Samir’s Selection 07/15/2014 (p.m.)
The platform is the conversation
… how naive we were to look at social-networking platforms as high-tech versions of tables and to believe that the Net had a “commitment” to push social interaction to its edges. Facebook, and every other large social-networking and information-aggregation company, both convenes and intervenes. Indeed, it convenes in order to intervene. The platform is the conversation. To fully analyze online social dynamics, one has to attend not only to the tension between the group and the individual but between the platform and both the group and the individual. The problem is that whereas the group-individual tension is visible, the manipulations of the platform are invisible. With the publication of the Facebook study, the veil trembled. We all knew the veil was there — we all knew we were inside a Skinner Box — but suddenly we had to admit the fact.
… The old romantic “Internet,” to borrow Evgeny Morozov’s quotation marks, is dead and gone. The center held. The table has an agenda.
… Social life consists in destroying that which gives it its savour.
The soma cloud
Once the company is able to manipulate “entire experiences and adventures,” rather than just bits and pieces of text, the realtime engineering of a more harmonious and stabilized emotional climate may well become possible.
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