Saturday Linkages: We Are All Liars

Rather than links today, I thought I’d post a quote from a book everyone should read, Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine:

On the social media platforms, the incentive is to constantly produce more information: a perpetual motion machine, harnessed to passions of which the machine knows nothing. This production is not for the purpose of making meaning. It is for the purpose of producing effects on users that keep us hooked. It is for the purpose of making users the conduits of the machine’s power, keeping its effects in circulation. Faked celebrity deaths, trolling, porn clickbait, advertisements, flurries of food and animal pictures, thirst traps, the endless ticker tape of messages mean less than they perform. The increase of information corresponds to a decrease in meaning . . . The result could be the most elaborate Skinner Box in history. What seems like a device for adventure and freedom could become ‘the creepiest behavior-modification device’ invented thus far.

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  1. Douglas Coupland, the Canadian author of “Generation X” described the internet as the red laser light on the floor that humans can’t help but paw at endlessly. He also wrote, “Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!” in which McLuhan predicted our present culture dynamic. Both worth a read.

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