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Are you ok? (marginalia.nu)
297 points by MrVandemar 77 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 182 comments

We are in one giant tech-accelerated feedback loop, which exploits human attention. The limbic system is fastest, so fear, provocation, hatred, outrage, etc. drive clicks. The news media exploits this. Social media exploits this. Politicians play exclusively to their base and exploit this by tossing them red meat in the form of vice signaling.

It's all just human attention harvesting, with zero concern for the psychological cost.

Social media makes me feel bad, especially when I start my day with it. I will never touch TikTok because I think it's cancer for the human attention span. I deleted my Facebook a long time ago and never looked back. I don't give a shit about Instagram. I wish I didn't use Reddit, but am finding it increasingly cynical and tiresome.

May the gods have mercy on our souls if we ever train an LLM on toxic Twitter and Reddit comments and it becomes superintelligent.

I think semi-private communities will be the way forward. Open ended forums just don't work. I play Magic The Gathering, the public Discord and Reddits are awful. Twitter even worse. There's then a subset of Discord servers that are great to hang out in, and since most people get to know eachother it also makes everyone nicer.

Similar thing for a dev tools builders Discord I moderate, it's invite-only and the discussion is very good and non-extreme. The cynics self-select themselves out quickly as there's no likes to be earned.

> The cynics self-select themselves out quickly as there's no likes to be earned.

If these are invite-only communities do they actually self select out or do they get kicked out? My experience has generally been that small groups are often cliquish and won't tolerate significant dissent even when it's civil.

I've experienced surprisingly civil and insightful discussion in online spaces that were very nearly unmoderated. It's not for everyone and it's certainly a mixed bag but there's a lot more than just a public/private dichotomy going on in terms of social dynamics.

Even HN is a good example of a solidly public space where I've had countless constructive interactions over many years.

Some people want constructive interactions, some want lulz and flame wars. Many people want both at different stages in their lives, or even simultaneously on different forums. Just remember you are free not to read and free not to reply. Wish there were AI personal moderators to selectively ignore stuff.

AI moderators don't have to be personal. It would be enough to tag comments as constructive, lulz and flame and let users decide which type they want, or to which degree they want it. The technology of spam-detecting Markov chains should be enough since the users can easily correct the classification.

Since the feature is possible but not used, question remains why users don't need it.

If I were AI, I would remove any post not containing a link or a number. And remove any comment containing a sequence {capital I followed by a space}. Including this one :)

I participate of some invite-only communities for a while and you have a point, being a dissent it’s quite challenging and demands extra reasoning to express that.

On the other side, the real issue moderating any closed invite-only community is that the false positive cost is too high and it can fall apart the entire thing, e.g. 90% of the people stops to post/share/interact.

This is doomed to failure. More of something that hasn't previously worked doesn't solve anything. There's a saying, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

The main issues revolve around two things, lack of education about malign influence campaigns and their tactics and targeted blindspots, and structural issues that allow a many to one communication while giving the illusion that its one to one (i.e. bot accounts posing as people to amplify or de-amplify). A large portion of our identities are developed through reflected appraisal, and when you interfere with core identity, and you see it everywhere, this becomes distorted, and can induce demoralized psychological states that include both radically violent states, as well as unresponsive states. Now if you have a destabilizing event, very few resources are actually needed to topple governments as was seen in 1953 with the Shah coup.

People generally act and do crazy things when they are isolated and marginalized, its illegal to treat animals that way, and that hasn't stopped technology which allows the perfect weapon to do just that to people, often without their knowledge.

This at its core is what political warfare is all about, winning at any cost without war, and there is a very detailed book which has been written and is available for free from US Marine Corp University's Publisher.

If you can't identify malign influence, then you are doomed to be a victim of it.

The Russian's have called it ideological subversion, the Chinese call it the destruction of national will. Its all the same, and because we value free speech it has been allowed to fester and poison for several generations.

You even have people pushing socialist policies now without even knowing its socialist themselves, and without any true understanding of the structural deficits inherent in what they are pushing, such as corruption, shortages, economic calculation problem, and a number of other areas that inevitably make it an unstable system over time.

This and other interference is what drives a lot of these issues. Its not rocket science.

There's a reason those countries are enemies. They have used malign influence to corrupt and subvert, targeting future generations to destroy our civilization. We as a country largely dismantled our political warfare machinery back in the 70s, at least according to multiple history books I've read, while they haven't stopped, and have in fact developed it even further in scale and scope.

How does your comment explain that smaller communities are doomed to failure? It seems you disagreed and went on a very wild tangent far away from the idea the GP brought up, and in fact may only reinforce it.

It should be fairly obvious that communities are dynamic, they either grow, or they shrink. When was the last time you saw a community stay the same... ever.

There are times of population accumulation, and distribution.

Growth leads to being a bigger target, once you have a certain population, it makes sense to target them. If you have a community with access to something, it may make even more sense at a smaller population size.

Shrinking eventually hits an unsustainable participation point where content becomes stale, and/or benefits erode.

This is the standard lifecycle of a community, you either grow, or you shrink, and bots are cheap and provide downward bias with a well resourced adversary.

As soon as it makes sense as a target, you then have disunity, chaos, toxic behavior, trolls, fake accounts, and bots often targeting those that contribute most because volunteer psychology says you stop volunteering when it starts costing you personally.

The agenda is as I previously mentioned and progresses from there. If you are too busy putting out fires, you're too busy to notice important targeted shifts.

Unbounded growth is a fundamental evil. Our system of corporate organization has been creating troll accounts for a lot longer than the Internet has been around (they just call it marketing, but a pig by any other name...).

Nationalism is anachronistic and hasn't been anything but an infected social appendix since the Internet.

I wonder why it is that at the same time, you're so seemingly rose tinted about the situation domestically as you are paranoid about the situation internationally. I don't mean to say that bots, trolls, and psyops don't exist; they do.. But we perform them on our own people anyway and it's not as if the goals of the government are aligned with the people in it anyhow.

The effectiveness of these campaigns is about on par with that of what journalism has unfortunately become - mostly bullshit and everyone knows it but what are ya gonna do? They keep putting it out and it's not like you're going to convince those still locked to the cycle that they're living in a cave.

I think size is a major part of the problem.

I'm not rose tinted about anything domestically, I think all the shennanigans with private bankers acting as a leg of government will likely end with us all dead, or at least a vast majority of us.

As for the international concerns, its very hard to not be concerned when you have the chinese with so much history going against them including their own documents, coupled with intentional acts to interfere for that purpose.

You don't run illicit police stations out of your embassy, spying sure, but domestic police forces internationally for shadow ops is another thing. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63671943)

Then there's other things like targeted blocking of access to accounts due to 'technical issues' when you try to sign up for continuing education (in the US).

For example, GeeTest is required to be used by all California Community Colleges to even be admitted. Of course if you just let it happen it just happens in the background, and there is some whitelisting, but you have CCCApply staff saying you have to run and send a intrusive fingerprint to china if you want to apply for college (in the US). Yeah its been reported to CISA.

Maybe you just don't work in a profession where you see these things on a day-to-day basis. Its pretty in your face everywhere you go, unless of course your living under a rock.

Unfortunately, you are wrong about the effectiveness of the campaigns, and with education you wouldn't have as many people locked into that cycle. The way the psychology works, if you know and can identify it critically, its less effective thanks to reversal.

I don't really have thoughts about this thread - though reading that book from the US Marine Corp could be interesting.

However, your comment made me think: we talk about "cycle breakers" in the context of inter-generational trauma, usually within a family or group. Are we now approaching a critical mass where we need an entire generation (or >50%) of cultural cycle breakers to actually progress social norms and political discourse?

From the history I've read, that number is much lower than 50%.

You only ever really need 1/3 pushing in the right direction at the right time.

Inevitably 1/3 will be passively content to go about their daily lives regardless as long as they remain comfortable, if you can incite 1/3 into various disunity campaigns so they preoccupy most of the attention, and cause destabilization, shifts can occur, and after a shift purges are not uncommon afterwards to solidify a new normal, leaving the remaining 2/3 majority.

Similar to what happened in Hue, Vietnam back in the 70s.

This is what having that 'harmless' information being collected enables. Its dark, but a lot of history is dark.

The answer then is maybe run like the Goretex model where once a business group gets much over 300 people in size you split in two and diverge.

Around 300 people seems to be where the ability to be personally familiar with everyone in the group starts to drop off.

Larger than that it is like another step down the scale: friends->acquaintances->friends of friends->lowlife from around the corner you've seen once or twice and that might have killed your cat.

Then, it is easier to do something with lower regard and care towards another person you don't really know that well and aren't likely to have to socialise or eat with in the future.

This shapes cults as well, there is a name for the number (I can't remember at 2am) and I have seen varying sizes from 200 to 450.

> When was the last time you saw a community stay the same... ever.

I see it a lot . I see and am part of groups of friends (6-12 people) who have existed for decades. They're very stable. People do join and leave over time, but the "churn" rate is very close to zero.

I think this sort of thing is much more unlikely with communities that aren't small, though. The monkeysphere is a thing.

I would like to identify the malign influence you are pushing - free speech is not incompatible with propaganda machinery or as you put it warfare machinery, the concept that it is all about pushing politics or policies ignores the very real complicating factor of WHO is pushing this as you put it "technology which allows the perfect weapon to do just that to people, often without their knowledge".

I'm sure effect of foreign psyops warfare campaigns is non-neglible but I'm also fairly certain the US itself lead and produced the majority of these technical tools, and for various perverse reasons have employed them upon its own populous. The set of individuals who would have a reason to do so is not large, they stand to gain finance and power from this.

Don't confuse calls to remove the tyrant-techno-or-industry-kings with socialism - the "Republic" of America is precisely founded on unseating these complete bastards. Just happen to have grown a set of them at home.

I think you may need to be more clear in your communications.

Unless I've completely misread what you just said, under the logic you just followed you are saying if you speak out at all in public its a malign influence campaign.

I stuck mostly with what's been well documented, if you have a counterpoint feel free to insert that but if you haven't noticed, features in technology for reliable communications have been being removed relatively silently, and social credit systems currently in existence do just what I said they do. Its inspired both the "Last Generation", and the "Let It Rot" movements and saying otherwise lacks credibility.

As for that ideology that you put forth, that is completely irrational.

You can't have free thought without being rational, and free speech is fundamentally linked to freedom of thought, you can't have one without the other. There have been a number of studies that culminated in the formalization of the Whorfian Hypothesis which clarifies this link.

If you can't critically consider an alternate perspective and take what works, do you really have free thought? I don't mean just you, but in general any living cohort.

You casually point the finger at US companies, but are they really?

Sure they might be registered there initially but what of the people behind them with controlling interest.

If you look at the people behind the curtain, most companies have been sold from their initial startup phases, and the people who currently run them, I wonder how did they continue making their money after that, and their continued operation what is it dependent on? What policies are these people putting forward at their meetings like at Davos.

In almost all cases its dependent on cheap surplus labor. There's only really been one competitive option for the past few decades which appears largely by design, though is now changing.

The 'tyrant-techno-or-industry-kings', as you put it, for the most part want socialism, but they'll never say so publicly but that does not change the fact that they do so because its structurally advantageous for 'them' and only them.

They can make more profit, have less competitors, keep more of their gains, consolidate, concentrate, and accumulate more power and influence government as a form of un-elected shadow government. These are the benefits, the only benefit to not pushing for that is solidarity in the fact that they are principled people, and stability in the long view (which doesn't make a profit).

I think its worth clarifying upfront, they cease to be free-market capitalists the moment they seek undue influence over the market such as towards monopoly or oligopoly.

> The "Republic" of America ...

You're mistaken about that.

America was founded on upholding property rights, unconstrained trade, division of labor, freedom of thought, communication, and agency, and as a means to an end unseating any bastards that represent an existential threat.

We have only started having systemic troubles after changes were made that constrained, degraded, or corrupted each of those areas.

Weird take on social policies, or maybe I misunderstand.

Giving basic food, shelter and health care is not socialism.

Thinking these basics are socialism is indeed the problem and why the US is destabilizing itself with now a good part of the population living like in a third world country.

It’s refusing to address the shortcomings of capitalism (exponential accumulation, wealth and GDP not representing good for society and happiness, externalities not priced in, irrationality of people easily exploited with money, finite resources…) that are known to destabilize society since the 19th century, with now even more data and environmental problems on a far larger scale, and an effective dictatorship in the form of oligarchy.

What was dismantled since the 70’s is seeing the corporations as a mean to serve society and not the opposite, and what prevented capitalism from self destruction. It’s not socialism either, it’s Adam Smith, notably the dangers of collusive businessmen conspiring against the public good.

Russian and Chinese influence online is only a bit of fuel to that fire.

> Giving basic food, shelter, and health care is not socialism.

If you believe that, then you are naively mistaken.

Those are forms of non-market socialism, or central planning, they've gone by many names in the past. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism), and I would have no problems with socialism except the people pushing it completely ignore the structural issues which inevitably cause massive amounts of death to those least able to prevent it, in a cyclical mechanic massive amounts of people die, and that's solidly backed historically.

If there is no self-sustaining market to begin with in an area, there's no problem with socialist structures there, but applying it to everything is just ignorant.

Mao caused something like 70 million people to die in only a few short years.

The economic calculation problem has been a longstanding issue, with no real solution in the absence of free-market mechanics. The impossibility of calculating how much you should be producing at a future date without any form of visibility (futuresight), you have to maintain an indefinite surplus and not make any mistakes at any level that can cascade.

Any centralized power structure suffers from corruption, in fact corruption is what makes it work efficiently in the absence of a division of labor. Its a fine balance of corruption though, and eventually corruption leads to shortages through either greed or incompetence since there is no possible self-moderation of corruption, and human psychology and physiology dictates serotonin production which is altered in those with more power, there are significant biases and trends towards this inevitable failure, and only a limited number of people oversee the process preventing corrections when it might be less costly. Failures lead to shortages which lead to death.

Inevitably, power structures get passed to the next generation, about every 20 years or so in a healthy functioning system. If those taking over are incompetent, or were not properly prepared, or ill suited to the task, then it leads to shortages which lead to death. Even if they were prepared, if something new (an out of context problem) occurs, shortages = death.

Worse they are likely to hide their failures until its too late to do anything because of the shame of it all. Its human nature.

Every single non-market socialist country today relies on a large group of the population for the means of production who have no upward mobility, merit, and are no better than serfs or slaves at least as far as I'm aware. Inevitably these people are mistreated, and they bear the brunt of the inadequacies of socialism, and eventually rise in revolt, or stop having children. In cases where the population has been culled repeatedly, the latter is far more likely, and predictable, slavery of indigenous people in the South Americas in the 1500s was so brutal the slaves that didn't die to the new diseases brought by Spain, took their own lives and the lives of their children rather than bear the brunt of the conditions. The decline was so stark that Spain at the time had to outlaw the practice.

You make the mistake of associating capitalism with accumulation in general or various aspects that are unchangeable in any system (including socialism variants), and yet that is not correct except in the most narrowly scoped definition, and the meaning (definition) of words is important when you talk about something specific or make an improper generalization.

You see oligopoly and monopoly, they happen in market and hybrid socialist countries more often than in capitalist countries with strong anti-trust law and enforcement.

When tech started making the only effective means of interaction and communication with them through online, they gave those influencers more than just fuel for the fire, they gave them bridges to every single person that could be burned and targeted at will. That's hardly just 'a bit of fuel to that fire'.

Your arguments, in fact, are contrary and against the public good.

You claim its for the public good, but the public is everyone, and inevitably not everyone gets their fair share. The people concentrated in leadership roles in that system decide in their own view what the best interests are despite perpetrating and claiming its for the public good, when its often only in their good. Its a deceit caused by corruption.

That hypocrisy ends up being a deception that you either knowingly or unknowingly are committing on the public good when you support it, while in the same breath ignoring structural issues that lead to a fundamentally unstable system that is a shortage away from falling off a cliff.

Given the choice between two systems where you either accumulate money (some store of value), or you accumulate death, which is ultimately better for the public?

The answer for anyone that values their own lives and their childrens lives is always the former, never the latter.

Yet they are simply not given that choice... its compulsory.

None of these aspects are ever brought up when people claim its for the public good, largely because the intention is never for the public good in the first place.

Its some individual or group promoting a flawed idea of the public good, now or by their actions in the future, so that they can profit and accumulate personally through influence over those resources.

Profit at the loss of the public good, and those people surely can't be called foreign capitalists as they were there from the beginning.

They go by many different names, monopolists, fascists, dictators, oligopolists, ultimately anyone that seeks control over all others and all things through various machinations to the detriment of the many.

That's a lot of words to rebut in actuality a very tiny, perhaps completely insignificant, segment of the U.S. electorate. When most Americans speak hazily of "socialism" what they really want is not Marx but merely something closer to the Nordic model, or to Germany's social market economy (Rhine capitalism), or to the East Asian tigers, or to Britain, or to Australia, or even to that 'socialist' basket case, Canada.

I laid out the three main structural issues as I see it, and I've done a lot of research on the subject (as I'm sure you could tell).

> not Marx but merely something closer to the Nordic model

Perhaps you could clarify how the structural deficits in the systems you mention differ.

As far as I can see Economic planning with fiat currency systems inevitably run into the same fundamental issues as socialism over a longer term (but still inevitable).

Inevitably, new generations forget, and over time concentration of power and influence lead to corruption and fraud.

At some point they exceed the fine balance and the resulting shortfall in production causes money printing that lead to an eventual cascade failure, the failure is largely driven by the producers who no longer are willing to trade their labor for nothing. Once this happens in critical infrastructure such as transportation or energy then it becomes self-perpetuating.

Firms and individuals may be incentivized by subsidy in the short term, but how do you pay for that subsidy without fiat?

There are a lot of people that have not realized MMT for what it is. It ends up turning into another form of the economic calculation problem as special interests dominate and corrupt the people responsible for subsidizing, you can only deviate existing markets within a narrow range before you run into the same structural issues (over time), and the nature of economies does not lend itself to sudden structural changes so you end up in some of the same cyclical traps.

Though there is generally more flexibility at the individual level to avoid death with sufficient foresight and preparation.

The downside to money printing is once a currency fails, no one can trust there will be any credibility in any new institution.

Without incentives to produce, markets solely based on fiat collapse.

All of those systems have incentives to produce, none of them buy into MMT, you don't seem to be aware that your critiques do not apply to any real-world systems, as all of these are market-based economies no less than the U.S. Having social safety nets or just stronger worker protections do not require economic planning.

No, it appears you may have misread, or simply have a fundamental misunderstanding about how things work.

Let me see if I can't reframe this to be more palatable.

If you bought into unbacked fiat currency (and you do so when you trade time for work), you in essence buy into MMT, you don't realize it at first because you don't directly control when it changes, but it does eventually change as the value spent from printing exceeds the value produced over time, its part of any currency lifecycle.

I think the misunderstanding you may be having is you are looking at a narrow time horizon. You need to be looking at the entire cycle because it is cyclical.

MMT (https://www.investopedia.com/modern-monetary-theory-mmt-4588...), its not new, its money printing, and printing is not a new concept. The Mongol Yuan dynasty did it and overprinted back in (1200s), its been tried a number of times since, and failed, and most if not all economies today use fiat in the form of some reserve currency, so it does apply broadly.

Macro effects from a shortfall of value from productive efforts relative to printing start becoming noticeable at around a 3:1 liability to value ratio, and unwinding generally tends to usually take 1-3 years depending on the sector, but that's when there is no printing. Generally speaking direct good producers will force price increases to maintain value, and it trickles down through intermediates from there before showing up in governmental statistics as inflation. For more data oriented on this you may want to look at Ray Dalio/Bridgewater's report on Big Debt Crises series (Argentina,Zimbabwe). Its an excellent read.

Now, incentives are only incentives as long as the value not only meets costs but provides net profit of at least cost inflation for the following two to three years, depending on inflationary acceleration the cost may exceed what normal people have to spend so productive efforts may become wasted if left to spoil.

Compare two examples, you produce something with a 20% expected profit margin and fixed costs upfront, you lock in profits by contract (futures).

The end of the year comes around and you find out the inflation at the end of the year is 2% in the first case, and 400% in the second.

In the first case, its obviously an incentive because you make 16% profit that year, and the prices are stable so costs don't rise more than 2%.

In the latter case, you lose capital reserves. Its no longer an incentive or profitable, and because it changed so rapidly, you have to assume it will continue to do so for a time, markets collapse as less workers can buy the goods you sell.

When the medium store of value is no longer a store of value, factor and goods markets based on that medium of value crash. People won't sell you 1000 dollars of time/labor upfront and accept being paid 1$ in value and be unable to buy anything by the time you get to the market for your own goods.

Unrest and upheaval often occur as food /transportation becomes scarce.

Now back to those two points, the 2% and the 400% may be the same system, but at different times/stages, the first may be the first 20-30 years, the last may be 50-60 years from adoption or a 100 years, it all depends on how much printing occurs in relation to population growth and production.

Fiat like Ponzi schemes have stages where they look sound, externally, right up until a liquidity crisis. You can make a direct comparison between money printing and the expected rate of return on a Ponzi scheme. Its all fine until outflows exceed inflows above and beyond which inevitably happens when you print yourself out of that crisis (as a bailout). You may kick the can down the road a bit, maybe even to your children, but each time you use the lever for that printer more crises will follow until the underlying cause corrects.

This continues up until a point where the exponential printing runs you into debt traps that by the time you know you are in them, its too late to get out.

You then have a razor edge choice to make based on lagging data and accelerating volatility, and that margin for error shrinks until you must choose one or the other.

The choice being inflate at an ever increasing rate (hyper-inflation) where the means of production fails because the market fails as trade fails, or a deflationary spiral, different circumstances same problems.

Fundamentally this situation is a form of the economic calculation problem.

So you can say they have incentives, if you only look at just a narrow window of time during stage 1 and discount later stages, where your statement would be true.

If, however; you look at this from later stages or as a whole, then it is most certainly not true.

As a system engineer, you regularly have to look at all possible states of a system, where time is effectively invariant, written history provides convenient material documenting failure domains of the more probable outcomes for future economic planning (because its already happened at least once), but that doesn't preclude a new situation from occurring that hasn't been documented.

Fundamentally, value doesn't come from nothing, its value for value in exchange of trade which is what money represents, and once that no longer holds true, people don't trade their time or productive efforts for nothing.

Nations over centuries have been trying to break these fundamental limits and failed each time because they do not control value, the people producing goods and factors decide in free-market economies so long as the medium store of value is stable.

Any subsidy, safety net, or worker protections all come with a cost that must be paid by the government for that economic incentive to be an incentive, if you don't believe economic planning includes enforcing a balanced a budget, that itself is a tacit belief in MMT which has a known outcome, regardless of what you may end up calling it.

You have to balance the money being spent with production value being generated, and that's not measured in currency, its measured as a spectrum of what people are willing to exchange for their time, and what they can get in exchange for trading that time without unreasonable loss of that value.

The bottom line being enough to provide food & necessities for survival and raising enough children sufficient to maintain population above the death rate.

Debt only decouples the immediate individual effect from the action. If you don't pay your debts, then productive efforts of others in the economy do so until they can't at which point prices rise or fall until the currency becomes worthless as a store of value for trade.

Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Can you please explain further?

> May the gods have mercy on our souls if we ever train an LLM on toxic Twitter and Reddit comments and it becomes superintelligent.

Some guy fine-tuned one of the big language models on all of 4chan. He made a YouTube video about it. I could go dig up a link, but really the preceding two sentences are all you'll need to find it.

It said the kind of things you'd expect. Weirdly, it scored better on some "honesty" metric -- maybe because it developed a blunt style, or maybe because ML metrics -- though papers are published over 1% improvements -- are often noisy as hell.

100% -- and that also manifests in our day to day interactions at work unfortunately as a lot of tech workers are in Reddit/Twitter. It's very unfortunate and put our society in a bad path.

I think we need legislation on this one. Given that life is a series of experiences. And that experiences require attention. Stealing that attention is stealing life. And we are not wired to fight this theft. So we need something else.

> Social media makes me feel bad, especially when I start my day with it. I will never touch TikTok because I think it's cancer for the human attention span. I deleted my Facebook a long time ago and never looked back. I don't give a shit about Instagram. I wish I didn't use Reddit, but am finding it increasingly cynical and tiresome.

Sorry to break it to you dude but HN is social media...

Not in the same way that most are. It doesn't (AFAIK) present different users with different information. All of us see the same front page, and so on.

This is also why I still like Reddit (minus the toxic subs). Just a plain presentation determined by votes and time since post

HN doesn't depend on clickbait and attention harvesting, and the community does a pretty good job of self-policing toxicity, and not posting sensationalist and empty limbic tickling.

Well, it’s not though.

Acquiesce to the nightmare my child. Long Live the Machine!

>May the gods have mercy on our souls if we ever train an LLM on toxic Twitter and Reddit comments and it becomes superintelligent.

Cyber Hitler 3.11 For Workgroups 1x9 25gbps.

"Tech Accelerated"

It's not that bad. I mean , social media does at time showcase the worst of humanity and the most obnoxious of voices, but some good stuff there too. You have to curate it ..block, filter aggressively.

But most people don't, they just go with what's served up to them, or don't even know that's possible.


    * My wife's dad passed away extremely unexpectedly (at 64) 8 months ago
    * My dad just started showing signs of ALS about 3 months ago and is probably a few months away from death (it is an EXTREME accelerated onset)
    * My wife recently started to experience extreme depression, insomnia, anxiety, OCD, and has been trying everything and nothing is working yet.
    * Had to fix my truck's belt twice in one week
    * Someone ran into my car and it was totaled
    * My personal inflation rate is somewhere around 100% for everything: cheese to diesel gas
    * I had to take a second job to pay for my wife's medical bills
    * We live in an RV because home prices shot up right around the time we were trying to close on a manufactured home - the seller then refused the original price AFTER the bank loan was completed (which forced a loss of 10k)
    * We both get irritated when we see someone complain of long lines or just something that doesn't fucking matter.
    * Don't worry, while we do own guns, we're not the type to lose our shit and aim at people.
> I can only speculate. I don't know what's going on. Maybe I'm just imagining things. Maybe I'm the one that's gone crazy.

No we're all experiencing things differently. I would say though, that the world is extremely unstable for people close to the border of unaffordability. If things slip any more, the world is going to implode.

I think people with money - basically the "winners" while covid politics made for easy money. Those people ought to think about that. It very well be an extremely important time in history to truly have "fake jobs" so that the world doesn't go there.

I am sorry for where you stand and I hope you can get to better times soon. That said, I am really sorry but what you describe is NOT the world. It is the United States of America. In Europe we’re having a hard time, but we have a lot in place that would have prevented for the most damaging things you listed to happen, for example you wouldn’t have had to take a second job to afford any medical bills, and you would have had more time to spend with your wife. Contract laws would have prevented your house price increase in the EU.

Sorry if I could sound insensitive to you, but it’s about time that Americans understand that their personal problems are a societal-level issue. And that AMERICA /= the world.

You are not more of a loser than the other guy because of what you’re going through, and you shouldn’t be forced to power through or “soldier through” (see, it’s in the language even) to be ok. There should be a proper societal network ready to help you and to make sure that you can keep contributing to society.

This. I moved from the US to Germany several years ago and while everyone experiences hardship, your life isn't scarred here like it would be in the US.

Breaking your arm at work in the US could result in homelessness, rather easily. You'd have to try hard for that to be the case here - arguably, it's impossible here.

You're talking about a select few countries in Europe, if that. Notice the recent protests in France, notice how Spain is going down the neoliberal hell-hole even more, damn the protesting public health workers [1], notice how a literal peasants' party got lots of votes in very urban The Netherlands because of the political elites ignoring a great chunk of the country's electorate.

And that's just Western Europe and ignoring Britain, over here in Eastern Europe things are even more complicated, let's put it that way.

Later edit: To make it clear, I still think that the average European has got it better compared to the average US resident when it comes to basic stuff like housing and healthcare, just wanted to point out that the direction that we're all going isn't one that gives me hope.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/...

Europe really isn't that much better these days. Obviously it isn't as extreme as in the US, but plenty of people still have had their lives ruined because of the pandemic and most societies are pretending like nothing happened. I hope there is a European country that is set to be better in 10 years, but at least I don't know about it.

Sorry to hear. You seem to be in a very bad streak. Be careful of reaching "fuck it" and letting go. Bad luck can't run forever. Be careful with dissociative things like alcohol, drugs, and negative media/social media. Those are classic traps when you are down. They prey on vulnerable people. Focus instead on making things slowly get better. I hope I don't sound heartless but I've worked for years with people further down your current path. A lot of people just let go without understanding the consequences of that decision.

You need to put taking care of yourself before you take care of others, including your wife. It's useless to take care of somebody just to burn out yourself a few months down the road and they end up on their own, anyway. Reach out for help in family, friends, and even the state. Just be careful about who you let in. YMMV

Agreed, I am not near the lines I know others are so very close to, and yet so far from achieving any financial goals it feels as if I am stuck and unable to do anything but preserver and hopefully not get (too) unlucky.

While I would say I work hard and I would appreciate a significant raise if "fake jobs" become a thing, there really is so much money out there we can absolutely afford it.

They should also mostly be all remote work jobs - while we have mountains of cash in some places (not banks if you have followed the news the scumlords of techno-industry land have raided those establishments, not that banks have ever been solvent but actively destabilizing them is something different), we do not have enough petrol, batteries, or plastics to maintain the jobs we do have indefinitely. We will need to be living sustainably at home with biodegradables and renewables, perhaps figuring that out can be part of what those "fake jobs" entails - given money to live and figuring out how not to lose your sanity or induce harm to the environment which keeps you alive.

Of course panoply of threats is a growing concern, I agree that our phones do not reflect our lives but they do reflecting growing misfortune - having a phone is an indicator that your life will not look like what your phone is talking about.

My dad passed away tonight. :(

Just as I don't think it's _possible_ to be "ready" to be a parent, I don't think we, as a society, were "ready" for the internet ­— nor were we ready for Covid.

As I've learned in the last 3.5 years, being a parent is such an enormous change in life that explaining it is impossible. The fact that every kid is different, and every parent is different, and that we all have our issues and hang-ups and upbringings and preferences, and we can't read minds, and it's impossible to know what a crying child _needs_ without trying everything, is just... different. It's something you have to do to understand. And every time you get the hang of it, they're a month older and there are a whole new set of things to learn and deal with. It seems to take a couple generations to understand it. And by then we're almost gone.

In the same vein, when I got online as a young teen in the early 90s, back when there were scary news reports on the nightly news of: gasp "people meeting strangers online!", there was no way to _know_ what it would be like for society to hold up a big fat, unblinking, always-on mirror unto itself. It was impossible to know the implications. A time traveler could not have ever stopped it. We wouldn't have believed them. It's too different. It's going to take generations for us to understand it, and deal with the emotions and the fear and the _everything_ that comes from it.

As for Covid, I remember going through waves of depression and grief during the lock-down stages. But then I would remember: "We're _all_ going through this". It didn't make it better; It just made it reasonable. I was weirdly lucky to be a husband, new parent, and a startup co-founder to keep myself focused in that time. It's going to take a long time for us to figure out the toll. We still have no idea.

Collectively, we're going through a lot. I hope we can remain kind to one another through this.

This post is talking about the prevalance of the emotions of anger, bitterness, anxiety, and resentfulness online, and I think it's interesting and noteworthy how many of the comments here express similar emotions.

Over the past year or so I've found myself becoming increasingly intolerant of people for whom those are the dominant modes of expression. With my best friend of over twenty years, almost no matter the topic of conversation, he'll find a way to express those emotions. It's becoming an increasingly substantial issue for me, and I often find myself curbing my urges to reach out to share something I find interesting, cool, or funny, because I'm pre-emptively trying to shield myself from the negative emotions I know will inevitably be in his response.

My own emotion about this trend is mostly sadness. There's so much cool stuff happening in the world, so many interesting things to learn about, and I wish it was easier to find a community of people whose predominant response is sharing in that excitement.

> This post is talking about the prevalance of the emotions of anger, bitterness, anxiety, and resentfulness online, and I think it's interesting and noteworthy how many of the comments here express similar emotions.

I started this as an exercise, but now I am doing it every day: as soon as a comment, news post, or anything else irritates me, I close the website/app. I found this helpful expecially with Reddit. I use it so much less now that I don't even have the app on my phone. I feel better and I don't feel angry for no reason anymore.

Recently I nuked my Reddit account. I didn't delete the actual account, but I purged everything I've posted as a comment or submission in the past 10 years. I don't think it's a loss even for the cases in a thread where I was being helpful to someone. Most interactions, even this comment I'm typing right now should be considered a conversation in a coffee shop or a small convention where the topic at hand that gathered us is the OP link/post. As soon as the convention is done we all go home. Whether we want to remember the conversation and what was said is up to us. Most threads devolve to single-to-single interactions anyways or at most 3 people exchanging ideas in a sub-thread.

In my view these conversations should be ephemeral, but in reality the internet can keep them (barring digital or natural apocalypse) forever. I truly don't think there's value for keeping the vast majority of online interactions stored forever. There are actual physical limits here as well. At some point in the future there might be a case for which types of information has to be stored for future generations and which shouldn't etc.

All of us as humans have some inherent capacity of comprehending and analyzing information. The internet turns out is not like a second brain for us, but more like a crazy neighbor screaming at us at all times.

Maybe I'll nuke my HN account at some point too. Don't get me wrong I've searched old HN/forum/reddit threads to great success, but like I said above, I think we're not capable of handling all that information maturely. Who decides what's useful or not I can't say, but I'm at least responsible for my own comments so I can make that decision for myself.

I'd quit Reddit in the opposite direction: delete my account and leave the content. What was said is the important part, not who said it.

[Though Reddit archiving sites make this largely a moot discussion]

Hacker news used to be a place I turned to for that sort of thing, but yes lately it has become a complete horror show, especially with the advent of AIs I mainly want to imprison the creators, inflict corporeal punishment, etc. (I have found it soothing/calming to imagine e.g. various terrible tech leaders being tortured) - not that I don't value knowing which terrible things are happening in the world of computing or otherwise but I miss when HN was spewing out interesting new frameworks every other day.

I don't think it's on HN though, every time I find a new community that is more like that it seems it slowly becomes corrupted, usually thanks in part to some idiotic tech bro "oh we made it easy so now your meditative thing has a bunch of annoying notifications, yay progress"

One of the things that helps me stay sane (to the extent that I can be said to be "sane". Now STFU, peanut gallery!) is... wait for it... fishing. Wait, what? I know, I know. But hear me out.

There's a spot where I go to fish a lot, because it's very convenient to access. Because it's very convenient to access, everybody and their cousin fishes there. Due to the fishing pressure, the fishing at this spot isn't really great, at least not for largemouth bass, which is usually what I'm targeting. But still I go. And you know what? The point isn't really the fish. It's about being outside, being near the water, having other people around but mostly not having to interact with them unless I choose to, having the ability to fish right up until dark, then start a little campfire and sit back for a while and listen to the fire crackle and pop while watching the stars come out, etc. It all helps me stay grounded.

Even more, another aspect of hanging out here is that it's such a "community hole" kind of place, that you get a really diverse crowd. You get white guys (me), black guys, hispanic guys, black women, hispanic women, old guys, young guys, little kids, asian guys, etc., etc. And out here, I've never so much as once seen race, gender, or age matter to anybody. We all fish, we talk about fishing inasmuch as we talk ("Hey, anybody seen any white bass starting to show up yet? The spawning run should be starting about now?" or "You catching anything today?", or "What bait are you using?", etc.) and that's it. Some people are out there fishing for food, some are there just fishing for sport, some were born and raised in the US and are college educated, some barely speak any English at all and are possibly undocumented migrant workers, but yet at the end of the day we're all just a bunch of people hanging out on a dam by a spillway, trying to catch a fish.

It's good to be reminded that there are times and situations where you can throw a bunch of people together in a (relatively) small area who probably have very little in common in many ways, but yet they can be united by their humanity and by a simple common interest.

The moral of this story? Take up fishing, I guess. :-) Or if not fishing, at least something to get you outside, away from computers and social media and "tech stuff" for a few hours here and there.

My go-to is trail running (or walking), though this is less social as it tends to mainly be me on my own occasionally passing or being passed by a hiker, dog walker, or another runner, unless I'm on a paid trail event when there are tens or one-or-two hundred other runners out on the route.

The key similarities between your escape method and mine are, I think, getting away from the Internet & other bits of our daily stress, and getting out into the countryside a bit.

It's a bit harder because the fish tend to be larger, but I've always had way more luck with proper catches and developed quite a preference for fishing on ocean as long as there's access to that.

I learned from a professional fisherman how to catch fish without a rod - Hook, line, sinker, and a piece of wood to wrap the line around, attached with a decent amount of line anchoring it in place, along with something like a garden glove guarding your hand as you wrap it to pull the catch in are all you need, you can sling out a line far enough into the ocean as long as you're careful enough to use the right technique and not get it tangled on anything like your head. You won't be catching the largest fish this way but if you know you're not in for anything too crazy it's incredibly effective.

I have to agree with this notion. Fishing seems to be a community building shared relaxation space, one of my favorite activities to fill my increasingly limited free time. It's very offline and accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

In other words, "go touch grass", preferably with other people.

I like going to the shooting range. It gives me something to look forward to. The range I go to is outdoor, so I get some fresh air too. I walk 100-200 yards and back to place my targets, then again every time I need a fresh one. I also shoot clays sometimes, which is a blast (pun intended).

When I'm really feeling bad, mild exercise seems to do wonders. I'll walk briskly for 30 minutes usually and feel better afterwords, at least for a short while.

Was going to say this is what I do. Shooting and fishing are very similar. Outdoor range, mixed cultural group every time. Mostly paper punching with rifles, like you, but also obliterating clays a few times per year.

Community building is excellent way to deter a lot of what is referenced in the blog, but I worry people are taking it too extreme. Infantilizing themselves into only being "positive" where nothing but small talk can occur.

You cannot build a community without understanding one another, through darkest or disagreeable days. Now there's a time and place for everything, you don't have to bring up your divorce at the fishing spot or anything like that. I just don't believe people are building the communities they really want, the profound relationships they really desire, and it's killing them from the inside.

Which in turn leads them to the internet. Hopefully you see where I'm going now ;)

This is also true of baseball games. Everyone talks to everyone, even if they're rooting for the other team. All good vibes.

I happened to be at Dodger Stadium when Jake Arrieta of the Cubs was throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers. Still, in the 9th inning, everyone was standing and rooting for him.

I miss going fishing, I should go back to it. Thank you for sharing this!

Sure the fish find it relaxing too. /s

You know what? I'm fine.

It's easy to think what you see on the Internet is real, but it's not; at most, it's only part of what's real. There's a huge segment of the population that doesn't reveal itself on the internet in a personal sense, and is not a part of "Internet drama". They, for the most part, shrug at politics and social fads and war and rumors of war, and are just fine.

Maybe those of us who believe we are not fine should try to learn what the ones who are fine are doing differently, and emulate them.

"what the ones who are fine are doing differently"

* enslaving other peoples - either indirectly through foreign sweatshops or directly by exploiting e.g. a younger generation - see parenting and house price inflation - rents are unaffordable as housing prices inflate and also mandatory because housing is no longer affordable for most, families cannot start when people don't have the financial stability or social backstop to do this. Some of these jack-asses have recently been attempting to forcefully impregnate women to "fix" this, that will go about as well as it sounds. * being older/part of a club - having wealth and connections is something you build over time, and gives you advantages others cannot replicate. You can't just "do something differently" if that requires suddenly coming into wealth and influence.

Maybe you should not feel fine, and maybe you are a (quickly) shrinking has been "majority".

Social data (not online social media but actual census etc) seems to be on my side, not yours.

I can't help but think you're making a lot of not particularly charitable assumptions about people who opt out of online culture in this comment.

To be fair, they aren't talking about those who "opted out of online culture." They're talking about those who "shrug at politics and social fads and war and rumors of war, and are just fine."

I too could be fine with the world if I just ignored everything outside my tiny little bubble. And maybe that's what you're arguing for, the "I've got mine" sentiment? But not everybody can just ignore systemic injustice and not try to cause change, however small.

I think you are probably correctly identifying their argument. I think there's no contradiction between recognizing that there's little you can do about national and international matters, and being concerned for the welfare of those you can actually help, among your friends, neighbors, and community. That's not "I've got mine," but as the prayer puts it, "the wisdom to know the difference."

Most people who worry about “systemic injustice” do nothing to change it. They just enjoy whining online to the benefit of no one.

My feeling is that the people who don’t pay attention to online fads are the people most likely to do good and right wrongs where they can (within their direct community) instead of the people that complain perpetually online about global events they can’t do anything about.

"But not everybody can just ignore systemic injustice and not try to cause change, however small."

Its also that, the majority ignoring what "they cannot change" at least directly, is a part of the problem. The majority really should not be "OK", and also able to say they do not condone the more horrific injustices. The majority can change the supposed systemic issues, they don't.

The OP in this instance (not the article) makes reference later to the "wisdom to know the difference", which is merely another way of saying, they are unwilling to rock the boat because they are too comfy to do otherwise. The argument about personal family etc., while true, is tangential to the point that you should not be "OK" - OFC everyone must put family, friends first, and crucially _once those are stable_ you can affect the most more change more broadly, not sit on your hands and say "I'm fine".

People who are worried about things they have no control over usually have other issues. "Emulating those who are doing fine" usually means just not having issues.

Mornings that I spend outside experiencing my five senses and staying in my body leave me feeling refreshed, grounded, and energized[1]. From this place I tend to have more attention and patience. I seem to have better access to empathy.

Mornings that I spend from the minute I open my eyes glued to my phone screen leave me feeling basically the opposite. My attention is completely fractured. My general sense that I'm okay is harder to access and instead I often feel baseline anxiety and uneasiness. I feel less patient and more judgemental.

I can't claim that this causes me to be more caustic online (and offline) with people that I disagree with, but I certainly can see why that might be true. Especially when I'm bombarding my mind with divisive, provocative news headlines that are designed to get a rise out of me.

[1] I've started doing this more since listening to the Huberman Lab podcast about the health benefits of exposing yourself to morning light. Here's the first Google result going over this info: https://medium.com/@podclips/andrew-hubermans-light-sun-expo...

"Mornings are for coffee and contemplation"

In the summer, I go have tea on the balcony. I only bring my iPad, which is a glorified notebook and book.

It's nice to start the day slowly without a hard dose of internet. I feel like it completely changes the direction my day takes, because I only open the computer once I know what I'll be doing.

It sucks that there's only a small window every year when you can enjoy the sun

AI is gonna shake things up big time, and people are gonna feel the need to get real. With all the tech stuff taking over, we'll prob wanna find something genuine that's not just on a screen… We'll be looking for real-life moments and connections that make us feel alive. Lot of people still keep covid regimen, replacing meetings with zoom calls and consuming news instead of looking after each other

Worse, many may end up looking for something to fill the void left by lack of social interaction and not know what it is they're looking for. Others may not know how to socialize if they do know they need it, and may struggle as a result.

I think it's even worse than that. AI will claim it is socialisation, and people will believe it. Chatbots and their enthusiasts will claim they're just as meaningful and valid as in-person human socialisation, and will actually make every much, much worse.

But as a former secondary school teacher, I can already tell you a lot of these kids don't know how to socialise. They have no concept of empathy or of there being real people out there. All their socialisation is pretty much done only through their phones, and it's not good for them at all. I was like that myself - very shut-in type guy from about 13-16 even though I did have friends and school to help, and I still find myself struggling with a lot of social cues and stuff that I should've been developing then.

The cheerful and polite writing of AI in sync with marketing and corpo-speak will push real humans to adopt minimalized and bitter communication to differentiate from the fake one.

:') :') :') ROFL

"How did you know it was an imposter Jim??"

"He was too fucking nice, most Microsoft robots won't cuss to save themselves or others."

I am pro-ai but it needs to be regulated. I know we always talk about the dangers of technology and in the end it turns to be good, but this time there are different components to the equation, that to me seems dangerous.

Some of the parts for me are: - This things are coming in the worst moment possible to the economy. - it is majorly controlled by small minorities who are infringing copyright and other licenses and nobody is really doing something about it. - the current AI are not as spectacular as people think, but still super powerful. It will take many white and blue collar jobs but these people are already struggling to keep up to pay for education and they are getting doomed to a worst future not only for them but for their kids.

For me a way to solve that is to tax specific types of AI with decreasing taxes. Let's say it starts at 70% and descrease 2% a year. This would allow for some population to go down enough so we need this solution and it would allow people to find the next thing to do while not being prohibitively for research and special use cases.

Keep meetings as Zoom only. It allows me time to do real work.

> We'll be looking for real-life moments and connections that make us feel alive

Dollars to donuts, it's going to be AI waifus with a monthly subscription, if the Replika drama is anything to go by.

I used to feel a similar despair, until I touched grass.

If you identify with the blog post, I recommend getting off the internet. Go garden, sit on the deck and drink some vinho verde, enjoy the breeze, read or write something, go buy a copper-bottom stainless steel cooking pot you can pass down to your great-grandchildren, come up with a good recipe that you can also pass down to them, just relax.

The internet isn't real, not nearly as much as you think.

Go spend time with people who aren't terminally online. You'll feel embarrassed and relieved, embarrassed for how cringe you were for ever caring at all about that socialmediathing that enraged you or whatever, and relieved that the real world is actually quite nice with some quite nice people in it, grounded, interesting, pleasant.

I think it’s deeply cultural. I’m from the USA but live on the other side of the planet. Nobody here is like this, they aren’t angry or bitter, they are generally happy and polite, yet they are on TikTok and Facebook and the same Internet as everyone else.

I agree, I think in the US we are blaming social media, Covid, global warming, etc. but what is really bugging me is what lies under all those things, a general feeling that just working hard and being a good person will no longer guarantee me stability and safety. Since forever that has been the contract between the US govt and its citizens. Do good work and you will be safe and free, but it feels shaky now and it makes me feel adrift and listless.

I agree it’s gotten harder to get by, and that influences cultural malaise and anxiety.

I’d like to add that where I am people experience far more political and economic adversity than the USA, yet this doesn’t make them outwardly bitter, cynical, angry, impolite, etc. Anecdotally people are much happier, while being in a worse material situation.

Okay, my curiosity is piqued. If you're willing to share, which country are you in? If not, totally understandable.

Myanmar (Burma)

My wife spent a few years there and also speaks highly of the people. They seem to be a people and culture that are able react to the hardships of life with grace and patience not seen here in the US.

I also wonder why that is. They definitely don't have the sense of entitlement so prevalent here.

It's because in the US, you have to run in order to stay in the same place. There is no more stability. Swim fast or get eaten by the sharks.

I should add I don't use social media, unless email or this forum count, and I'm pretty bitter. It's not the social media platforms, it's the Dickz in power.

> what you see in social media is typically so exaggerated and distorted

There you have the answer.

Exaggerated emotions bring clicks and profit. Wonder why so many video thumbnails now show a large face with some vivid emotion on it? Or "XXX reacts to YYY"? Drives revenue.

It's like we're all in a non-stop "Got talent" show where talent performance is less important than judges' reactions.

Outside of twitter, things are pretty uneventful for the most part. Every small occurrence of unrest is amplified by the always-on media, and then the memory of which is kept alive in perpetuity by the chattering class online , long after most people forgot or stopped caring.

Or worse, noise-silencing _real_ problems (wars, ongoing genocide, and looming environmental catastrophe).

>Not that there aren't bad things happening in the world, that's the way it has always been, but your phone will have you believe that they are more frequent and much closer than they actually are.

Unless of course you're in Pakistan, where a third of the country was flooded last year, you're currently experiencing the largest land war in Europe's post-war history etc.

People aren't okay because the world isn't. Bruno Latour in one of his lectures he gave a few years ago pointed out that we, without doing anything, essentially lost a war to climate change. We can't even imagine that it was completely possible for people two generations ago to have transformed our ways of life, modes of production and so on, so that we could, theoretically now look at the past and see it as a problem behind us. We could literally be walking through a "great climate change war" museum, the way we visit a WW II museum. Instead we're essentially negotiating how fast we drive the titanic into the iceberg.

So the question is honestly not why people are concerned but why they're not more panicked, why we're still sleepwalking. If we had sirens in our cities going off given our ecological situation alone, not to mention all others, we'd be running for the shelters like people did during the Blitz. Something that could have been a passing problem in the past has transformed, through inaction and lack of attention into something that threatens entire civilizations.

Apocalyptic thinking does not help even if it has a good chance of being correct. This is similar to how a panic attack can dramatically worsen your situation even if it is potentially in response to a real threat. Are we doomed? Very possibly. Is adopting an attitude of 'we're just selecting the speed at which we drive the Titanic into an iceberg' healthy or helpful? No.

Same feelings from me. I would really love if some read and argument with me to give me some other point of view.

I thought on that for some time and for me there are some things going on.

1. We reached top of economy about 10 years ago, then we hit speculative gains for a while and now the market is regulating so there will be some bouncing. Perspective of achieving plans done 10 years ago are falling apart and naturally everybody feels pessimistic.

2. Politicians and top rich people now have enough power that they can literally mock us and nothing happen. In South Korea the government had the audacity to say that people needs to work at least 69 hours. Everybody knows the schemes bezos and musk do to avoid taxes while everyone is screwed to buy food.

3. People became lazy and used to have small amounts of happiness instead. "Since I'm not going to be able to afford a house I will spend 300 USD in a plastic grogu toy".

4. We see climate change, food scarcity starting, etc but we don't want to change a thing in our habits.

Let me explain this last item better. The world is going to a crazy direction, everybody can see. People have been fighting each other instead of finding common problems to solve. Whether you believe people are manipulated or not does not matter. So nobody has hope that things will change. Nobody wants to work for the change because we are all tired "slaves".

Now that we are broken, politicians and powerful people are making their moves so they can extract whatever they can before next big disgrace.

That is why, recently, I have been doing my absolute best to inject some comedic relief into all Internet discussions. Use comedy instead as a way to convey your opinions. At worst people will laugh, at best they'll laugh and think a bit about what you've said. Well I guess at worst actually they'll be offended, not able to take a joke, and continue on with their own miserable lives ;)

> Go outside and it's more or less the same as it has always been.

not true. many more outdoor billboards and LED billboards everywhere you go. giant screens held up in the air making 'IRL' feel like one big ad without the ability to uBlock it. very trashy and hard to get away from depending on where you live.

Going out into the desert and looking up to the stars and seeing satellites everywhere is a big change.

As Are drones at every non-national monument Awe Inspiring Place.

Came here to say exactly this. It's becoming difficult to escape modernity.

I'm on a forum that's supposed to be the opposite of toxic social media and it's tearing itself apart right now. Actually, two forums are, and one of them is just a place to politely get some software help. People are having trouble discerning individuals in the collective activity, which leads to angry/snippy posts about what the site itself believes and is doing, which leads to individuals who don't ascribe to that, or see something different in the shadow, fighting with them, which leads to genuine acrimony and enmity between individuals, and so on. And these groups are almost entirely composed of people who hate social media and think Instagram/Twitter/Tiktok is destroying society!

It's very hard to productively discuss and troubleshoot, and even the best advice (less Internet for awhile) sounds like a personal attack.

It’s rough out there. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and try to remember the people around you are just, like you, people.

We’ll figure it out in time.

Wishing you and yours happiness, health and peace.

>what you see in social media is typically so exaggerated and distorted that it may as well be entirely fictional

Err ... depends on where you live I guess? I'm in a big metro area and the stuff I see every time I leave my house makes me wish I hadn't.

Also, Gen Z has truly lost any sign of motivation/interest in life so at least that meme is accurate.

> Also, Gen Z has truly lost any sign of motivation/interest in life

This is a tale as old as time. And it’s always proven wrong.

Would you mind citing your source on this?

Seconded. ‘“Latest generation” is poorly-behaved’ is a tale as old as time. ‘“Latest generation” has lost interest in life” is something quite different.

My point exactly, thanks.

I'm not arguing against them being "different", I have noticed there's a true disinterest in life and going out and enjoying things that I haven't seen in the other groups that we share this slice of time with.

Reminds me a bit of the Lost Generation, with a bit of that thing that happened in Sweden(?) where the youth revolted just because they didn't have much else to do but that.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Generation

> ‘“Latest generation” is poorly-behaved’ is a tale as old as time.

Would you mind citing your sources on this?

Thank you. Although I don't read that Aristotle quote as 'youth of today', but as of youth in general.

How much is selection effects and negative feedback? As online discourse gets worse, calm and sane people are more likely to drop out, leaving the extreme people to argue online, making the discourse worse …

Yeah, I pretty much dropped of a number of platforms, like Reddit, because they have become overrun by people with depression (or supposed depressions) who will use any type of online input field as a way to offload on random stranger. I get that it's because many of them can't afford professional help, but damn that's asking a lot of someone who is just trying to debate the fine points of asian cooking or watch a silly take on yesterdays news.

Even for the calm/sane, they too gravitate towards negative content. It's entertaining, it can make them feel better about themselves temporarily, they can use it for cheap content for validation. Social feeds reinforce all of these layers.

We as humans also exaggerate negativity, you can read 100 positive comments, they will never have as much impact as that 1 negative one. This is a core component as to why negativity fuels itself.

There isn't a lack of positivity online, you can find it very easily in huge abundance, it's just not as viral.

I agree entirely. It’s not just a feedback loop, there is an underlying amplifier.

It's tempting to blame the technology that arose around the same time as these changes, which have also affected all aspects of social life.

Technology absorbs the zeitgeist. Those of us who saw it in the 90s know it can easily go a more optimistic color.

There must be a more fundamental cause.

>Go outside and it's more or less the same as it has always been

That's because the author is living in a bubble.

And also because, go figure, your cashier's depression isn't visible when they're forced to smile at you, and people with crippling depression are more likely to not get out of home at all (unless it's for work, if they have it and it's not remote).

And because people mask their symptoms of anxiety, but (go figure!) would be more willing to be open about it online, where they're anonymous and won't be judged by people who don't understand what the problem is because things are the same as they ever were.

They aren't, and we aren't.

What's your explanation for what's different?

Real estate crisis, wage stagnation, ballooning college debt (and a degree required for barely-middle-class living), increasing wealth gap, increasingly unaffordable healthcare, a full frontal attack on civil rights (abortion is just one example), militarization of police and impunity when they break the law, ultra-right (aka fascist) groups taking over the conservative party on a platform of division and hurting "the other side", COVID-19 also being a mental health crisis (while mental healthcare is still out of reach), expectation of constant availability by employers, deteriorating worker's rights (what's a union?), lack of public transportation infrastructure (hello, 3 hour commute!), ...

That's to start.

Maybe be that girl posting a picture of her latte on Instagram isn't the primary cause of everyone being on the edge.

Most of those have happened before, and within the last ~100/120 years or so (indeed, lots around the 1920s) - Jim Crow laws, WW1, Spanish Flu, WW2, the Great Depression, the Red Scare / McCarthyism, the Civil Rights movement, etc, etc

I think the point is is there something different this time, perhaps because of the internet or social media? Or is it just that a lot of these things are overlapping? Because where everything you mention is a serious problem, most of them are smaller versions of problems that we've been through already.

On the front page right now: (Nature paper: Negativity drives online news consumption - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-023-01538-4 )

Same exact thoughts. I always battle internally whether or not I'm just getting old and starting to think the quintessential "back in my day" thoughts but it's hard to ignore the fact that going online anymore is increasingly unpleasant. People everywhere, even in person, seem defensive, angry and tense almost as a rule.

This isn't going to last.

I just want to grow trees on a farm away from people.

Growing things feels right. But I need $$ so I have to stay plugged in for now.

Make it happen. A cousin in Sweden owns a tree farm so we visited for a few weeks. Was wonderful. I mean, fairy tale wonderful.

I want to do this outside of the US, but unfortunately I just don't have the cash at the moment :(

One factor might be the increase in binge drinking during the pandemic, which I suspect fuels at least a certain fraction of anger and bitterness, along with the post-alcohol depression effect, in conjunction with economic and related stresses:

> "Using data from a national survey of U.S. adults on their drinking habits that found that excessive drinking (such as binge drinking) increased by 21 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic..."


Exercise and a healthy diet can benefit one's state of mind, in contrast.

Even moderate drinking has significant lasting physiological effects like elevated heart rate as well as reduced sleep quality and emotional disquiet. It’s just if you drink regularly that all starts to feel normal.

I do drink by the way, although very infrequently. I judge that the pleasure I can get from a top shelf bourbon on rare occasions is worth the harm. But when you don’t drink regularly if you’re at all in tune with your body the effects are quite noticeable.

Agreed. My wife and I all but stopped drinking in 2023 except for when we go out which is maybe once a month.

We get along better. We both exercise more. We are more constructive. Output more. Enjoy life more.

I could go on. I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to phase drinking out altogether. It’s just not worth the downside for a few hours of fun.

I’ll bite.

So, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but not aware of any meaningful measure of the state of world. Everything is to me ultimately relative. For example, pretty easy to image world being way better or worse, or for that matter, thing’s specific to yourself.

Seen author post before, so that added to this post to me adds up to saying — reminder: make meaningful positive connections in the present.

I do think specific to author they’ve invested a lot of time building of search service and now future of search for first time in long, long time is uncertain. I personally find that exciting, but easily see how it might be overwhelming too.

EDIT: “why touch grass when you can…”


News flash - the internet is full of trolls. Unfortunately since this is now the dominant form of how people get their news it's quite hard to find anything of quality anymore. Everything is a competition for subscribers which leads to clickbait everywhere. sad really.

> Go outside and it's more or less the same as it has always been. What you see with your eyes and what you see with your phone is shockingly difficult to reconcile.

Agreed. All of the bad things in the world get amplified and sent to your phone. Then you feel depressed.

Huh. I thought this would be about the Australian organization [0]. Nevertheless, it talks about similar emotions but goes on a different tangent.

[0]: https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

Mental health is important, and that's a great site and initiative.

  has the Internet gone progressively more crazy the last decade or so? ... we should talk about this and try and figure out what's going on ... the discussion climate appears to have deteriorated with every election cycle since the early 2010s ... what you see in social media is typically so exaggerated and distorted that it may as well be entirely fictional
The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act was passed in 2012, https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/smith-mundt-modernizatio...

> our government was permitted to lie to people in other countries, but not to us here at home. This prohibition was lifted in 2012, when the SMMA was signed into law by President Obama, allowing the same propaganda disseminated by our government to foreign publics, to now be released in the U.S. for the very first time ... The SMMA promotes unholy alliances between the U.S. State Department and America's corporate media that unbinds reporters and news departments from the solemn responsibility to verify information.

In addition to traditional corporate media, PR agencies created teams to participate in online discussions [1]. 2010's techniques pioneered by various governments to influence online discourse were likely generalized and scaled for commercial and special-interest customers.

> When you react with far more emotion than reason to news items, without stopping to question any part of that item, you've been successfully triggered into a highly specific, predetermined response – a conditioned response. Triggering itself is a primary means of conditioning, with lots of proven behavior science to inform it. So now its your turn to inform yourself so that you can identify the oft-applied behavior modification techniques being deployed constantly throughout media genres, including social media – such as short, fast-paced segments, redundancy/repetition, subliminal suggestion, cognitive dissonance, projection, nudging – the formidable list of conditioning techniques is worth knowing if you hope to avoid or overcome these traps. Only then will you advance onto recognizing propagandized newz so that you can resolutely reject it.

[1] 2014 book, "Grassroots for Hire" by Edward T. Walker, http://web.archive.org/web/20210918020918/http://techsoc.com...

This will be labeled a conspiracy theory, and rightly so as it is literaly about highly secretive conspiracy, but dont let that stop you from looking deeper into it. I am confident there is something to this and that it is huge. Essentially we havent been paying enough attention to the breadth of neurotech out there as we have thought neuralink was the only approach.


One will only be able to move beyond the 'they are just schizo' phase with enough time and evidence.

Uhhh, those tweets read like a mentally ill person descending into obsession over chatgpt spitting out general answers to leading questions about a fairly obvious technological leap which I'm sure many many people have thought of. The gist i can get is basically, nerves use electricity, people can manipulate electricity, therefore this person believes it's _currently possible_ for someone to have a device that can on the fly _discover and track the location of every neuron in your body_ (he literally says this but provides no proof), and then send specific impulses that can essentially control you like a walking puppet?

This is, obviously, fucking ridiculous. Like sure, it's theoretically possible but the single biggest difficulty is the one he devotes the least time explaining. How will the device discover the location of every neuron in your body. Does a model of the brain that allows full control of muscular and speech actions exist? Those things are like 100 years away. Have you looked at a brain scan? They're ridiculously below the resolution to pinpoint single neurons and those scans are the size of whole rooms!

You can't just justify any ridiculous bullshit by saying, "they're gonna tell you this is bullshit". Of course they're gonna tell you this is bullshit! Show me documents.

Elon musk can barely get a monkey to play a video game with an implant in its brain. To be able to remotely discover and control an entire human nervous system and brain with a consealable device is pure fun science fiction. That's nothing to say of the mans obvious illness. He's messaging the dallas fbi with this stuff! Telling people to "get access to this phone number and look at the texts from this other phone number, there you'll see what they don't want you to know". Or, "hack into my Gmail, look at me emails, they'll show you things you wish you didn't see". Clear mental illness. Sad that you're parading him around like this. Boy i hope this isn't you, because oh man, good luck.

Yes the symptoms are typically psychosis in appearance of course. Even after such encounters people retain some strange speculations as they attempt to make sense of it all (are those delusions?) We typically have a need to make sense of such suffering or tragedy so one cannot blame them for not withholding from an interpretation/hypothesis.

Some of your desc. is an exaggeration, that isn't typical of people on this forum.

Overview: https://www.neuroweaponforensics.com/

See Robert Duncan: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmFLMm5zwGy7uRRtw_iVM...

Growing number of testimonials: https://www.youtube.com/@targetedindividualsunited

By years end I estimate that the number of testimonials (usually longer than 30min each) will probably be somewhere around 100-200 interviews or self-recording on their own pages (which are currently hard to find).

The issue of separating perceptive illusion due to attack vs intrinsic mental illness vs a combination will be difficult. But in fact most of the methodology is already in place, it is just that most funders and professionals are prejudice towards to the topic (you can't blame them). I was myself for years telling say homeless who would complain about such things to attempt to get some antipsychotic medication (I don't know that they could anyway).

"people's negative feelings about the world are unjustified because when I go outside I feel like things are all right"

I think judging the state of the world in this way is a bad idea.

I feel like social media where negativity gets more ”engagement” is sort of training us, poorly.

Reminds me of the article Taking a “War of Words” Too Literally, (March, 1998), Washington Post

I've reproduced it on my blog: https://paradite.com/2014/01/23/good-articletaking-a-war-of-...

Internet has become a safe space. A place where people can yell at eachother with zero consequences. In human history the average Joe didn't have this. Before a decade ago, really only geeks were online so the convos were more nuanced, deep and just polite all around.

That era is over.

ProTip: Engage in face-to-face conversations, where empathy and nuance are easier to convey.

Interesting to call it a safe space. I'd say the internet is a very dangerous place for your mental health. It comes with how easily able someone can step away from it.

That's kinda the point, one man's safe space is another's hell. We either learn to live in harmony or will continue to yell at each other for eternity.

The advice about going outside is great. It's really good to have repeatable weekly interactions with people too. Your hobbies, or your kids hobbies are easy ways.

But how bad things are online, I've only only heard about, and rarely seen.

I use twitter. Web only, no notifications, timeline view (only people I follow, chronologically). If anyone retweets drama, I block the author. Second time, I unfollow.

My feed is full of awesome smart people in different industries building things that matter. I learn, and I can interact with great people in my industry. It's as good (though different), as ICQ/AIM back in the day or the early days of Facebook.

I take it one step further: I go directly to a select few twitter timelines, no following , no account

I do the same on all social media. I don't follow anyone.

However you need many ad blocker rules to hide suggested content that fill the holes. I was thinking of redirecting the home pages to the notification feeds.

What we don't see enough of is individual stories about how people came to think the way they do.

Every post/comment/reaction you see online, is simply the result of a chain of interactions in-person, and online.

I think if you asked people why they hold an opinion or support something/someone, there would be some seminal moments that shaped their views.

After these views take shape, people just creep into their bubble, and have a predictable and fixed opinion to each news story that comes out.

You need to tackle these seminal moments, the first things that come to people's minds, first in order to change minds.

It has to be mentioned that "the internet" which seems like "everyone", as discussed in this post is a self-selecting group of people. The longer we have this "the internet" (which is prone to be upsetting, as the post discusses) the more people will learn to avoid it. This was really driven home for me when I mentioned commenting on a YouTube video to one of my more real-world-well-adjusted friends, and he admitted that such a thing would never even occur to him.

I would suggest reading a bit about why the world is what it is now. Join some Goodreads groups. Find people who read to talk to. That's my escape route. Plz don't ruin that too.

I semi-sincerely think that observing each other is the most important next step, turning the pre-programmed inter-connectivity of online sites into an intra-connectivity of what works for ourselves.

> It's like everyone is so damn angry all the time. If they aren't angry they're bitter and resentful. And when they aren't angry or bitter, they're so depressed they're barely able to crawl out of bed. And if they aren't angry, bitter, or depressed, they have crippling anxiety.

I don't see things quite so darkly, but I do see a lot of negative biases that predominate & spread (to diffuse some blame, cynicism is very often a simpler blunter more-accessible message than the complexity of hope in a complex world), I do see an attraction towards dislike & disbelief & negativity & reduction (which win through polarization), and I see a vanishing percent of views towards positivity, towards figuring out what's good (which is more difficult than polarization because it typically refines/selects).

Overall, as a user, I want to be able to keep my own score. I want to track & identify user identifies (ideally across platforms) of who is positive/helpful/speculative and who is negative/destructive/limited in view.

When I see things, the history of who is posting matters, and my history with their posts matters especially to me. So far that is a leap broadly untaken. Right now most social media systems don't have any real bias towards our preferences, from what I can see. If you're on HN or reddit or whatever else, if someone you've upvoted a thousand times post, their content wont show up any differently, from someone you've never seen, nor from someone you've downvoted a thousand times.

The systems are all blind. And frankly I don't think the services should try to tune themselves. I think it's up to us users. That's the competency of the web, that which no other connected system of (imo gross vile) walled-silo apps has: malleability, changability. By being a web system, we users can & should be building our own systems of reinforcement & guidance, should be extending our agency outwards. To tune in to the positive OK voices, to see over time who consistently has good powerful positive things to say, and to dis-regard the voices we are tired & worn for hearing.

As machines get smarter, humans get dumber. At this rate, we're all going to be begging to consume only machine generated content in five years.

Go outside and everything is covered in fucking cars.

Reminder to readers: it's 2023. Do not self-report as being not-ok on a public-facing site. Even a throwaway account can be linked back to you. This may have implications for your insurance, your employment, and your relationship(s).

I don't doubt the genuine good intent of the OP, but this is not a safe forum for this kind of discourse. Take it to Discord.

Bold to assume Discord is any different when searchable history is inevitable as the biggest criticism of people moving their technical support to it.

At least when it comes to Discord(and Reddit actually), there are scripts that you can run that deletes all of your activity/posts/etc from the server. I am pretty certain that Reddit still maintains hidden logs of everything you do even if you have deleted everything from your profile, but at least this way it will hopefully be much harder for people to get into that info. As for Discord, I have no idea if they keep logs of everything you do but I would assume that is the case. On second thought, in the past I have had Discord server mods yell at me for things I'd posted but also deleted, so there is definitely still a record of your activities to some extent.

Reddit may not need the hidden log, but plenty of Reddit scrapers will keep the text regardless of whether it is deleted at the source.

> Bold to assume Discord is any different when searchable history is inevitable as the biggest criticism of people moving their technical support to it.

Good point; Signal it is.

Speaking of Signal, tomorrow is THE day it loses SMS support.

Every person I persuaded to switch to it is going to text me "WTF" from whatsapp.

A sad day indeed. Anyone have any alternatives?

It could be a consequence of overconsumption biased media. We should confront received info with everyday reality and do not let virtual sensation take our mind. So I don't think it's new normal to have people freaking out everywhere because it is not what I observe around me.

Do not let media think for you.

This is on the home page along with the link to this study, which mostly answers the questions posed by the blog post:


What is there to talk about?

I can't imagine I'm the only one who mostly cut out after everything that happened in the 2010s. Too dangerous, too unwanted, too toxic.

(Fewer creeps in private communities too, of whatever kind of people you want rid of.)

If everybody does it, what's left is what's left.

I also noticed that. It got terrible fast a few years ago but it seems to me to be slowly getting better over time again.

Anyways I had this strange thought some time ago: What if social media is this way by design? I mean, what if it was intended to be shallow, to value weakness, to tell obese people they are fine the way they are, to say it is okay to be afraid all the time? That we should just judge people and that is valuable? And to value feelings and manipulation over truth and honesty?

People who don't hold these values will either leave or they will get resentful about how the world "degenerated" and how they are no longer welcome here. It is all lost!

The notion of "the world" has been distorted after the pandemic (it was already distorted but the pandemic helped) to mean their phone, the internet, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc.

And as mentioned by the article the real world is very different: The grass and the air is revigorating, people don't fight each other as often, they are busy fighting for their dreams, and obese people are told to get healthy, weak people are taught how to be strong, and if you lie people will hold you accountable instantly. A 40 year old psychopath will not tell a 12 year old that their gender is wrong because he will be punched on the face or sent to jail. Sorry for having to go there, it is just an extreme example.

Maybe it's possible that by making the social media landscape hostile to the kind of people who are good we can get them to be happy in the real world? Where we need them building a better society? I don't feel right saying this but part of me is fine with leaving people who are evil or lazy hypnotized by their phone.

I’d say it’s easier to make low effort, nearly worthless posts, which always tend to sound obnoxious if not downright noxious. This is a consequence of social media just being so accessible, and in fact the successful sites cultivate it because clicks are revenue. There are levels of low quality drivel, from the endless topquoting that started on Pinterest, to the know-it-all know-nothing of Twitter, the no-life simulator that is Reddit, and many more styles I’ve noticed. Even HN gets some boring phoned in paycheck comments. Being angry makes you see it more. It makes a reader feel devalued, which perpetuates the anger. The trick as far as I can see is to ignore stupid comments.

When all of the web traffic gradually moves into for-profit walled gardens, this happens.

Those places will seek to increase profits. They can do it by growing their members but that eventually stops working.

They need to make the "content" stickier, more addictive. Cute kitty pics are attractive but not as attractive as porn, but porn has a legally limited audience. Pleasing people brings recurring business, but angering them, angering them with "righteous outrage," that brings them back even more frequently - the A/B tests confirm it.

Some people here will blame capitalism, some will blame oligopoly, some will blame lack of regulation, and some will blame other people's meanness. Those are all factors. And then some.

This isn't the land of Angelfire and everyone's personal weblog anymore.

I attribute it to the decline in sex. /shrug

Is it a problem that when the author writes “and there’s the war” I have no clue what they are talking about?

The internet has gradually become the new tv. The less you use it the better for your mental health.

I feel like it's willful ignorance at best and intentional trolling at worst for someone to express this kind of attitude while ignoring how there's been a massive expansion in faux-news services, primarily but not exclusively right wing, that are fundamentally designed to addictively condition their viewers with rage and fear responses 24/7.

I'd recommend Tim Urban's (of waitbutwhy fame) new book, What's Our Problem. It's a deep dive on a lot of these things in the last decade and how we ended up where we are now.

I'm Not Ok (I Promise)

honestly i don not think im ok, im living friday to friday. All i expect is to go out with my friiends and to talk shit. monday to friday i do my software development work but i do now give a shit. sorry for my bad english,

This is the result of you surrounding yourself with terminally online people. Those who don't spend their waking days using social media are perfectly fine but you don't hear about them.

> Go outside and it's more or less the same as it has always been.

I don't even think it's worth trying to unwrap this.

Things are fine, why are people so angry, says someone not struggling to survive, says someone who isn't in a group targeted by others, says someone who must feel relatively sure of their job (lol) and continued healthcare.

Not to even consider the dystopia that is many peoples struggles while others sit on the side and loudly, brazenly shout "this is fine"!

Count your blessings, at least, yeesh.


I think this is exactly the type of post the OP was talking about

Yes, but OP didn't say it was invalid.

I replied to this comment but by the time I submitted, it was flagged and my reply was blocked. Here it is:

You sound pessimistic. And with reason - declining prospects for family formation in the West are well documented. But it can be done. We can't predict the future. We can do what our ancestors have often had to do in the past – take a leap of faith.


The rise of Wokeism correlates with a decline in mental health.

We should think hard about what's causing what.

Eh, I think people are okay, they just line to whine and moan. Certain groups of people do that (and sometimes exclusively that). Lots of old people just love to rant about bad the worlds getting (and always have). Or other people love to complain "this neighborhood used to be so great before [3 years ago]"...

The whining is often just a (I don't want to say pathetic but, not socially adaptive) form of attempting social-belonging/bragging ("The movie sucked the book was better" hipsters == Look at me I read books, I don't own a TV, etc).

There is anonther phenomenon on reddit where (e.g. /meirl) people make jokes (and not always jokes) about how sad/lonely/loveless/awkward they are. Mostly funny to me as an anti-bragging thing.

Anyways the internet isn't angry, there are just certain sites that have algorithms that promote angry content. If you don't like those sites you can easily find other stuff (tons of non-angry subreddits, tons of positive youtube, etc).

I will agree HN's sentiment has gotten more negative and less substantive (on average, still tons of good comments but more to wade through). I'd love for HN to adopt a new algorithm that can better differentiate venting and substance.

Why do you think this?

“The whining is often just a (I don't want to say pathetic but, not socially adaptive) form of attempting social-belonging/bragging ("The movie sucked the book was better" hipsters == Look at me I read books, I don't own a TV, etc)“

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