Fixing Social Media

humon

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Location
Canada
Or as they say in the video, "Making a little bit less worse"

This is a video from Triggernometry from a couple weeks ago that I only bothered to watch now. At first I was hesitant, because the guy on the thumbnail looks like some weird neckbeard, but it turns out he's a guy who's been involved in the tech industry for decades, from the very beginning of the internet, and he knows what he's talking about, despite looking like a fruity side character in the Matrix.


The whole video is great. The first half-hour he goes on about how the problem is not the technology but the business model, where it's the worst of both worlds of socialism and capitalism: the exploitation of capitalism, combined with the social engineering of socialism. And how the end customers of these platforms think they are buying mass mind control, which doesn't actually work, but a side effect of it not working is that people have their worst instincts encouraged and rewarded.

What I found most compelling was the timestamp I tagged here (36:01), which is where he goes into an idea about how to disincentivize the botting and narcissism that currently plague most social media platforms. The idea is to monetize small groups of users, where within each of these groups everyone can know everyone, and the success of the group is what makes the money come in. Very quickly, these groups will push out the bots and the shitheads, because those people will be dragging them down, just as they do in real life communities.

I really like that approach, and it reminds me tangentially of the reason I like small forums like this one, where it's possible to get a feel for the people in the community and to intuitively know when outsiders are just trying to stir up trouble.

While the video started off with three topics at hand that they wanted to ask this guy about--VR, AI, and social media--they ended up spending 58 minutes on social media (including a couple ads), and the remaining 14 minutes on AI. But the AI stuff at the end is very interesting too, especially when he mentions a story of an AI that does paintings based on keyword relevance, but if you ask it to draw "Asian", you just get porn. This guy would be a delight at any dinner party, if he could pass the dress code.
 

humon

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Location
Canada
I should also add this interview that he did with Lex Friedman like.... last fall (11 months ago). I've always perceived Lex as a smart guy, and even though he talks like a robot, he asks very good questions in his honest pursuit of truth.


In this podcast Jaron's comments on social media incentives are around the 30-minute mark, but I also enjoyed what he had to say about bitcoin and government heavy-handedness around the 1-hour mark, where he cautions that when there is the temptation is to treat government as this enemy to evade, just replace the word 'government' with 'politics', and you realize that it's something you can't avoid forever and at some point have to confront and deal with directly.

This comes as I see the government of Canada pushing the same policies on farmers that got the Dutch farmers to rise up in protest (and which previously turned Sri Lanka into a failed state), and I can easily foresee bank accounts getting frozen as the government's first tool for suppressing the incoming peasant revolt. And that bitcoin is closer to a ponzi scheme now, and to get into it this late is not much different from gambling. To follow Jaron's logic, it won't be bitcoin that saves the Canadian farmers, but their social connections and pooled resources. Same same for when the currency hyperinflates in whatever country you happen to live in.
 
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