Where all that content has gone? I have found many YouTube channels that show this kind of futuristic content, but views are in the 100K never millions.
Do people have lost hope? Do people want to just watch negative content?
I do not think so. My guess, and it is just a guess, is that people want to see high-quality content that gives them hopes for the future. But, as choosing fried food over a salad, there is a short term reward that changes that decision. You could go for the salad, you decided at home that today you will choose a healthy fresh salad, but once in the restaurant you choose fried chicken and fries.
When I was a kid, people loved these programs that offered a glimpse into possible futures, kids wanted to be astronauts and technology was magical. Ironically, with so many options today, people chooses things that are bad for their mental health. But, I do not know how to change that.
Today the cutting edge of tech looks pretty mundane. It's usually software, which doesn't really translate to looking futuristic. If TV show makers go too far it looks like magic and stops being an achievable dream.
Essentially, the reason why making high quality "dreams of the future" hopeful TV shows doesn't happen any more is because hardware innovation stopped looking exciting. The brilliant thing is that happened because we actually have the hardware now, and that had taught us to be realistic about the (near term) future.
Just have a look at https://ourworldindata.org/ and look at the development of extreme poverty, poverty, life expectancy, child mortality, literacy, proportion of the world that lives in a democracy and even happiness and life satisfaction.
For many of the young, the story is that the last 60 to 70 years have been awesome, for the world as a whole, and maybe the next 20 to 30 will be too. But the cost will be what comes after.
And regardless it is less whether people's lives are truly better or not. It is more regarding how people feel about how their life might improve in the future. In my peer group, very few people are optimistic about the future of American society. Combine the previously mentioned inequality with the looming threat of climate change and top it off with a dysfunctional government that seems unwilling or unable to address those concerns and the future doesn't look that exciting. The iPhone 18 being better than the iPhone 12 isn't exactly going to inspire hope in a better tomorrow.
This is pretty huge non-sequitur. Income (in)equality has exactly nothing to do with post scarcity world or reducing suffering. Just because someone has more than you doesn't mean you don't have more than someone in your position 50 years ago or that you aren't suffering less.
Technology-wise we have focused on computers for so long that they are pretty much as solved as they are going to get, but we haven't made as huge leaps on other aspects. If your goal is to move the us to post scarcity world you have to come up with unlimited free and (relatively) clean power source. After that someone needs to figure out how to turn that unlimited energy into mass. Then someone needs to figure out how to 3D print things atom-by-atom using the previous technology. After that money loses all meaning and there is no longer income inequality.
Not a problem. Nuclear fusion. And before someone goes off on a tangent about, "It's only 10 years away for the past 60 years", that's because The Powers That Be won't give it - and by extension, pure science - the funding it needs to happen. The Defense Department budget increases by $80,000,000,000 for the 2021 Federal Budget. No one batted an eye. I guarantee you, if you throw $80 billion at fusion for 60 years, humanity will solve it. The pathetic $5 billion here and $2 billion there won't cut it. You have to sink real money into it.
> After that someone needs to figure out how to turn that unlimited energy into mass.
Funding. Once fusion is solved, throw $80 billion at this problem every year. See above.
> Then someone needs to figure out how to 3D print things atom-by-atom using the previous technology.
Funding. See above.
> After that money loses all meaning and there is no longer income inequality.
After that, we become a reputation-based economy, like Star Trek. It's about what you've done, not how much you have.
None of this will happen until we stop allowing single individuals to hoard enormous amounts of wealth that could never possibly be spent in their lifetimes.
Even the 4 day work week which I have seen popping up on HN recently is often discussed in terms of how it improves productivity. It is less whether it is good for society and instead whether it is good for the bosses.
> What we have seen over the last few decades is that most (although not all) value of the productivity bonuses that technology provides has largely been captured by the people who own the capital.
You debunked yourself in two sentences. Again just because someone is benefiting more than you doesn't mean you are also not benefiting. You can yell "eat the rich" all you want and how we should "get rid of billionaires", but fact remains that these people have the money for a reason and it is not that they inherited it from some old exploitation of people as many like to say.
Is it OK that Jeff has more money than God? Probably not, but are you really going to argue that he hasn't earn it? It would be lovely if Jeffy-boy would donate more to good causes, but this is more a symptom of how corrupt US government is (that he can mass this amount of wealth and pay zero taxes).
Look at every metric of poverty or things affecting the poor (literacy, hunger, access to education) and its improved like no other time in history in the last 50 years.
Just because the rich got richer in the process might annoy you, but it benefitted a lot of others. What do you want? No income inequality and therefore everyone living in terrible conditions, or a large divide between rich and poor but things actually improving?
(a small positive slope in terms of life quality is much better than a negative or neutral slope at the same level - or even at a higher level).
And people underestimate the importance of relative standing as opposed to absolute. Ultimately, we are a packet of genes that are made to reproduce (with a brain attached). Relative standings matter a lot more than absolute quality of life as far as reproduction is concerned (and as far as our genes are concerned). The human brain is but a simple abstraction on top of those genetic drives.
Or that we could be a billionaire that could build a flying armor suit?
Super hero movies are everywhere, to an almost absurd level.
Why self-insert as a traveler in the stars when you can instead self-insert as the all-powerful center of attention?
Makes sense given the rise of social media, too.
Everyone is a YouTuber, live steamer, superhero.
No one is watching superhero movies and abandoning their aspirations and ideals hoping they get superpowers. People watch superhero movies because they're entertaining, and because they grew up with the characters in comic book form.
Not true. They might be the biggest genre in terms of revenue, but look at American films released in the last couple of years [0,1] and you'll find the vast majority of them are not superhero movies. And while there is undeniably an insane amount of superhero merchandise out there, there aren't a ton of superhero books (outside of comics,) superhero albums, or even superhero video games either. So they're far from saturating even their own media, much less all media.
Peter Parker is a science nerd. I'd bet plenty of people grew up to pursue science because they were inspired by the comics.
Also, the people who "grew up dreaming of being Spider-Man" also grew up watching Star Trek, and Star Wars, and probably reading SF novels, maybe playing D&D, etc. This is literally the demographic that was interested in math, science and computers (back when being interesting in computers was 'weird') in school while the "normies" were playing sports and banging cheerleaders and such.
We’ve got the latter, the former was theoretically impossible when it was filmed — yet the impossible was still useful inspiration.
I think the problem -- and I speculate here -- is that the US media machine enjoys the downtrodden narrative. There's limited room at the top, and they're funding what they like. Not always necessarily what sells.
I don't think science fiction would fail to sell. I would certainly consume it. You would. Look at Star Wars and other popular science fiction. Dune. The problem is that nobody seems to want to film this stuff at volume. We're in a supply side drought.
I blame Hollywood for not funding their dreamers. They'd rather make depressing shit that tells people they can't reach the stars. Today's films are more gritty and human, but they're so stifling and boxed in.
(fwiw, I'm personally trying to change this, but it's a tough road ahead. I can't stand the lack of good fantasy and science fiction.)
I tried to show this off to some people and their responses were "Of course it can do that, they have all that data".
XKCD did a thing on it years ago when this was still out of reach for developers https://xkcd.com/1425/
I searched for "wifi" and found many pictures of posters with information to connect to free wifi in museums, offices, hotels.
Technology was magical, but also there was a belief that technologists would be calling the shots. Early computer users were all nerds. Operating systems, games, utility programs required you to be pretty technical. Turn-based strategy was a major genre. Today even RTS is seen as a niche. I remember an early SF book with title along the lines "Tower of light" which called the big boss The Programmer. There were also books like "Rendez-Vous with Rama". Today, the goal is to make computer games and computers in general as accessible as possible. Tablets and touch screens are ALL about accessibility.
I propose an alternate explanation: reality has shown that programmers, inventors, scientists are often just pawns. The decision makers are elsewhere. There's much resentment towards "sales&marketing" departments in companies. We techies often just do what we're told, we realize someone else's vision. NASA's budget gets cut. Email spam is outrageous, spambots run rampant. SOMEONE writes these spam senders, captcha solvers, spambots! Cynical programmers. And nothing is more enduring in programming than a "temporary solution".
The respect towards scientists and science has been dropping for a while. Some of it is because of problems with reproduction and peer reviews, but largely people just don't believe in scientific method. By contrast, psychology degrees and charisma are extremely valued. You don't need a good product if you can manipulate the feelings of clients (now called "consumers") or strike a deal that every new PC comes with your operating system and you get paid for it. People just assume they got it "for free with the computer". Fact-based arguments are usually less convincing that arguments from personal experience.
In some areas, like History, "publish or perish" no longer holds. You can perish anyway. Nowadays you need to do a lot more than that.
Personally I'm very impressed by discoveries in topics like role of gut bacteria or fungi. Neural networks can do very nice stuff.
1.) There is a ton of content that is easier to make and sell than scifi
2.) The Studios and TV networks of the day competed mainly with each other, not with everybody who has a camera on their phone. That means even if the number of scifi content produced from the stations was the same as in the 90s, it still would be a smaller piece of the cake overall.
3.) The fundamental problem is a hyper-competition for people's attention, because we created a web where that is basically run by advertisment-revenue. What we see here is what a unregulated free market competing for people's brains results in: Polemic low quality but high engagement trash that is easy to make, and makes anybody feel right and good.
4.) Trolling only works if you have someone to troll. The (very American) idea of having two sides to everything (as opposed to say: more) has been exported as globally as the underlying fictional premise for the last 50 years at least. Just: Everybody believes they are are the good ones, if not for the sole reason that they want to be the good ones and they don't discuss anything from the "evil" side, just like their fictional idols didn't. Discussion is for intellectuals and academics who have no idea how things get done.
So the right question is one of incentives. Nowadays everybody has the incentive to produce the next outraging video where you basically just filmed a talking head:
Studios/Stations are drained for money, so everything that brings ad revenue without costing much is welcome.
Platforms didn't find any other way of generating income, so anything that brings ad revenue is welcome.
Users don't have the funds and skills to create scifi and if they had the footballification of politics (through Rubert Murdoch mostly) gave them the idea they don't even want it. Ah, and anything that brings ad revenue is welcome.
Just ban advertisement networks.
That seems a line that could be added to John Lennon's "Imagine".
Imagine there's no advertisement. It's easy if you try. No more click-bait for us. The limit only the sky
There is a lot of sci-fi being released. But, they tend to be more of dystopian then "everything will be great" kind of sci-fi.
No, their priorities changed. American kids want to be Youtubers and Tiktokers. They want followers and likes. 
Those aspirations do not require any vision or aspiration for the future. It just requires that you manage to get attention - which political trolling achieves easily (see: Twitter or Reddit). Women - and some men - have the highly-incentivized option of achieving this through varying degrees of pornography, but for most men and many women, political trolling is the easiest and fastest way of achieving this goal.
I consciously avoided sports and activities where I might break bones or get injured because I knew the family was barely making it, and I had a sibling 6 years younger that needed to be taken care of too.
How many people were watching 'Beyond 2000' compared to how many people were listening to political talk radio and watching Fox News et al?
It's also a fact that only few seem to demonstrate interest in creative/selfless pursuits at any point in time if you see in our history. For most people, the worthwhile activity had been working to survive – to make ends-meet somehow. (You'd not hear people in poor places even today having these mental problems of depression/etc.)
In last few decades, more and more people on the planet (especially in western world) have gotten material comforts which were only available to very rich/powerful people. So the struggle for the basic stuff, which used to consume one's life for most people, is simply no longer there.
A conditioned mind without meaningful activity is a devil workshop. It rejoices in negativity, gossips etc naturally then. Social media has given a platform to such mind and with follows/retweets/likes as added bonus that give social justification and encouragement of its negativity.
Poor people have both mental health problems and depression. I dont know why you think people in poor places dont have depression or mental health issues. If anything, poor places tend to have these worst. They also happen to have worst consequences on the person having these issues.
That's not a fact, not at all. Nearly everyone has had some creative or selfless hobby; that they didn't all change the world (and enter the history books) is quite beside the point. It's a very low view of people to take, quite superior and baseless, to be honest. Look closer.
> For most people, the worthwhile activity had been working to survive – to make ends-meet somehow. (You'd not hear people in poor places even today having these mental problems of depression/etc.)
Working to survive is no longer necessary. Only forced inequality makes it so. We have the technology and resources to provide for everyone. The vestigial cultural propaganda involved in making people afraid to not work is a major reason why people tweet blind bullshit, instead of living fulfilling lives.
I agree that meaningful activity is important; but have a read of Bullshit Jobs to see the kind of busy-work people are given. Look around and realise how bad inequality has gotten, for no other reason than because Extreme Wealth is a vicious feedback loop in unrestricted capitalist society.
> the struggle for the basic stuff, which used to consume one's life for most people, is simply no longer there.
It seems you're invoking that horrible and untrue myth; that creativity comes from suffering and deprivation. It's not true.
Holding on to anger, suffering, greed, pain etc, is not necessary to be creative, fulfilled, free.
> A conditioned mind without meaningful activity is a devil workshop. It rejoices in negativity, gossips etc naturally then. Social media has given a platform to such mind and with follows/retweets/likes as added bonus that give social justification and encouragement of its negativity.
You're not entirely wrong, but I don't see how you can seriously propose "working to survive" as a superior alternative. We are very luck that Da Vinci, Tesla, Fuller, Ramanujan, Van Gogh (...insert literally millions of more examples here) didn't need to "work to survive".
A common theme I've seen repeated online is when younger people complain how things are worse today than before, and the older generation says the younger ones have no idea how easy they have it.
I suspect, however, that political trolling has always been twice as popular as positivity within a standard deviation. People wanting to make positive shows like you're remembering are just as numerous today as before, but there's no longer only 20 channels to pitch your show to.
Imagine the beauty of watching a herd of animals move in response to danger. Now imagine if every animal on the edge of the herd had a way to share the dangers they see to the entire herd as they see them, and could see the herd response in return.
Consider that, and then consider if you would like to continue participating in those platforms.
As trite as it is to suggest, but the media and tech social media normalized new behavior, for better or worse (most likely a weird combination of both).
Most people are too tired of the never ending rat race. They use content to escape from reality of their lives. The alternate fantasy world where everything is blamed on incompetent leaders is appealing. And deservedly so.
And I am being intentionally vague because I can't put my finger on it — maybe a sense of uncertainty and anxiety about the future, about the present. I believe a metric measuring something like that would show that life is not better than it was 50 years ago.
I think he'd find Web, in 2021, horrifying. I don't think it's implausible to speculate that he might see it as socially apocalyptic. Like social Ice-9—an unstoppable, deadly force, wrecking the globe forever, but originally a human invention.
If you look at the home ownership rate in the US, it is about the same but up over the 1960. Homes are also much bigger and nicer than they were.
I imagine people whose wages haven't risen meaningfully in the last 20 years would disagree. So would people who can only get wage increases by constantly switching jobs.
So, yes, world in theese important ways is better than ever before now. And imagining future is needed to continue making it better.
A lot of people in the wealthier countries are objectively worse off than their parents in ways that matter to them, and that's a relatively recent change.
Many young people are seeing older people, including their own parents, with homes, jobs and comparative stability, and don't see the same possibilities for themselves.
Even having more income, for the lucky ones that do, doesn't make up for that. Home prices have risen faster than wages. You can argue that numerous other metrics are in their favour, but that's not enough to make people feel optimistic.
The addiction of the never ending "struggle" against the other side is rooting in the three step psychological process of Outrage --> Hate --> Victory.
Step 1. Outrage: Set the table for an outrage - some grave injustice that is occurring that can/will ultimately impact the reader. Hyperbole, cherry picking data, misinterpreting data, or even falsifying information are functional if you can do this in an echo chamber. This step creates the emotional investment in the event.
Step 2. Hate: Choose a target to blame for the outrage in step 1. Again, if it exists in an echo chamber, the writer can functionally use ancillary data, tenuous/indirect relationships, or flawed logic to tie the target to to the event above. What's important here is channeling the emotion generated in step 1. Emotion is important because it make the reader immune to entertaining opposing viewpoints.
Step 3. Gratification: Mobilizing pressure against the target is a bonus, but what's really needed is to be able to paint the outcome as a victory, even if it isn't. You can highlight how the "good team" actually won in some segment or district or demographic, and above all give the reader the sense of victory (or inevitable victory). It's always advisable to paint the target as in decay, aging, or fundamentally self-destructive, such that even their victory is short lived and self-consuming.
...and if you do this independently with both or multiple "sides", you've basically mechanized a political system that has no material path for improvement. No nuanced debate takes place because you've convinced both sides that it's "all or nothing", and that victory is reliable. They are always winning - yet constantly outraged.
Any of this sound familiar?
It was a time when I actually wanted to have access to cable TV for Discovery Channel, my friends discussed programs from there. Now I couldn't care less.
I think the answer is no and yes respectively - wider adoption of Internet rather dug down towards the bottom of the barrel and merely uncovered the nature of the humanity, that >80% of us are naturally negative, hateful, stupid, naive, etc., judging by standards of media in the past.
Though I do not like the state of online world, I don't think it's constructive to criticize the straw man on their stupidity - what you are looking at is an innocent and average man, it's up to us the woke to find ways to devise ways to distill wisdom out of eternal flame of echo chambering rages, a way that are better than in the past where those voices were simply suppressed.
fix the material conditions and people will want the future again.
I understand the existence of social ills: depression, despair, anxiety. I understand the amplifying effect caused by the democratization of content. But how do those things tie back to economics?
Do other capitalist states have the same problems? Does Canada? Does Sweden? Are things better in non-capitalist countries such as Laos or Nambia?
Is this a reference to the Easterlin paradox? Is is more accurate to frame the problem as being unhappy with success and wealth, vs "capitalism?"
Laos and Namibia are capitalist countries. The only two non-capitalist countries that I know are Cuba (and I'm not even sure about that) and North Korea.
Both are being suffocated by the big capitalist forces for tens of years, so it's impossible to really assess if they're doing better or worse.
Like one of our Russian politics said: "USA strangle them with one hand and empty their pockets using another hand". Hard to say how they'd fare if they weren't strangled. E.g. before they isolated North Korea it was doing much better than South Korea.
Rules of free market can not apply when some actors starts to accept currencies such as your privacy.
I think we are training an entire generation to get everything for free.
And this, even for the liberal ideology, is a transfer of the power from the states to big companies. Because « free » stuff has always been the monopoly of states (for the obvious reason that states represent people via the democratic systems). And if you are not the client, you are the product, and moreover, you have no more free choice.
I’m not an anthropologist and that’s my current mood of thinking. I’m ok if you want to explain me I’m wrong.
People take everything for granted now. There's no "future" anymore.
People dwell too much into politics (where it's mostly political BS of both sides) and "feel good" actions (even if it's just "feel hate")
Societal discussions are of course important but it has become more of a screaming match (to that I blame the R/Conservative side more than the other - but both sides are to blame) whereas technical innovation has been relegated to the backend. Or it is at best "taken for granted" (case of Covid vaccines)
Though on the topic of YT, there is some Discovery-quality level material (I mean, there's literally some Discovery programs there)
Optimism for the future is a characteristic of a young culture and western culture is aging and decadent.
Wait you’re drawing a conclusion where there isn’t. The content on Youtube isn’t what people want to see, but what Youtube wants you to see. There are hundreds of thousands of Youtubers with 20k-people channels of extremely good quality, but you’ll never discover them organically, and the search for “futuristic content” (or anything really) will only return pre-approved channels, generally BBC or bad quality journalism which rehash other videos and slap a commentary and big text on top.
Assuming that Youtube returns the videos with the most clicks is a projection onto Youtube of your assumption that they are optimizing for clicks.
Maybe they optimize for sleepiness, maybe they optimize for a certain political leaning, you do not know.
would you mind sharing some of these channels? I agree that it's hard to find them organically, so I tend to ask people whenever I can.
You're suggesting more intent than Youtube actually has. Youtube wants you to see more monetizable Youtube. Same as CNN. Its main bias it to get you to watch more CNN.
For example, PewDiePie trended ~40x more in Canada and even non-English countries than he did in the US - a difference that was not always the case, and resulted from a choice made by YouTube for whatever reason. PewDiePie makes YouTube a lot of money.
Although I'm not entirely convinced Google's reason is pushing their ideology. They may simply be planning for a time when 230 is reformed and they are held responsible for content or cannot censor based on ideology, in either case resulting in them purging most user-generated content and leaving only mainstream, company-backed content.
Not in my experience. I don't know how you're curating your subscriptions, but I stumble across good quality content all the time.
I remember when first using internet forums, a "troll" was someone who posted stuff in discussions for no other purpose than to wind people up, as if it was a sport. "Feeding the trolls" was heavily frowned upon because replying to trolls made you part of the problem. Trolling only works when people engage and post about how outraged they are.
It's interesting how people were wise to trolling before social media. It's made even worse now with the media, even misusing the world "troll" in their articles while they help to feed them and create careers out of trolling.
When was the original definition of troll forgotten along with the "don't feed the trolls" mantra? How do we bring it back so people realise they're part of the problem when they reply to obvious trolling?
I suppose "trolls" (as in "feeding the trolls") would denote folks that create divisive content that is purposefully antagonistic towards the audience.
There was the early Web of directories and academics and early search engines with only a little commercial activity and a relatively small user-base; then the mid-period web starting, hell, I dunno, around the 2K bubble, roughly, dominated by (an apparently-benevolent and basically a force-for-good, kinda, at the time) Google, with home-Internet connections rapidly increasing in both count and amount of use, and normal people starting to get used to entering credit card numbers to order stuff online (I guess call this the e-commerce era, if you like); then we got the mobile-phone-and-social-media web (this one). It's very different from the earlier ones. It's overwhelmingly commercial in a way that even wave 2 wasn't. New content generation rates are off-the-charts high, but the "small" indie parts of the web are way less visible than they used to be and can be nearly impossible to find. Much of the tech is eaten with what we'd have considered, in wave 2, spyware and spam-websites, even the "legitimate" stuff. The Web isn't a place you go (a desk in your house, at the library, whatever) but is everywhere now. Smartphones changed everything.
Your "8ish years ago" fits with when that shift to my wave-3-Web was pretty much complete.
Gamergate swallowed all of the internet.
I'd say that Clickbait is an evolution of internet trolling, chasing engagement with outrageous claims.
So in that regard, yes absolutely many online journalists are internet trolls.
And the reason this issue exists is, as I think you imply, is why trolling is effective and why satire still exists as a form of comedy: people are usually totally unconscious of their own biases, particularly when they are examining the bias of others (particularly today, admitting that you are biased is a form of self-hate when so much energy is devoted to finding biases in others...note that people equate struggle sessions with greater equality, it is all about other people).
I will also say, and this is unappreciated: people who talk a lot about trolling often do not get satire at a fundamental level, they lack any ability to introspect or find humour in their own irrationality or that of others, everything is just black and white (and I will venture: afaik, this forum is also the largest congregation of such people anywhere on the internet...yc is the white whale for trolls), and there is really nothing you can do about this. Again, it is why trolling exists.
Satire is one of the most important forms of comedy. There is no other form of comedy that is more closely associated with political discussion. The internet has been a wellspring for this kind of humour, it is wonderful (it is no surprise that the same people who complain about trolling are also vaguely intolerant of anyone with opposing political views to their own, anyone who opposes them is a troll and must be removed from the internet...again, this thinking predates social media by a number of years, the only change is people thinking that social media has changed anything).
Probably a more annoying form of trolling is when your opponent deliberately shifts around the frame of conversation in order to make it meaningless. Formally known as "pigeon chess".
It's usually kids who see themselves as masters of psychology for the shrewd manipulation they're pulling on people (pretending they're engaged in the substance of a conversation, while they aren't).
Only people who remain expressing their opinions are trolls and victims are blamed.
The most prominent example was Kathy Sierra. And that is known only because she was know person. Less famous people just disappeared without anyone noticing, because that was only option for them.
This isn't news either. Ryan Holliday's "Trust me, I'm lying" talks about this in depth and was published in 2012. I am quite sure folks before him discussed this as well.
We could fix social media tomorrow if we disabled resharing/retweeting/whatever and removed likes, make timelines/feeds strictly linear time based. You want to be an epic troll? Fine, copy and paste your content in. That's enough of a barrier that social media would go back to being reasonably decent.
There is too much revenue to be made in not fixing the problem. Witness the pushback with Apple “only” warning users about tracking data and the force with which Facebook tried to push back.
I don’t believe there is a solution. Social media companies have weaponized fundamental rights (freedom of speech) and human emotion for profit. You can’t minimize the harm without infringing on those rights, and social media will fight to the end to enable what engagement looks like on their terms.
Tobacco companies would sell cigarettes to kids if we let them. Car manufactures fought mandatory seat belt regulations for decades too...
This is always the excuse, but it's really not true. Once you put ethical constrains on business, new soutions arise and then people start to see the difference. This is what's happening with renewable energy. Social media needs to start innovating in this area.
And however you slice it, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all in the advertising business - that's where they make the bulk of their money. Amazon, ironically, kind of isn't (but has been more then happy to not fix it's SKU/fakes problem for years).
At the end of the day when someone wants to make a change at any of those organizations, it's the advertisers who are pointing to charts of potential lost revenue and reminding everyone who's salary is paid for by who.
All current major platforms are getting a lot of heat for being so corrosive to society in some form or another, I think soon there should be more demand for more wholesome social media sites that do some innovation in terms of how they reward attention, but I agree, advertising is the lowest form of business model or whatever it is.
I want to see a curated feed of what’s most interesting (as gauged by any system that can approximately judge for me, and a good one is what other people engaged with).
I discover other Twitter accounts to follow via sharing/commenting/follower graphs.
It’s why I read the top news (/news) here and not /newest. I don’t want to miss my cousin’s cute baby pic or my niece’s graduation pics or other popular posts just because trolls forced a order by id desc onto a weak product owner.
If other people get wrapped around axles over political, religious, or cultural posts, so be it. I go to social media to see interesting things.
I'm very careful to select people to follow who won't drown out my timeline. Sometimes I come across someone with interesting content, but they tweet several dozen times a day, so I just don't follow them.
What about votes? How are upvotes different from likes? It's just different terminology.
With a system like reddit which is mostly visible, brigading and using downvotes as a weapon is much much more prevalent and probably could do with either tweaking or removal.
There is some feedback you want from votes, which is something like the upvote to downvote ratio as a measure of controversy for a given post.
That's true for individual comments, but there's a total karma score that everyone can see. And even for individual comments you can see when they're downvoted.
> and a post maxes out at -4.
A tweet maxes out at 0. You can't have negative likes.
> It can still lead to people trying to maximize score instead of content.
Sure. You have that tradeoff in any system. If you don't have anything that is in some sense a "score" at all, people might not particpate at all, or not put any effort into it, if you do have a score then people might try to maximize it in ways you don't like.
> Studies that can't be verified and may be untrue are much more likely to be cited in the media because they tend to be more interesting
"Interesting" -- ha!
A media business knows its clientele and shovels useful fodder to fill the clients' daily trough. The difference today is that people carry a portable trough with them everywhere.
What is "interesting" to people varies, but what is profitable to media business is clear: purveying ignorance is more lucrative and sustains marketshare.
This may be the biggest socio-political problem of the era. Democracy depends on the success of education and social discourse. I think people _do_ want education and healthy discourse... but their worse impulses are being nourished.
Even old-style media companies knew how to turn nonsense into profit. There is a clientele for prepackaged, facile ignorance. It's the art of propaganda.
Social media has revealed that significant numbers of people proudly maintain and propagate brutish thinking. The modern educational system seems helpless to counteract this phenomenon.
Using modern portable tools, it has become easier than ever to propagate ignorance. It's not just the people, though. It's the people and the "corporate citizens" who are looting civilisation.
...Outrage --> Hate --> Gratification --> Outrage --> Hate...
Step 1. Outrage: Strike the audience with some gross injustice - true or not - it's always useful to exaggerate. Make sure to use an echo chamber so no one can diffuse the emotion with a different perspective.
Step 2. Hate: Define a target. Demonize this target to create an emotional investment by the reader. Pile on ancillary "facts" to give the illusion of rigor. Truth is irrelevant as few will research independently.
Step 3. Follow up with some form of "justice" (usually better to do this at a later update). It doesn't matter if the subject was really hurt, as long as you can make it appear that the "bad guys" actually won in some way.
Today, the smartphone makes it very easy to go the internet and shout at someone just because you had a bad minute or a bad second. It also makes it very easy to produce and consume multi media.
Maybe its just me but I feel like the Internet used to be more wholesome in the pre smartphone era.
A big reason that I keep coming back to HN is that it does not allow any images and videos.
There is also this virtual lynching on such platforms of often unlucky people without any due process, very primal. It's addictive but not healthy.
It's cheaper and easier to hook kids with gamification, endless scrolls, and dopamine hacks than it is to inspire them with science and creative storytelling.
Low effort, high reward. And addiction.
In my experience, the two (or more) camps are often not communicating. A totem of a position representing the other side is attacked, with the trolling responses imputed versus observed. A good fraction of the politically-oriented meme communities on Reddit, for example, could happily continue through the heat death of the universe without ever requiring any input from the "other side."
But why do readers prefer negativity? It comes down to ego. Confirming the bias that "they" are wrong, stupid and corrupted gives "us" right to feel superior.
Not sure what could help here. Maybe teaching children to recognize their own biases?
I'm guilty of hounding politicians on Twitter in an attempt to reform the US Democratic party and need to get a healthier attitude. I think it's the combination of sheer frustration and the ability to react to the latest bureaucratic idiocy via the keyboards that are on my body far too much of my life...That and the meteoric drop in standards and credibility of the old media despite corporate TV's crushing and inexplicable hold over people as a credible 'news' source.
This paragraph seems a lot more neutral then the headline. A pretty straightforward explanation for this is that if there are more then two politicians competing in a race, a negative post about a politician is going to be liked by supporters of all other politicians, but a positive post is only going to be liked by supporters of that politician. For example, in the 2016 race, Sanders and Trump supporters might have liked negative posts about Hillary Clinton, Sanders and Clinton supporters negative posts about Trump, etc..
This wouldn't be considered trolling but positivity by the study, would it?
> Social media posts are twice as likely to go viral if they are negative about politicians they oppose rather than positive about those they support, a Cambridge University study suggests.
Which rectified my original problem with comparing "trolling" to "positivity".
Anyways, this seems like non-news to me. Let's see those upvotes!