Apologies to any regular readers; I’ve been working tirelessly / fruitlessly on my major (first) forever forthcoming Crowd Funding project. Regular service will be resumed the moment I start taking more time for myself and my mental health, instead of slaving away at.. whatever this shit is for zero pay, recognition – or any real interest, for that matter. (I’m sick of trying to create art, and have no decided to miscreate Nothingness; be an expert only in zilch.)
What is true speech? Ninety percent accuracy is not as good as silence. – Zen master Yueh-lin
As a temporary experiment, I recently joined social media site coshost.org and then almost immediately left. This was after being on the Twittering Elon Stan Hellsite for far too long. I figured anything must be better than staying on a digital ship that wasn’t beginning to sink, but was already well rotted beneath its own filthy toilet water for years. I didn’t choose Mastodon, because Federated networks sound bad. (Note: A qualified network engineer I am not.)
The only reason I ‘chose’ to stay on Twitter for as long as I did was the significant mass of super cool people I’d managed to discover. Most of which didn’t really want to stay, or be associated with Twitter, but who – precisely because the internet is set up and run by toxic white right wing snowflake billionaires – have little choice to stay, because (all together now) “That’s where the eyeballs are.”
Indeed, what on earth is one supposed to do if all one’s friends and associates are on it? (Long example answer: Continue to radically reorganize society along deeper green anarcho-socialist-communistic lines in order to ensure healthier, wider representation for people-run social platforms.)
Right off the bat, Cohost.org seemed utterly Dead On Arrival. (It wasn’t, and it isn’t.) The interface alone seemed hopelessly antiquated and woefully retro, and not in an exciting ‘Near Future Retro 80s’ way either. It all just seemed to deliberately hark back to sad days of AOL. In fact at first glance one could mistake it’s homepage for some amazingly obsolete, impossibly antiquated historical Geocities page on Internet Archive. The fact it’s all brand new and still being worked out by talented young programmers doesn’t seem important, if it’s First Impressions / aesthetic actually count for anything. Question: Of all the looks Cohost could have gone with, why that particular one?
The miniature gathered crowd of Cohosters, such as they were, seemed to consist of random, proud lgbtq+ / bipoc trans weirdos heavily into posting plus-sized selfie /furry porn and single ‘Hello internet! ..Anyone?’ messages. Though politically commendable, it was still kinda depressing to consider the precise degree to which such already marginalized & culturally repressed communities were constantly being forced to flock and migrate against their will. Pushed away from one site to another. Sexual politics refugees – associated general left wing internet diaspora / bread tubers.
I didn’t really feel such groups were proactively ‘choosing’ such sites as Cohost.org, as much as they were digital immigrants fleeing repressive virtual states (eg. Hellsite Twitter.) This fact is of course hardly anything new or surprising, alas.
There also only seemed a handful of younger adults on the platform, for whom Cohost.org was their first foray into Social Media. (Note: anyone under 30 seems young to an old bastard like me.) I felt sorry for them. Not that Cohost seemed bad, but – as I said – it already seemed destined to fail, and fade away. Unsustainable in the face of the general Social Media market as a whole; unable to keep any kind of meaningful momentum going. Thinking about it now however, I suspect it’s precisely because of assholes like me that such sites display the die-off rate they do.
Only one or two posts in, and I already started missing Twitter’s algorithm driven ‘force-feed’. I wanted to be told what to like, what I should be looking at. Without that, I was forced to use Cohost.org’s search tool, which I found annoying, even existentially baffling. “What the hell do I search for?” I wondered. “What are my interests?” A good question. One I don’t actually know – and not just because I lack philosophical Self Knowledge. When (now long distant and forgotten) friends-of-friends used to ask me at gatherings these kinds of ‘well, what kinds of stuff are you into’ questions, I always just wanted to shrug and say “How would I know? ..Nothing that interesting has come my way yet.” (One is reminded of Buke The Puke’s existential Barfly admission that “Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things I don’t want to do. All the things that I don’t want to be. All the places that I don’t want to go.”)
Part of me also doesn’t want to admit that “Oh shit, I’m just as essentially boring and superficial as you nerds – that I’m probably into the exact same dumb, Terminally Boring shit as you;
- Willfully obtuse yet playful experimental European postmodern literature.
- Oldskool 90’s hiphop.
- Violent movies with well choreographed martial arts fight scenes.
- Comics and graphic novels.
- Rabidly jerkin’ it / idly surfing the insomniac 3am nets.
- Four cheese pineapple pizza (heck yes, pineapple) with Sriracha.
- Strong black coffee and existential depression.”
You can tell when someone has no idea what to search for – that they’re probably Just Dead /Bored – when they search for something on Cohost.org like “Um, Art?” Some art then came up. Actually some of the worst art I’d seen in a while. Crap, ugly – and distinctly amateur, which was great. Unabashedly ill formed. (The word amateur of course arriving from Lover, Friend.) A lot of it so bad it could be mistaken for NFT’s.
However a lot of the photography on the site was excellent. There seemed to be several professional photographers on Cohost.org, or at least amateurs with high disposable income, a penchant for slick n’ frictionless foreign travel and much esoteric Photoshop knowledge. (What is it with rich gays? Aren’t there any other kinds of less rich, less white middle class bourgeois queers online? One’s that don’t proudly own Apple Fucking Macs?)
I also noticed that, only twenty or so relatively small posts in, and I’d mysteriously amassed more followers than my entire time over on Hellsite Twitter. I found this depressing, and merely put it down to the fact there were just so few people on this platform, people were desperate to follow anyone who posted anything (ala ‘It’s not really a special message to you, Mr. Cole.’ – Twelve Monkeys.)
So one day I was idly yapping about the toxic the AAA videogaming industry. How modern GFX cards were manufactured using conflict minerals by children in parts of the world run by warlords. And the fact most self identifying ‘Gamer Culture’TM nerds didn’t give a shit about such troubling facts. And therefore were as morally culpable for the shittiness of the world as its owners.
Someone I didn’t know, a recent follower then replied to my original post, and I replied back. Something about their subsequent reply however managed to put me right off Social Media. And it was through no fault of their own – I’d sensed the whole shebang was a bad idea from the start.
They started off saying I should be more compassionate toward GamersTM who had no idea about it’s darker side, which is kinda furry muff, but then the reply got weird / I got weirded out by it. I’d accidentally made my reply seem as though I was personally calling them out about some particular ethical or moral failure. I should have made it clearer.
Thing is, there is perhaps no clear way to indicate online the distinction between discussing a subject per se, and any one person’s particular take on a subject. (Short of flashing an entire legally and ethically watertight B.S disclaimer before every single social media chat reply, the whole of the internet too often seems entirely too personal. This, despite the additional fact some feel attacked or offended at literally anything.)
Which is kind of the point if any I think I’m trying to make. What actual ‘rights’ do I have, if any, to talk about anything? Who do I remotely imagine am I? The internet makes it pathetically easy for any schmuck to say anything they want – almost entirely without negative consequence of feedback. A nation of loud mouthed randos. Thing is of course, just because one has opinions, does that automatically mean one should ShareTM them – have those opinion virally wide-band right across the entire net? Encircle the entire globe?
Despite what most people imagine, it’s actually a hell of a thing to have one’s thoughts instantly spread across the troubled Earth. It’s not remotely natural, only culturally naturalized. Yet what if, despite what one thought one was actually a bit of an idiot? What would be the real outcome of sharing endless incomplete, semi-coherent and radially decontextualized thought fragments – having them fly around at near light speeds – so much intellectual shrapnel?
That is to say: is not the Internet a totally failed human project? Is it not in fact totally inhuman / inhumane? Isn’t it one big cosmically useless lump of terminally boring White /People Noise – an astounding waste of time and effort? What people love calling ‘internet drama’ too often seems the desperate human attempt to make it constantly appear something-anything is happening on this miserable little backwater planet – when in fact it might not be. That it’s all just a load of conveniently inconveniently self-sustaining mechanical nonsense. The whole / hole of inhuman human technology as one massive, undead Rube Goldberg paperclip maximizer. Churning on and on to itself for no reason. For absurd reason whatsoever.
Basically the person who replied to me gave a slightly too long, rambling response, bringing up several odd, off-topic points – and then eventually ended up saying he didn’t think they were open to discussing this, at least not today, because they were worn out. Internet-NaturallyTM, my first response was that of a standard regular electronic asshole – I thought “Gee well nobody fucking forced to you to reply..”
Thing is though, the Internets itselves did kinda force them. There’s actually no clear way to tear apart the synthetic nature of the digital medium, and one’s specific psychological compulsion to set the story straight, to clarify one’s position, to fully illuminate the subject at hand.
The result was a bizarre kind of, how to put it, Inverse Sealioning? Just like (in my white Western cis male techno-geek-nerd privilege) I automatically feel the innate right to say anything about any subject matter under the black internet sun to begin with. The ‘spreading of darkness at the speed of lite’ to paraphrase the mighty Terrence McKenna.
The internet too often makes us Idiot Space Apes totally nuts by allowing us to do nothing but constantly post random dumb B.S. about nothing. (Hey, welcome to my half life. As for also feeling ‘worn out’, I suddenly got a little bitter taste of what I imagined famous people like Contrapoints felt, upon being cancelled by The Left / Pseudo-Left on Hellsite Twittter. That untold thousands, a shouting internet mob piling on, would also feel the as-said ‘right’ to reply to each and every fragmentary nuance of every syllable of one’s meanings and utterances, intended, accidentally implied – or clearly invented. How horrible!
And that if one in turn replied to them, positively or not, they’d all just continue the whole sorry mess unto absurdist perpetuity. Even worse, what if one didn’t reply? That too is seen as a response. One can’t seem to win with the Online and – as usual deadpan ‘the only winning move is not to play’. Good grief. Perhaps you can’t actually have it both ways. Mostly because The Medium Is The Tedium (to paraphrase Professor Brian O’Blivion – sorry, Marshall McLuhan.)
Once again, the philosophically alert must turn to people like Baudrillard for (/often deliberately obfuscated) answers. That modern Capitalism (aka the Global Hyperreal Ludocapitalist Spectacle as I call it) in every way forces us to keep the pseudo-conversation going. Not only is it continually surveilling us for the purpose of total societal control, we’re ideologically forced to act like mindless loud mouthed cogs, actively fueling the vast destructive engines of its virtual Finance machine. It’s a super creepy giant voyeur psychologist, nodding it’s uncanny valley head, saying “Please, continue..”
Cheery fat Cockney Wanker Bob Hoskins once stated for an evil hyper-corporation that “It’s good to talk.” Yeah, especially good for ‘enhanced shareholder value’. There was a historical myth that his home phone number was found, and he subsequently got hundreds of calls at all hours with strangers saying “It’s good to Talk, isn’t it Bob?”
Plain truth is Mr. Hoskins – and ready yourself for the ontological shock – some thoughts just don’t need thinking.
In any case; I hope sites like cohost.org survive, and twitter.com continues tumbling into its own digital gravity well of shit. Thinking more generally about internet conversations – consider one possible opposite of “Feeling anxious about not responding to your post” as: “Feeling anxious about people who feel they can’t not respond to your post.” That is, if you always feel the pressure to reply to posts right away, it may be time to enforce limits to protect the mental health of others.
Associated notions concerning those who not only want the last word – but all of them; a need to drown out all dissent from Their True Way. W’TASSIWOTI: “White Trilby Atheist Skeptic SIWOTI.” Neckbeard universe. Intellectual shitheadedness. Nerd circle jerk echo chamber of Hegemonic Masculinity, populated by the unbearably smug, ideologically reactionary / conservative, privileged (aggrieved entitled), pale skinned and pathologically mouthy. Septic Skeptics. Dumb Debunkers. New Atheist Assholes. Dark Liberalism. Willful zero self-awareness regarding being skeptical about skepticism. Naked egotism masquerading as intelligence. Systematic ignorance about the philosophical warning “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” resulting in outright Agnotology. Power wearing a mask of reason and logic, ‘Owning’ and ‘Destoying’.
- On The Rowling-Vausch Drama Bullshit And Internet Ontology
- 80s Fantasy Art Painting of ‘The Regular Reader’
- NBC News: Is someone ‘orbiting’ you on social media?
- Reddit – How To Do Stop Wanting The Last Word?
- Giant In The Playground thread: why do I get sucked in?