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It’s hard to encourage and nurture positivity on the web. Tumblr’s done it by not explicitly building comments into the product—so if you’re going to say something critical, it shows up in your personal space. It's conflicting to build a growing community vs. a good one. One of the only ways to do it is to have some sort of asymmetric follow relationship that allows all users to create their own smaller communities.

Clay Shirky: “The downside of going for size and scale above all else is that the dense, interconnected pattern that drives group conversation and collaboration isn’t supportable at any large scale. Less is different — small groups of people can engage in kinds of interaction that large groups can’t.”

David Foster Wallace: “TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.”

David Foster Wallace: “We should keep in mind that vulgar has many dictionary definitions and that only a couple of these have to do with lewdness or bad taste. At root, vulgar just means popular on a mass scale. It is the semantic opposite of pretentious or snobby. It is humility with a comb-over. It is Nielsen ratings and Barnum’s axiom and the real bottom line. It is big, big business.”


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