[NOTE: This is definitely definitely a serious essay and not a snarky bit of Villainpunk satire.
SECOND NOTE: ….sure, now you think that I’m lying, only I’m not.
THIRD NOTE: …probably.
Anyway, I’m totally not going to be doing a panel on this at Evil Expo. I think…]
10. The Internet is Good. The problem with the Internet is a Tragedy of the Commons situation, where too many people did too many of the things that would not, if done by small number of people, have been too bad, but done en masse are kind of awful. (Oh, and various challenges which emerged when various companies realized they could acquire and use personal data in a way we hadn’t really understood it before, such that they could essentially manipulate you in some sort of science-fiction-esque dystopian manner, but that’s a story for another time. I see you, Facebook.)
9. Most people on the Internet are jerks. We realize that seems like it contradicts #9, but it doesn’t. The Internet is a good place made bad only by bad people. If we just got rid of the bad people, we’d be fine.
8. The Bad People are easy to spot, and we can get rid of them easily by destroying the Internet. Sure, at the time of this writing, we live in the halcyon age where people still believe that there are a finite number of bad people and we can just remove them from all the platforms ever and the world will be a good place. Silly us! We still envision a world where you can take a big chunk of people off a platform and still have a platform that’s interesting, useful, and/or fun. How wrong we are. It will be hilarious if we succeed at this, because it will be just so ridiculously terrible.
7. Our Knowledge Taboos are awesome, Part I. Problem: Sometimes people who have different opinions might be right, and we might have to change our opinions or even our actions, and that would feel bad. Solution: People with different opinions are actually bad people (sorry, I meant to say “Toxic”) and you can’t ever listen to a bad person because that magically transforms you into a bad person.
6. Our Knowledge Taboos are awesome, Part II. Problem: People can easily verify or debunk some of the most ridiculous things, especially things they see on Twitter, via a quick Google search. Solution: Make it taboo to Google these things. Are you trying to imply that you don’t trust the good person who gave you this vital information? Also, this vital information is about bad people! Who cares if it’s wrong?
5. Our Knowledge Taboos are awesome, Part III. Problem: A ton of people really sincerely feel that it doesn’t matter if information is inaccurate, as long as it leans on the correct side. We’ve seen a number of rationalizations for this, but the core seems to be ‘The other side spreads so much fake news, who cares if a little bit of our news is fake?’ Which… is a good way to rationalize generating an essentially endless, nonstop amount of fake news.
4. If you want your feed to be filled with pictures of kitties and puppies, you should start posting pictures of kitties and puppies. Sure, by now, we recognize that some degree of cuteposting is just an attempt to manipulate the algorithms into seeing us and showing our stuff to people, but now that algorithms have made it clear that they often won’t show our stuff to people unless it’s repeating some kind of viral content, it’s no worse than any other ‘Saw this and wanted to share it’, and it’s a whole lot better than virtue signaling or outrage boosting. If we want an Internet that’s a bit less misery and a bit more fun, we should post some more fun.
3. Idiots like me claim to be aware that we need a more pleasant Internet, and then they post angry satire instead of adorable pets. Sorry, Internet. Mea culpa.
2. This space for rent. Just like every other space on the Internet.
- The World just ended. So we don’t need to worry anymore! YAAAAAAY!
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.