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Ephemereal and Real-time Content

Last updated January 7, 2022

One of the things that keeps face-to-face friendships strong is the nature of shared experience: you laugh together; you dance together; you gape at the hot-dog eaters on Coney Island together.

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Opposite of digital permanence

Raider’s of the Lost Web

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It is really tempting to cover for mistakes by pretending they never happened. “In Supreme Court opinions, every word matters … When they’re changing the wording of opinions, they’re basically rewriting the law.”

“It’s gone gone. A piece of paper can burn and you can still kind of get something from it. With a hard drive or a URL, when it’s gone, there is just zero recourse.”

The promise of the web is that Alexandria’s library might be resurrected for the modern world. But today’s great library is being destroyed even as it is being built. Until you lose something big on the Internet, something truly valuable, this paradox can be difficult to understand.

“Ephemerality is built into the very architecture of the web, which was intended to be a messaging system, not a library.” (maybe we need more friction?)

Modern content is sometimes actually assembled on the fly through the likes of Ruby, Django, Next.js, etc. Not actual ‘flat’/self-enclosed pages The data may exist but not the in the format it was originally delivered in

Related: Mangrove Theory of the Internet and slowness.

Dark Forest

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Imagine a dark forest at night. It’s deathly quiet. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. But of course, it’s not. The dark forest is full of life. It’s quiet because night is when the predators come out. To survive, the animals stay silent.

Ephemeral content is the content in the dark forest. Fireflies not lamps.

“These are all spaces where depressurized conversation is possible because of their non-indexed, non-optimized, and non-gamified environments.”

Creating digital mindfulness in communication and conversation?


Interactive Graph