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Internet

Last updated April 1, 2022

Niche at scale

The Internet allows you to scale any niche obsession

Location-based scaling before usually meant smaller audiences. Now, larger cities (and the internet at large) has allowed audience sizes to grow to ridiculous amounts.

Centralization of Content and Services

Imagine the surface of the internet as a representation of its potential activity. A few heavyweight players have dug into the web surface, dragging activities down their slopes, activities that could have remained independent and decentralized.

Instead of creating a new webpage, Internet professionals and private users tend to go to a Facebook Page and therefore open content hosted on the slope of a dominant curve.

# Theories / Models of Thinking

1. Mangrove Theory of the Internet
2. Dark Forest Theory of the Internet
3. The Internet Is a Collective Hallucination ( digital permanence)
4. A friction-ful Internet
5. Moving Castles and Wizards

Internet Epistemology

• expertise-based
• hierarchical
• institutionally-mediated
• education, positions of authority

Internet

• crowd-based
• technologically-mediated
• popularity, usefulness, influence
• data and metrics
• post-truth?
• truth and facts as constructed, contested notions
• product of low trust and highly polarized information environment
• information becomes fact
• see: gate keeping

Moderation

“So the internet was a recipe for mortar, with an invitation for anyone, and everyone, to bring their own bricks.”

This absence of central control, or even easy central monitoring, has long been celebrated as an instrument of grassroots democracy and freedom. -> did this arise out of the counterculture?

Gap of responsibility: Their designs naturally create gaps of responsibility for maintaining valuable content that others rely on.

“It’s not trivial to censor a network as organic and decentralized as the internet. But more recently, these features have been understood to facilitate vectors for individual harassment and societal destabilization, with no easy gating points through which to remove or label malicious work not under the umbrellas of the major social-media platforms, or to quickly identify their sources.”

“10 years ago, a third-party bookseller offered a well-known book in Kindle format on Amazon for 99 cents a copy, mistakenly thinking it was no longer under copyright. Once the error was noted, Amazon—in something of a panic—reached into every Kindle that had downloaded the book and deleted it. The book was, fittingly enough, George Orwell’s 1984. (You don’t have 1984. In fact, you never had 1984. There is no such book as 1984.)”

“Indeed, Wikipedia suffers from vandalism, and over time, its sustaining community has developed tools and practices for dealing with it that didn’t exist when Wikipedia was created. If they’d been implemented too soon, the extra hurdles to starting and editing pages might have deterred many of the contributions that got Wikipedia going to begin with.”

Curious about how this relates to ephemereal content. Is moderation and managing rot thereby a form of maintenance?