Like many, I am deeply concerned with the impact social media has had on our brains, our attention, and our society. I have a slightly different take on what the root of the problem is, though.
While those worried about distraction, polarization, algorithms, and censorship all have a right to be concerned, I think the real issue is deeper and more fundamental.
By creating a hyperconnected network for information flow, we seem to have kicked off a negative ratchet that leans on several compounding forces to fundamentally change the identities of those who carelessly venture onto the modern internet.
In those solo podcast, I provide a soliloquy on my concerns with the information ecosystem created by social media.
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- [00:10] I might as well pile on with everyone else criticizing social media companies.
- [08:55] How the internet erodes trust in institutions and kicks off a negative ratchet of polarization, outrage, and epistemic nihilism
- [14:21] Is the criticism of social media an unjustified moral panic? Most other new communications technologies were criticized widely at the time.
- [20:31] Why I think “filter bubbles” are overrated—and why viewing alternate realities through the lens of identity and music fandom may be more helpful
- [30:44] The internet creates an environment that evolves apex predator memes mimetic concepts
- [38:31] Almost everyone recognizes that there’s a problem with social media. Not everyone agrees on what the problem is or what to do about it. Where should we go from here?
Links and Resources Mentioned
- The Social Dilemma
- Tristan Harris
- Your Undivided Attention Podcast
- Albert Kao, PhD (Santa Fe Institute) on the Wisdom of Crowds and Hyperconnected Networks
- “Why Bankers Need to Be Put Into Little Boxes” from the Harvard Business Review
- Inside Job
- “The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium” by Martin Gurri
- “A ratchet with leverage” by Seth Godin
- European wars of religion
- John R. Brinkley
- “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam
- Joshua Becker, PhD on Polarization, Collective Intelligence & Social Tipping Points
- How did you get in to metal? Who was your “gateway band”?
- Renée DiResta
- Dreamcatcher “Good Night”
- Mr. Bungle “Travolta”
- Chiodos “The Undertaker’s Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable…”
- Attack Attack! “Stick Stickly”
- Falling In Reverse “Bad Girls Club”