am starting to thing, the social problem in USA, is created by tech companies. google, fb, tweeter, with the "like" buttons.
@xahlee I'm not religious, but I'm thinking that the problem is that people used to primarily come together to believe in something, above all else, that wasn't tangible.
Now people tribalize based on "Likes" and political ideologies and quickly marginalize others they view as "wrong."
@xahlee yes, very much. also: Twitter's character limit factors into it.
the Internet has given everyone an "equal voice"; anyone can become an "Internet celebrity" if they are well-spoken, attractive (to their target audience), and interesting. but, now that there's so many voices competing for attention, the traditional media dynamics are all in flux. everyone wants to be heard saying The Right Thing In The Eyes Of Their Peers, instead of thinking critically about current world events.
@xahlee people now have the ability to choose which narrative best suits their worldview. millennial US citizens, living in a first-world country wherein all their basic needs have been met, are choosing to live in a narrative of "oppression" and "bigotry", and they see themselves as righteous armchair revolutionaries. they think retweeting "political" tweets and joining inane, ill-defined "marches" in favor of things like "Science", "Women", and "Diversity" are acts of outright heroism
@xahlee if it weren't for social media, these people would do these silly things, the MSM would cover it or not, and if they do, the average Joe watching would evaluate whether or not the acts were justified based on their own moral compass. instead, social media allows these people to all get likes and retweets from similarly delusional individuals, creating a positive feedback loop, encouraging them to continue spouting nonsense. dissenters are treated as idiots who need to be "educated"
@xahlee the social media "marketplace of ideas" ENCOURAGES posts that don't contain actual information, but instead vapid musings and virtue signalling that resonate with people emotionally.
much of this has to do with the lack of religion in modern society. ANY religion—not even a specific one—gives humans purpose and moral grounding in their everyday lives. lack of religion leads people to treat politics with fervor usually reserved for religious fanaticism.
@xahlee I could go on and on about this, it's my favorite field of study. we have millennia of social norms for how people interact with each other in person, but every Internet-based communication platform actively shapes how discourse takes place, by altering human motivations with software frameworks.
@xahlee the goal is no longer to be correct, the goal is to get your word spread as widely as possible, which means "playing the game" of your social media platform of choice. the thing is, most people don't consciously take stock of the "rules" of each "game" and consider how it's affecting them; they just go with the flow. this is especially prevalent in millennials who grew up with the Internet, as online communication through various platforms is second nature to them.
@xahlee this is what @adam and John were alluding to a few shows ago when they lamented how everyone on the Internet tries to be the guy who gets the funny remark in. back in the days of linear comment streams on blogs, it was the guy who said "first!". now it's the redditor or twitter user who says the snappy zinger that resonates with everyone's preconceived emotion-based beliefs, and gets all the upvotes/retweets/likes.
and it's why 4chan is a more interesting platform for actual discussion.
@adam @xahlee (the 4chan tradeoff is, you have to wade through low-effort shitposts—the benefit, however, is, at least on /pol/, "controversial"/against-the-grain opinions oftentimes get the most, largely critical, responses. and of course there's the whole anonymous thing, which is another tradeoff—users feel free to make points without fear of it affecting their ego or online persona in the long term (as opposed to other platforms, where leftists can shame you into silence).)
the commentors trying to put in a snappy zinger particularly ring a bell here, been thinking about just that too!
indeed, comments used to compete by depth,, thoughtfulness, humor, and writing quality, and all that is gone!