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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Everything That Should Die In 2018 !!

It was a miserable year full of miserable things. Here is some stuff from 2017 that we hope stays in 2017.


The problem is not really Facebook, I should say. Facebook is absolutely fucking awful—stupid and smug and kind of blithely anti-human and disgustingly craven even by the prevailing standards of triumphal circa-now ultra-capitalism—but it is terrible in large part because people are terrible, or at least terribly lonely and scared and terribly unwilling to do anything about either. Facebook just happens to be the place where this is most annoyingly apparent; it’s the social network that old people are comfortable with, and the one that most everyone is on, and it’s all outwardly clean-looking enough that it seems normal relative to the rest of the social internet. It just doesn’t work, at all.

Facebook is no longer trying to conceal its abiding ambition to someday be the internet, all by itself—the only place you would ever need or want to go, the place where everything is. This idiotic grandiosity is par for this age of utopian would-be monopolists, but it’s especially unappealing where Facebook is concerned, because the site so transparently and transcendently sucks, and so clearly does not care about fixing any of that. Its algorithms have created a whole gray market economy dedicated to barfing scalding-hot lies on the most impressionable people in the world. It harvests every bit of information it can about us so that it can show us the outrages and rancid panderings that might keep us on the site longest and sell us what it thinks we want. It is so dedicated to its fatuous and self-serving idea of openness that it has turned all of its objectively anti-human defects into stands on principle. The algorithm is failing, but it somehow cannot be failed; an algorithmic fix for the algorithm is devised; the algorithm force-feeds your lonely aunt lies and resentment because her neighbors like it; everything slips somehow further and further from everything else.

For all the reasons to resist Facebook’s goal of Becoming The Whole Internet—and there are many, principled and practical and petty, all of them valid—there is none more compelling than the sheer fact of what a fucking horror show Facebook is, right now. It doesn’t want to be better than it is, just bigger.


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