The death of the (old) Internet
I recently read a blogpost where the author proclaims he does not like computers anymore. A decade ago computers were ours. We used to geek out playing games and hang around IRC. I still seldomly do both, but it’s not the same anymore. The cool people have ruined the Internet. Partly by just being themselves, but mostly because when they arrived a lot of big businesses startet pushing their shit onto the network, and that’s my point. Today everyone is selling something on the internet. Mostly if you aren’t selling any products, you’re still selling some cool version of yourself, and this gets tiring.
There’s just too much
Every time I open up HackerNews there’s some shiny new software, hardware product, or novel idea. Every time. I don’t even get time to digest it, because if I come back later, there’s a new thing for me to look at. There is so much money slushing around, that people will do nearly anything to get some of it. We make tons of stuff, and claim we make it “for fun”, but the truth is we make it so that we can show it off, get recognition or hopefully, even better, get hired by some company that appreciate our skills. But what happens when EVERYONE starts doing this? There is a content explosion. There’s just too much stuff.
The optimization trap
It’s not fully true what I said about people not making stuff for fun. Some people do. But they also do it because they are bored, and don’t have anything to do anymore. In the past more people had to work manual jobs, performing laborious tasks, but these jobs are being automated. But this also means that things are becoming more and more efficient, which frees up our time to do other things. We spend less and less of our time doing time consuming tasks, and this leaves us with a lot of spare time. So what do we do? We want to get entertained: television, smartphones and computers.
Now that a lot of people are spending most of their time on the Internet, what happens? The money, and specifically the ad money appears. So there’s so much money around that everyone wants to make more money. So we start producing tons of content on YouTube, Netflix, HBO, to name a few. And what happens then? Well, people see these companies making a lot of money too, so they want to make new platforms. But there’s a trap. In the end there’s more content being made, than eyes to watch it, because the human machine is not capable of too much stimulus. It will collapse. Over-entertainment.
The reason the author doesn’t like the Internet anymore is because before it was a separate dimension. It was somewhere to hide, somewhere for us to be ourselves and have fun. Now the Internet has synced with society, and boy have they cloud. It’s just a shitstorm. If we want to make our computers fun again, we need to escape to our own dimension again. We can do it. It’s what we’ve always done.