animation channels.

      Another example would be Facebook which originally (supposedly?) started off as a platform for connecting with people, apparently limited to universities initially. Now it's used for sharing memes, news, personal life updates and more, things which are fundamentally quite different from one another and probably shouldn't be under the same site, since the things important when it comes to spreading a news article are wildly different from those when spreading a meme (format?). (Or management, obviously.)

      IMO, decentralizing social media along these lines into say news sharing platforms, meme-sharing platforms, image-sharing platforms, educational platforms, social platforms (where you go to make friends, which is what social media billed itself as early on IIRC) is IMO one of the more interesting but underlooked options and in some senses is looked on into with places like Instagram and pinterest (although obviously if these sites aren't regulated to provide privacy it's all smoke and mirrors and given this requires government action I don't blame people for ignoring this all that much).

      So does anyone else have any more thoughts?

      23 votes
    8. Has anyone in an online discussion/argument ever actually changed your opinion about something?

      I don't mean an issue where you're maybe ambivalent or undecided beforehand, or if you've willingly made an /r/changemyview type of post. I mean an instance where you already have your own stance...

      I don't mean an issue where you're maybe ambivalent or undecided beforehand, or if you've willingly made an /r/changemyview type of post. I mean an instance where you already have your own stance and come face-to-face with an opposite, more convincing and/or more factual viewpoint that compels you to change your perspective.

      I'd like to think I'm more open-minded than the norm, and I can't recall it ever happening to me... which is not to say it's definitely never happened, but you'd think it'd have made an impact worth remembering. And frankly, if it actually has never happened, well, what's the freaking point of discussing anything?

      19 votes
    9. How much time do you spend online and how do you spend it?

      Personally, the vast majority of the time I'm not in school/studying, asleep or doing daily necessities or the phone is out of batteries, which for a 14-yo without any real social life is usually...

      Personally, the vast majority of the time I'm not in school/studying, asleep or doing daily necessities or the phone is out of batteries, which for a 14-yo without any real social life is usually upwards of 10 hours a day to ~-17. This has been true for me for as long as I can rememeber really, I have pictures of 5-year old me playing flash games.

      My time is usually divided as:

      55% or so goes to this site, mainly because I like the discussion, it's more serious than reddit and we take our content more seriously. I would spend more if this site had more discussion, unfortunately. I have nothing to do in this site other than find something to comment in or post more often than I'd like.

      25% or so goes to reddit, mainly for memes, places like imaginary maps, political discussion (although I gotta say, they're all fkin moderates) , true ask reddit and the ocasional stroll through the front page.

      The remaining 20% is, roughly in order either YouTube or NSFW (depends on the day) and news.

      12 votes
    10. I'm on a mass social media detox (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) - What blogs that you read regularly should I check out?

      I limited the intake of high volume news and I'm currently taking a break from social media. I've been enjoying to occasionally visit blogs directly as my source of online reading. I tend to enjoy...

      I limited the intake of high volume news and I'm currently taking a break from social media. I've been enjoying to occasionally visit blogs directly as my source of online reading. I tend to enjoy short essays, opinions, and honest observations. What blogs have you been following lately that you think are worth taking a look at?

      P.s.
      If it's your own, please shoot me a direct message: I'd love to check it out.

      25 votes
    11. What are some good non-political spaces on the internet?

      Every sub on Reddit seems so runover with politics, technology/programming/linux subs are so overriden with whatever new idiot bill the american government is trying to pass. Are there any decent...

      Every sub on Reddit seems so runover with politics, technology/programming/linux subs are so overriden with whatever new idiot bill the american government is trying to pass. Are there any decent niche subs on the rise right now? Most of the ones that make it on /r/all are all kinda trash and feel like theres some agenda behind the posts

      8 votes
    12. Digital Lithium

      I'd like to preface this with saying I'm not a super big fan of the internet. While it's a great tool and places like Tildes exist, I'd posit that a vast majority of the internet is less utility...

      I'd like to preface this with saying I'm not a super big fan of the internet. While it's a great tool and places like Tildes exist, I'd posit that a vast majority of the internet is less utility and more waste of mental space for most people. How much information does the typical web page for different types of content offer? How much do we intend to absorb? How much do we actually absorb? Most people say it is a decreasing trend, the web page offers (in ELI5 fashion) three informations, we try to absorb two, we generally only get one.

      I believe it's different now-a-days. The web page offers two, we intend to absorb one, but we end up with three informations. Modern internet journalism preys on our emotions, social media preys on our emotions. The authors of major internet outlets sensationalize everything. So we end up with:

      1. The information we are interested in.
      2. The superfluous information, often irrelevant, through content like advertisements, "related topics/articles/pages" and other people's comments (not always made in good faith or constructive).
      3. Our emotional reaction. This is something that while engineered by the content creators, only exists in our minds.

      Like any good book, we pick up the content and when we put it down we walk away with more to think about than what was originally written. Except, what do we do when this concept is detrimental to societal development and our own health?

      Then we think about the speed of information. What prompted this entire post for me was an article I was reading on CNN today, about the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee. This is not a man I have any sympathy for, I do not like him or any ideas he represented. A man convicted of killing three people and a self-proclaimed white supremacist was executed this morning.

      This morning.

      I got into town this morning and read the article, it had been posted 10 minutes prior.

      10 minutes.

      Mr. Lee was pronounced dead at 8:07AM ET. I read this article at about 6:30AM MT. Within 30 or so minutes of a man being killed for what the state claims is his crime, I was informed by an internet article. I am about 2000 miles away from where this man was killed.

      30 minutes.

      I have been off the internet for quite some time, so I'm getting back into the groove a little bit. This hit me like a truck, had this occurred 3 months ago I don't think I would have flinched. What kind of world do we live in, where a ubiquitous monstrosity called the internet can so easily desensitize us to the fact that a human being was just killed by the state for their crimes?

      I offer no sympathies for the man or his actions, I do not wish this to be a post about the death penalty but that is still a human being that was just killed. I argue not whether or not he should have been executed, I instead posit that our reactions as a society are a testament to how much empathy and humanity has been lost in the modern age. In the grand scheme of things, for everybody but the most intimately familiar and impacted people, this is just a headline. It will be forgotten in a few days, life will go on. I believe this is a direct consequence of the aforementioned information overload in association with emotionally driven content.

      Is this the world we created? Is this how we want to live? In this society where the loss of one is equal to the loss of none? Even the loss of a distant many is inconsequential in the modern, desensitized age. I believe we as a people are numbed by our own creations, and I honestly don't know what we can do about it.

      9 votes
    13. Cynicism is a tired trope

      Cynicism is the bastard cousin of skepticism. While optimists look for the silver lining, cynics can't fail to see the fly in the ointment and true skeptics are somewhere in the middle. Cynicism...

      Cynicism is the bastard cousin of skepticism. While optimists look for the silver lining, cynics can't fail to see
      the fly in the ointment and true skeptics are somewhere in the middle. Cynicism is an overwhelming trend in internet forums. The most upvoted reactions are usually the more pessimistic (regardless of factuality), and seemingly virtuous attitudes are immediately met with assumptions of bad faith.

      Cynicism is tiresome and can very well lead to false conclusions.

      This may be unlikely, but paradigms can be improved, governments can adopt better policies, corporations can act for the good of society, billionaires can be virtuous philanthropists, assholes can learn to be nice, and bigots can learn to respect diversity. We should be absolutely skeptical of sudden changes of attitude, but indiscriminate cynicism creates an environment that does not reward positive changes, and I don't think that's in the best interest of a community.

      EDIT: I feel I need to clarify that cynicism is not equal to skepticism. Skeptics refrain from conviction in face of insufficient evidence, while cynics assume bad faith even without sufficient evidence. I am not advocating for naïveté, but for healthy skepticism.

      40 votes
    14. What are your internet time sinks?

      Where do you all waste away most of your time on the internet? I hate to sound like a hipster, but I've come to avoid and/or dislike most main stream content aggregators. Reddit, Twitter,...

      Where do you all waste away most of your time on the internet? I hate to sound like a hipster, but I've come to avoid and/or dislike most main stream content aggregators. Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are all platforms I no longer participate in because of privacy and quality reasons. I like Tildes and all, but the community is small (and I like it this way) and that means the content isn't always fresh. So where else do you all hang out?

      31 votes
    15. How do/did all of you feel about posting your age on the internet?

      (Semi-throwaway account because of personal details) This is prompted by /u/Adys comment to /u/Kuromantis. I'm currently 14, and online I've refrained posting my age on my main account (on this...

      (Semi-throwaway account because of personal details)

      This is prompted by /u/Adys comment to /u/Kuromantis.
      I'm currently 14, and online I've refrained posting my age on my main account (on this site and others) to avoid it becoming a point in discussions (most prominently with politics, but any topic).

      • How do/did you feel about posting your age on the internet (in regards to being younger)?
      • Do/did you feel like your decision made an impact on discussions?
      26 votes
    16. Don't trust online reviews (personal anecdote)

      I recently bought a product online. I wasn't able to find it in a bricks-and-mortar shop, so I had to buy it online to even see it, let alone try it. I received it, and it wasn't right for me. I...

      I recently bought a product online. I wasn't able to find it in a bricks-and-mortar shop, so I had to buy it online to even see it, let alone try it. I received it, and it wasn't right for me. I was able to exchange it for a different version, but even the different version wasn't right. So I returned the product and got a refund. All along, the customer service was excellent, but the product itself turned out not to be what I wanted.

      The way the product failed for me was connected to the "headline" description of the product. It wasn't a minor failure. It did something that they explicitly said it wouldn't do, which was one of the main selling features of the product.

      After the dust settled, I wrote a review of the product. I don't normally do this: I neither write nor read reviews. However, I know that other people do rely on reviews and, seeing as this product is only available online, and its failure was linked to a major selling feature of the product, I felt duty-bound to inform other prospective buyers that it might not suit some people. I gave it a 2-star (out of 5) rating, as well as writing up why it didn't suit me (while allowing that it might still suit other people).

      Since I submitted the review, I have checked the website (I'm an egotist: I wanted to see my words being published!). Other reviews with more recent timestamps have appeared, but my review has not appeared. I've now noticed that the lowest rating in their reviews is a single 3-star rating, with some 4-star reviews and lots of 5-star reviews. There are no 2-star or 1-star reviews. My only conclusion is that the company selects which reviews to publish - and which ones not to publish.

      I've always wondered if companies would post negative reviews of their own products. Now I know for sure that at least one company does not.

      18 votes
    17. What's one thing you HAVEN'T been able to find online, no matter how hard you tried?

      It could be the final piece to your prized collection, a person you talked to before they seemingly disappeared, a story you read that has since been deleted, etc. In my case, I really wanted to...

      It could be the final piece to your prized collection, a person you talked to before they seemingly disappeared, a story you read that has since been deleted, etc.

      In my case, I really wanted to find a website called notebookinhand.com, a forum I came across while I was a teenager in the early 2010s. It was solely dedicated to people describing their hobbies, and the community seemed very nice and welcoming, and I also like how the site was designed. It looks like it's been shut down but I can't stop thinking about it!

      So, tell me what's your internet "unicorn", so to speak.

      44 votes
    18. How can we betray each other less on the Internet?

      I was thinking about having a general purpose thread about internet drama venting, but that seems like a very bad idea if all the top level threads are different gripes and one in particular gets...

      I was thinking about having a general purpose thread about internet drama venting, but that seems like a very bad idea if all the top level threads are different gripes and one in particular gets out of control, so here's mine and this can be dealt with as needed.

      There was this recent issue in left adjacent Twitter of a notable YouTube person inviting someone else to read a quote for a bigger project. Invitee had controversial views on gender dysphoria, the host defended their decision, and details aren't super important for what I want to talk about.

      I see where Natalie is coming from if she wants to make a point about Tolerance and Outgroups. I think this was the wrong way to do that, #BuckisWrong, but I don't think brigading her on Twitter and asking her social group to disavow her is appropriate, however, I don't have any skin in the game outside of being an anxious cis white male who thinks Twitter enables and thrives off of toxic discourse.

      I get that this is all some of you are willing to talk about but I want to talk about the meta and the behavior here, so please pretend they're all Martians for the time being.

      What I want to talk about is how the internet specifically reacted, asking the creator's circle to walk back any endorsement of them, holding them to a fire and how much it kind of fits in into a pattern of isolation featured earlier in Lindsay Ellis' presentation about being shamed online, and propose that what makes an internet outrage mob is kind of values neutral.

      Obviously, your -ism of choice would factor into an internet hate mob and make it into the Eternal Tire Fire that the internet is known for birthing these days, but the key spark seems to be a betrayal of trust. You thought someone or something was in your corner/was values neutral/shared your politics and when that is not the case, you simply want it gone. It was kind of always in the discussion with "Cancel Culture Concern," but it hasn't really clicked until now for me that it's such a common thread.

      So, assuming we can't nor want to make it impossible to betray one another or make the Internet a safe space for everybody and for all sensibilities, can we cut down on this outcome, is it incentivised through engagement metrics, and/or is it just something that comes with the ability to mass broadcast and mass response?

      9 votes
    19. Some thoughts on freedom on the Web, explained through a simple analogy

      I'm writing this in an attempt to explain more clearly some ideas about the dangers of having an oligopoly in control of the Web, and the current difficulties of discussing that without being...

      I'm writing this in an attempt to explain more clearly some ideas about the dangers of having an oligopoly in control of the Web, and the current difficulties of discussing that without being taken as some kind of "free speech absolutist". It's an analogy and, as in any analogy, it's only valid to a certain extent. The important thing is for it to be valid enough to explain a point.


      There was a city in which four companies had ended up owning every bar, except for a handful of them in the outskirts. Upon one moment, they started to regulate which kind of conversations could be held in their bars and which couldn't, something they had a legal right to do and felt was their responsibility. So they prohibited any racist, homophobic or sexually explicit conversation, as well as conversations which they thought could carry any risk for society as a whole. Almost no one could really object to that, after all who would defend that kind of behavior? Some far right gangs said it was against their right to free speech, but they were correctly answered that they didn't have any right to determine the conversation policy of bars that weren't theirs.

      Others tried to point that, while that policy wasn't inherently wrong and those companies were in their right to implement it, in the past this was dealt with on a bar-per-bar basis, and although the immense majority of bars didn't allow that kind of behaviors, they had different degrees of flexibility about different topics so bars were more varied and diverse, and you were free to choose a bar which conformed to your interests.

      But they were quickly accused of defending some supposed right of that people to be given a place to discuss and organize, and sometimes even accused of defending those ideas. "If you don't like how the Four Companies manage their bars, go elsewhere".

      The problem is that the far right gangs and other kind of undesirable people, when forced to leave the Four Companies' bars, went straight to the bars in the outskirts, overflowing them. Some of those bars were already owned by far right people, others though the answer to the Four Companies was to keep a more tolerant policy, and were overtook by neo-nazis. The few independent bars that didn't accept to become far right havens were forced to implement policies not that far from those of the Four Companies, or else face a far right invasion. Their clients spent a lot of time discussing wether something was off-limits or not instead of just enjoying a good time like they did before, and those bars were also very small and far away. They were interesting places, to be sure, but they were cut apart from most of the night life of the city, which took place on the hundreds of Four Companies' bars.

      But now, there was a growing problem. The Four Companies had started to prohibit other subjects, for several reasons that aren't really important. Some were distasteful subjects, other were against their political interests or the city council's. But, as the far right gangs kept stabbing people and trying to reclaim their "right" to be accepted into the Four Companies' bars, most people thought that the risk they posed weighed more than anything else.

      But they were missing the point. In another nearby city, there were never a handful of companies owning most bars. Still most bars didn't allow far right gangs, and discussion was diverse and fun, and sometimes helpful to combat the excesses of the city council and local police. Still, there were some neo-nazi bars, and most bars had one or two unlikable people. Neo-nazi bars sometimes caused trouble and had to be closed by the police, most were not only under police surveillance but under the neighbors' surveillance too. And, as neo-nazis were a very small minority, if you didn't support the same team as the owner of your closest bar, you could go to another bar which supported your team without it being forcefully full of neo-nazis or otherwise disgusting people.

      Both cities had neo-nazis and sometimes problems in their bars, although Four Companies' bars were quite more peaceful on average, as they were heavily policed in a uniform and homogeneous way. But they were lifeless too, and lots of interesting discussions and possibilities of neighbors facing local injustice together were lost forever. Everyone ended up thinking the same, watching the same, liking the same sports and supporting the same teams. Bars weren't a fun and exciting place anymore.


      This is just an analogy, so it's limited. But I think it explains well my general view and worries on the subject, which have nothing to do with leaving free way to racists and neo-nazis. It has to do with putting an end to the oligopoly before it's too late.

      6 votes
    20. What is the blogging platform of your dreams?

      Let's fantasise Tilderinoes! You can just write what comes to your mind or answer any of the questions below to get your thoughts flowing. What bothers you in the current blogging platforms, like...

      Let's fantasise Tilderinoes! You can just write what comes to your mind or answer any of the questions below to get your thoughts flowing.

      • What bothers you in the current blogging platforms, like Blogger, Tumblr, or Wordpress?

      • Is it “free” and with ads, commercial with no ads, or free and non-commercial and struggling? If it's commercial, how much does it cost?

      • Does it have comments? How are they moderated? Who can comment? Are there PMs?

      • Does it have tags? Categories? A tree structure?

      • Does it provide file storage (images, audio, video)? How much?

      • How extensible is your blog page? Can you control all of the CSS? Can you add scripting?

      • Does it allow adult content? Political content? Hateful content? Who decides?

      • Does the country of origin matter? Does it block content based on your country's laws (e.g. copyright, political stuff, etc.)?

      • What are the privacy features? Does it require an email address? A card number (if commercial)?

      12 votes
    21. How do you view your participation on the Internet?

      It’s no secret that the Internet has significantly changed even from just a decade ago. I’ve been thinking about online communities - particularly forums - and I’ve really begun to miss the sense...

      It’s no secret that the Internet has significantly changed even from just a decade ago. I’ve been thinking about online communities - particularly forums - and I’ve really begun to miss the sense of discovery when finding a new one while browsing online. It was like lifting a rock and finding an entirely new collective of people writing to one another about anything (complete with graphic signatures). It was an internet subculture in progress. Something something Wild West.

      Small forums like that did a number of things that I feel we haven’t been able to replicate. You got to know people over time. It wasn’t a feed you vaguely subscribed to, but a forum (in literal definition of the word) that you chose to participate in.

      I often think about what probably defines a typical experience online for people these days and I feel that the smaller and more cozy feeling of actual community has been replaced by the digital equivalent of big box stores. Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, Netflix. Big corporate places with portals and algorithms.

      These aren’t necessarily bad things in and of themselves (aside from the chasing of a world in which nothing is left unplanned), but I’m trying to hone in on the idea that the sheer randomness of this medium has more or less vaporized. The concept that anything and everything you do on the Internet wasn’t aggressively being tracked and developed into digital profiles to be traded, used, shared, and sold by ad companies and an array of other organizations was a fart in the wind compared to what it’s like online today. Websites simply didn’t have 5 megabytes+ of Javascript whereas now you need a half a dozen browser extensions to make the internet a halfway decent thing to be on.

      My hunch is that once upon a time, people (at least those that even had access to it) had a kind of amateur desire of wanting to create an account at a website (particularly a forum). Coming up on 2019, I think long and hard before creating another account anywhere. There even was an expectation to introduce yourself in some introduction subforum at many of these boards.

      A theme that has become completely domineering is the inflated ego linked to tribalism. I see people being so serious about everything; there can be no reciprocal discussion about anything.

      I think it’s probably trivial to dismiss this as nostalgia but I feel there are some real truths to this. The Internet is something you had the choice of actually logging off and disconnecting but today, everyone is constantly connected. We are in the age of distraction and preoccupation. Think about it: how many times have you picked up your (smart)phone purely out of reflex, not even to check something with purpose? You see it everywhere in public, certainly. The constant stream of brightly colored iconography, beeps, alerts, buzzing, push/notifications, and beyond are endless. Everything demands your attention, and it is never enough.

      53 votes
    22. “There are no girls on the internet”

      “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t...

      “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t hang out on online forums because only loser guys do that. This obviously wasn’t totally true, but it felt true because of the second interpretation: gender doesn’t really exist on the internet, or at least it didn’t back then. Someone posting on IRC or 4Chan could be male, female, black, white, or any combination or race or gender, but you wouldn’t know that. Your post just existed in a void, completely separate from your social identity. While sexism and racism existed, someone wouldn’t be discriminated against on those grounds, because on the internet there are no girls. Only people.

      People who brought up their gender were accused of being attention seekers who couldn’t get by on their own merits. This was probably just a shitty excuse to justify harassment (ie tits or gtfo), but there might have been some truth to the idea that your gender and race have no effect on the legitimacy of your opinion.

      Today on the internet, a the “rule” “there are no girls on the internet” is completely done away with. Not only is the social makeup of the internet much more diverse today, all of the major networking sites have profiles on which you can proudly display your gender, race, sexuality, etc.

      I only just now came to realize this difference as I was reading some threads that posted statements like “as a gay man” or “as a girl who...”. These kinds of statements used to attract ridicule, but are now accepted as the norm.

      I’m not sure if this is an improvement or not. I do think it’s an improvement that harassment is no longer tolerated, but I struggle with the concept that it’s okay to that someone’s race/gender/etc can legitimize a claim, but it is not okay to think that it could deligitimize someone’s claim.

      Again, I want to add a disclaimer that I do not think it is or ever was good to harass people, or to discriminate based on identity. I just want to start a conversation about how the internet has changed in this respect, and whether or not online discourse has been hurt by this change.

      57 votes
    23. Discussion: Internet Piracy: ISPs tracking every your move

      Sorry for the minor clickbait title Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's...

      Sorry for the minor clickbait title

      Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's because, (at least in my country, IDK about another European states) much bigger competition, even in village with 500 people, there are about 3-4 ISPs, but there are even more of them in bigger cities). They throttle websites (even before they destroyed Net Neutrality), they track that you use your network too much and throttle you because of it ("they may send you a warning for excessive internet usage and throttle your bandwidth for awhile.").

      Now, they track that you download/upload too much and/or pirate movies and can throttle your account, downgrade your account, or completely refuse to provide you any service.

      Why? Why are they allowed to do this? Why they can track users and throttle them just because they download too much (I've read article about it, downloading too much, ISPs slowing down internet for few hours, link soon) or they suspect you of pirating. How they dare intercept your packets, read them and throttle you because of this? Why is it wildly accepted as completely normal behaviour?

      And I could continue on things like them publicly buying votes to remove Net Neutrality from the way, and so on.

      I honestly do not know why so much people are OK with this. Could we start a discussion on this?


      Throttling because of piracy sources: 1 2 3 4
      Pre-NetNeutrality-End websites throttling: 1 2

      29 votes
    24. Does anybody actually revisit url/page that bookmarked?

      I myself is a pinboard user since 2011 and have since bookmarked 4 274 links. But I find it funny that I never visit those URL or page ever again. When I bookmark something I thought it was useful...

      I myself is a pinboard user since 2011 and have since bookmarked 4 274 links. But I find it funny that I never visit those URL or page ever again.

      When I bookmark something I thought it was useful or important. But often it turns out not the case.

      Am I the only one? What do you guys do with thousands of stuff you bookmarked?

      17 votes
    25. Specialty fatigue

      I've been noticing a social effect lately and I'm curious about others' takes on this. I'm calling it "specialty fatigue" because I've noticed mostly in specialty communities. I differentiate...

      I've been noticing a social effect lately and I'm curious about others' takes on this. I'm calling it "specialty fatigue" because I've noticed mostly in specialty communities. I differentiate between this, elitism, FAQ annoyance because there seems to be a more complex cause at work.

      To put it in general terms, specialty fatigue is caused by the overexposure to others' work in a given area of expertise. Whereas elitism is more of an ego driven personality traits, and FAQ frustration arises from repeatedly answering the same basic questions, this fatigue seems to be caused by seeing too many things that don't live up to standards (often arbitrary personal standards, but sometimes can be industry standards). In others words, people notice their industry getting flooded with novices getting away with crap they'd never tolerate. It can be disheartening and disillusioning. Most often, it results in the community of specialists becoming overly critical of things that didn't originally bother them. People who were once helpful and encouraging become raging internet monsters.

      I see this happen a lot because I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none, and largely autodidactic. I don't have very many strong opinions on how things should be done because I've learned to constantly question the efficacy of norms, and try to establish a system that just works best to achieve the results I care about. Despite that, I'm still interested in finding out how others go about doing things, or even just listen to the sort of stuff they care about. What factors do specialists find worthwhile in determining quality? How feasible is it for me to achieve those results?

      Quite often, specialty communities are so corrupted by overexposure that many members of the community start acting as gatekeepers. "If you can't afford decent equipment, don't even bother." And they'll criticize anything that could remotely be interpreted as a newb question or point of view, frequently to the point of acute toxicity where just about any discussion becomes unfeasible.

      I'm a propenent of openly sharing knowledge. But the offshoot of increased introductory material is that there will be a corresponding increase in novice level production. I can see why people might be bothered by that (personally, I'm not), but it blows me away that anyone would be surprised by that. That's exactly how it seems sometimes, though. Almost as if people just wanted to show off how much they know without anyone else using that knowledge for anything productive.

      This seems like the social deflection point between "old school" methods of passing down specialty knowledge (apprenticing, higher education, family businesses) to "new school" methods (look it up online and just try it out). With the removal of a mentor figure from the equation, there is less of a filter for what's quality and what's crap. Add social media into the equation and there seems like there's a constant influx of garbage into every industry out there. But for specialty communities, it definitely has an "end of the world as we know it" kinda feel because it seems like the entire specialty is getting flooded with subpar work that is a threat to their livelyhoods.


      Has anyone else noticed this sort of thing? Do you have a specialty? If so, what trends have you noticed within that field regarding apparent willingness to share information? Have you ever dropped a hobby because people seemed to take it too seriously? How do you personally feel about the balance between open sharing of information vs keeping secrets (for example, a technique a process from which you derive a substantial portion of income)?

      Edit: Fixed a typo. Can and can't are a bit different. Oops.

      18 votes
    26. What do you remember about the "old" internet?

      Inspired by the post on HN, was curious about your favorite memories or nostalgia you feel about internet in the 90's or even earlier. I really didn't come fully online until the early 2000's. We...

      Inspired by the post on HN, was curious about your favorite memories or nostalgia you feel about internet in the 90's or even earlier.

      I really didn't come fully online until the early 2000's. We didn't have the means to get internet at home so until I could get online unless it was at school. Even so my most pleasant memories were spending time playing games on yahoo (yahooligans), with a tetris like clone being my favorite. Also spent a huge amount of time playing macromedia shockwave based games on various sites that I don't remember anymore. I do remember playing a game where you had to build up your hobo soap box car to see how far you could jump it.

      It was soon followed by the discovery of various chat groups, making up identities, lying about age, revealing too much personal information in the process. At one point I even convinced a woman to send me photos that she claimed were for her modeling career. Not sure if it was some creepy old guy trying to lure me in with promises of being a real woman or if I legitimately fooled some poor girl into sending me modeling pictures.

      Also remember my first foray into fan theory sites with the show LOST, ended up getting chewed out for suggesting a theory that was apparently well known. Was too embarrassed and scared to post after that and ended up lurking for the duration of my time there.

      Some folks say that the "old internet" is now gone with the likes of reddit and Youtube, but for me it seems like what really changed was us and the sense of wonder. For those who are still discovering the internet as they're growing up, that sense of wonder is still there just waiting to be turned into nostalgia as they get older.

      34 votes
    27. How do you think social networks should handle hate speech?

      A bit of context: in July 2017 germany implemented the Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz, a law which allows german authorities to fine Social Media companies with over 2 million users if they persistently...

      A bit of context: in July 2017 germany implemented the Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz, a law which allows german authorities to fine Social Media companies with over 2 million users if they persistently fail to remove obvious hatespeech within 24 hours and all other cases within a week. A write up of the law and background information. Information about the definition of hate sepeech in germany.

      I am interested in your opinion: Is this governmental overreach and infringes on the freedom of speech or is this a long needed step to ensure that people feel safe and current german law is finally being followed?

      16 votes
    28. Why do everyone care about privacy so much?

      Let's take Google, for example. Google tracks where you physically are - why are some people so much against it? It doesn't hurt me, google just uses it to serve me personalized ads. Why are...

      Let's take Google, for example. Google tracks where you physically are - why are some people so much against it? It doesn't hurt me, google just uses it to serve me personalized ads. Why are people so concerned about it?

      Google even tracks, which websites do I visit - again, why should I care? When I want to browse anonymously, I use VPN. If I wanted to do something illegal, I guess I won't use google at all and install tor? I'm not sure what should I do in that case, but I'm sure, there are ways to get away from google's sight when people need to.

      I don't understand, why some people fight for internet privacy so much. Could someone help me to understand it? What's your opinion on privacy and internet tracking?

      29 votes
    29. How often do you go to write a comment or a post online, and after a bit of time spent writing you decide that it is crap and just delete it? Is this a good thing?

      I do this a lot. I did it just now. I wrote about five paragraphs on a topic, deleted it and started over, wrote about five more and did the same thing. Got frustrated. Some thoughts that went...

      I do this a lot. I did it just now. I wrote about five paragraphs on a topic, deleted it and started over, wrote about five more and did the same thing. Got frustrated. Some thoughts that went through my mind:

      • "this is not concise at all. It's disorganized and needs to be re-done"

      • "this is going to trigger an emotional response and that will filter how they read it, so I'll be less likely to get interesting responses"

      • "maybe I should just do this as a journal entry and keep it private"

      • "these thoughts are worth something, and even if they aren't super cogent, maybe they can be a starting point for a collaborative thinking process"

      • "that's dumb, nobody cares about my ramblings anyway. everyone has thoughts like this, mine aren't more important"

      • etc.

      So what usually ends up happening in instances like this is I just don't post. Other times, I get wrapped up in trying to make a post super-high quality and it comes across as over-produced... and if I've somehow triggered an emotional response then that aspect becomes an avenue for attack.

      Does anyone else experience something comparable to this? Is it a good thing for helping to maintain quality content and discussions? If not, what are strategies to improve situations like these?

      25 votes