July 26, 2022

Age of Stagnation

CyberGunk 06


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Research List

Filtered to Nostalgia View all
Title URL Notes Video Relevance
πŸ“°Article Ad Tech Could Be the Next Internet Bubble https://www.wired.com/story/ad-tech-could-be-the-next-internet-bubble/ Targeted advertising doesn’t work Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Buying Consumer Data? Tread Carefully. https://hbr.org/2020/05/buying-consumer-data-tread-carefully Consumer data is innaccurate Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Coors Light Can’t Beam Ads Into Your Brain https://gizmodo.com/no-brands-cant-target-ads-at-your-dreams-1847113888?rev=1623886445493 This story that keeps cropping up about ads in your dreams is so fucking dumb Advertising β˜…
πŸ“°Article Deconstructing the Disinformation War https://mediawell.ssrc.org/expert-reflections/deconstructing-the-disinformation-war/ Exaggerated narratives Advertising β˜…
πŸ“°Article Digital Marketing’s Last Decade Is Digital Marketing’s Lost Decade https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustinefou/2021/05/16/digital-marketings-lost-decadetime-to-think-different-do-different/ Programmatic advertising is a waste Advertising β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article How AWS and Other Cloud Providers Became the Internet’s Most Powerful Moderators https://onezero.medium.com/how-aws-and-other-cloud-providers-became-the-internets-most-powerful-moderators-9b23a954d68a Amazon is behind the internet Advertising β˜…
πŸ“°Article How to Start Fixing Social Media. https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-start-fixing-social-media-196297eb6b71 What social media could be Advertising β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article ICO’s final report into Cambridge Analytica invites regulatory questions https://www.ft.com/content/43962679-b1f9-4818-b569-b028a58c8cd2 CA didn’t do anything Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works & Shapes Our Lives https://www.worldcat.org/title/in-the-plex-how-google-thinks-works-shapes-our-lives/oclc/1244174326&referer=brief_results Background on Google/AdWords Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Is Using a Data Broker the Most Secure Marketing Strategy? https://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/is-your-data-broker-the-most-secure-marketing-strategy/ Data brokers worse than random chance Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Labour HQ used Facebook ads to deceive Jeremy Corbyn during election campaign https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-hq-used-facebook-ads-to-deceive-jeremy-corbyn-during-election-campaign-grlx75c27 A use case for targeted advertising Advertising β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Large Publishers Buy Incentivized Traffic & Popups Too https://deepsee.io/blog/large-publishers-buy-incentivized-traffic-too On incentivised traffic Advertising β˜…
πŸ“°Article New Zealand’s Stuff newspaper group joins Facebook boycott as ‘experiment’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/06/new-zealands-stuff-newspaper-group-joins-facebook-boycott-as-experiment Facebook boycott Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article News site Stuff left Facebook. Seven months later, traffic is just fine and trust is higher https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/news-site-stuff-left-facebook-seven-months-later-traffic-just-fine-and-trust-higher Programmatic advertising doesn’t do anything Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet https://www.worldcat.org/title/subprime-attention-crisis-advertising-and-the-time-bomb-at-the-heart-of-the-internet/oclc/1225234235&referer=brief_results Programatic advertising doesn’t work/some fun GFC analogies Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Big Lie Behind the β€œPivot to Video” https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/facebook-online-video-pivot-metrics-false.html On the Pivot to video Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The downfall of adtech means the trust economy is here https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/23/the-downfall-of-ad-tech-means-the-trust-economy-is-here/ No-one likes targeted advertising Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Internet That Was (and Still Could Be) https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/06/medium-is-the-message-paradise-paved-internet-architecture/396227/ Internet without perverse incentives Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Madness of the Crowd https://logicmag.io/intelligence/the-madness-of-the-crowd/ Systems don’t work for people Advertising β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Web We Lost http://anildash.com/2012/12/13/the_web_we_lost/ Social networks are partly a step backwards Advertising β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Unredacted Antitrust Complaint Unsealed: Google Internal Documents Show AMP Pages Brought 40% Less Revenue to Publishers https://wptavern.com/unredacted-antitrust-complaint-unsealed-google-internal-documents-show-amp-pages-brought-40-less-revenue-to-publishers Google pushed amp. It only makes things worse Advertising β˜…
πŸ“•Book What Tech Calls Thinking: An Inquiry Into the Intellectual Bedrock of Silicon Valley https://www.worldcat.org/title/what-tech-calls-thinking-an-inquiry-into-the-intellectual-bedrock-of-silicon-valley/oclc/1136959585&referer=brief_results Misc ramblings Advertising β˜…
πŸ“°Article When Big Brands Stopped Spending On Digital Ads, Nothing Happened. Why? https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustinefou/2021/01/02/when-big-brands-stopped-spending-on-digital-ads-nothing-happened-why/ Huge companys didn’t suffer for turning off programatic ads Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Why Do People Avoid Advertising On The Internet? https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913367.2004.10639175 Banner blindness and inneffectual online advertising Advertising β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article AI is wrestling with a replication crisis https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/12/1011944/artificial-intelligence-replication-crisis-science-big-tech-google-deepmind-facebook-openai/ Replication crisis in AI Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article AI: Still Just Curve Fitting, Not Finding a Theory of Everything https://mindmatters.ai/2020/12/ai-still-just-curve-fitting-not-finding-a-theory-of-everything/ AI hasn’t moved beyond curve fitting Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo Andrej Karpathy – AI for Full-Self Driving at Tesla https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx7BXih7zx8 So much manual work to do Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo Andrej Karpathy: Tesla Autopilot and Multi-Task Learning for Perception and Prediction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHH47nZ7FZU Talking through self-driving Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Artificial Intelligence Isn’t an Arms Race With China, and the United States Shouldn’t Treat It Like One https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/11/artificial-intelligence-ai-not-arms-race-china-united-states/ AI hype and narrative Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo Building the Software 2.0 Stack (Andrej Karpathy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y57wwucbXR8 Vast majority still 1.0 code Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/16/automous_car_ada_system_tests/?s=09 Self-driving tests Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Deep Learning’s Carbon Emissions Problem https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/06/17/deep-learnings-climate-change-problem/ Ecological cost of Machine Learning Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article Elon Musk Describes the Future of Self-Driving Cars https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-describes-the-future-of-self-driving-cars-1692076449 Stupid bullshit 2015 Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Energy And Policy Considerations For Modern Deep Learning Research https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/AAAI/article/view/7123 The material costs of deep learning Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article Fear itself is the real threat to democracy, not tall tales of Chinese AI https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/06/fear-itself-is-the-real-threat-to-democracy-not-tall-tales-of-chinese-ai AI doomerism is nonsense Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article Here’s Proof Tesla’s FSD Beta 9.0 Street Testing Is a Calamity Waiting to Happen https://www.autoevolution.com/news/here-s-proof-tesla-s-fsd-beta-90-street-testing-is-a-calamity-waiting-to-happen-165597.html General Tesla hate Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Hierarchical Text-Conditional Image Generation With Clip Latents https://arxiv.org/abs/2204.06125 Dall-e 2 release paper Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article How Tesla Is Bad For The Earth. An electric car is still a car, and… https://indi.ca/how-tesla-is-bad-for-the-earth-31e644540a26 Green growth is the opposite of what’s needed Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article Is California’s electric car revolution bad for the planet? https://www.latimes.com/politics/0000017a-c69a-da5f-affa-dfbbb1050001-123 Electric vehicles aren’t the answer Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article It’s disturbingly easy to trick AI into doing something deadly https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/8/18297410/ai-tesla-self-driving-cars-adversarial-machine-learning Adversarial attacks Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Jukebox: A Generative Model For Music https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.00341 JukeBox release paper Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Language Models Are Few-Shot Learners https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.14165 GPT-3 release paper Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Lines of Sight https://logicmag.io/commons/lines-of-sight/ Run-down of self-driving tech Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Study: Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study of Driver Behavior and Interaction with Automation https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8751968/ Full self driving is a ways off Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Notes on the Turing Test https://yeetgenstein.substack.com/p/notes-on-the-turing-test Deep learning sucess vs full intelligence Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo PyTorch at Tesla – Andrej Karpathy, Tesla https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBklltKXtDE Talking through self-driving Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Release Strategies And The Social Impacts Of Language Models https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.09203 GPT-2 release paper Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Double Exploitation of Deepfake Porn https://thewalrus.ca/the-double-exploitation-of-deepfake-porn/ Everyones freaking out about politics when its really only good for porn Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo The Lighthill Debate (1973) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yReDbeY7ZMU Beginning of the first major AI winter Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Waymo is dropping the term β€˜self-driving,’ but not everyone in the industry is on board https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/07/waymo-is-dropping-the-term-self-driving-but-not-everyone-in-the-industry-is-on-board/ It’s not “self-driving” Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article What Full Autonomy Means for the Waymo Driver https://spectrum.ieee.org/full-autonomy-waymo-driver Current Waymo tech Algorithms β˜…
πŸ“°Article Why deep learning won’t give us level 5 self-driving cars https://bdtechtalks.com/2020/07/29/self-driving-tesla-car-deep-learning/ Title Algorithms β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Zero-Shot Text-To-Image Generation https://arxiv.org/abs/2102.12092 Dall-e release paper Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Amazon Recruited Twitter Army to Defend Company and CEO Jeff Bezos, Leaked Document Reveals https://www.ign.com/articles/amazon-twitter-army-defend-company-ceo-jeff-bezos-leaked-document-reveals Amazon’s in-house astroturfing campaign Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper An Examination of the Impact of Astroturfing on Nationalism: A Persuasion Knowledge Perspective https://www.mdpi.com/402650 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Bird Box challenge: How Netflix made a few tweets into a global trend https://inews.co.uk/news/bird-box-challenge-netflix-twitter-warning-explained-241879 Faked “Bird Box Challenge” Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Bird Box: How Netflix Harnesses It’s Memeing-ful Relationship with Fans | Research World https://www.researchworld.com/bird-box-how-netflix-harnesses-its-memeing-ful-relationship-with-fans/ Bird Box campaign overview Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Characterizing Retweet Bots: The Case of Black Market Accounts https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.02366 “Bot checkers” don’t catch retweet bots Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Data Against Democracy https://logicmag.io/failure/data-against-democracy/ Platforms warping politics Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Elon Musk’s not-so-secret weapon: An army of Twitter bots touting Tesla https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/elon-musk-s-not-so-secret-weapon-an-army-of-twitter-bots-touting-tesla/ Tesla astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Ephemeral Astroturfing Attacks: The Case of Fake Twitter Trends https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.07783 How to fake a twitter trend Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Facebook Campaign Nets Big Returns For ‘Bird Box’ https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/330557/facebook-campaign-nets-big-returns-for-bird-box.html No trace of official Twitter Bird Box ad spend beyond hashflag Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Group topic-author model for efficient discovery of latent social astroturfing groups in tourism domain https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s42400-019-0029-8 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article How Custom Emojis Crowned Twitter the Hashtag Registrar https://medium.com/@justinogarrity/how-custom-emojis-crowned-twitter-the-hashtag-registrar-43e5fa60c557 History of hashflags Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Lil Nas X Was A Popular Twitter User Before β€˜Old Town Road’ https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/lil-nas-x-was-a-popular-twitter-user-before-old-town-road.html Lil Nas X, the tweetdecker Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Misleading Repurposing on Twitter https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.10600 Sockpuppets start as real accounts Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Netflix apologizes for using actors to meet press at Canadian launch https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/netflix-apologizes-for-using-actors-to-meet-press-at-canadian-launch/article4326706/ Netflix doing good old irl astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Netflix denies spreading β€˜Bird Box’ memes with Twitter bots https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/bird-box-memes-fake-netflix/ Bird Box wasn’t astroturfed, but why are all these links dead Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Political Astroturfing on Twitter: How to Coordinate a Disinformation Campaign https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10584609.2019.1661888 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Power of Suggestion https://www.chronicle.com/article/power-of-suggestion/ Many priming studies can’t be replicated Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, social media and community engagement https://www.worldcat.org/title/public-relations-and-participatory-culture-fandom-social-media-and-community-engagement/oclc/1127300821&referer=brief_results PR and fandoms Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Social Media and Public Relations: Fake friends and powerful publics https://www.worldcat.org/title/social-media-and-public-relations-fake-friends-and-powerful-publics/oclc/1089492876&referer=brief_results General new media PR textbook Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Strategic Communication, Social Media and Democracy: The Challenge of the Digital Naturals https://www.worldcat.org/title/strategic-communication-social-media-and-democracy-the-challenge-of-the-digital-naturals/oclc/1064560421&referer=brief_results General new media PR textbook Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Survive Reddit And Make An Impact https://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2019/10/survive-reddit-and-make-an-impact/ How to infiltrate Reddit Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Bird Box Effect: How Memes Drive Users to Netflix https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/1/3/18167278/bird-box-memes-netflix-bots-marketing Bird Box wasn’t astroturfed, but whats all this bot activity Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper The disconcerting potential of online disinformation: Persuasive effects of astroturfing comments and three strategies for inoculation against them https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444820908530 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The lesson of the dust-up over Trump’s fake Twitter followers. https://slate.com/technology/2017/06/the-lesson-of-the-dust-up-over-trumps-fake-twitter-followers.html We only have conjecture but there is manipulation happening Astroturfing β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Stans Who Post So Much, Twitter Thinks They’re Bots β€” And Shuts Them Down https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/the-stans-who-post-so-much-twitter-thinks-theyre-bots-and-shuts-them-down Stans and “harmless bots, including ones that promoted Netflix shows” Astroturfing β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper There’s Nothing Social About Social Priming: Derailing The β€œTrain Wreck” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1047840X.2021.1889312 On “priming” post replication crisis Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Thinking Taxonomically about Fake Accounts: Classification, False Dichotomies, and the Need for Nuance https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.04959 “Bots” encompasses so much Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article TikTok β€œDeeply Concerned” by Facebook’s Paid Campaign to Promote Negative Coverage of Social App https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/digital/tiktok-facebook-meta-targeted-victory-1235122641/ Facebook shady anti-competitive campaign Astroturfing β˜…
πŸ“°Article Weekly Nielsen Streaming Charts – Archive https://www.spoilertv.com/2020/11/weekly-nielsen-streaming-charts-updated.html Viewership numbers Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Who Really Writes Twitter’s ‘Trending’ Summaries https://onezero.medium.com/who-really-writes-twitters-trending-summaries-89e819255599 On the new team behind the twitter trends Astroturfing β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Automaton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton Automatons! Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Doctors turn to imperfect AI to spend more quality time with patients https://www.protocol.com/enterprise/doctor-burnout-ai-patient-risk AI causing medical harm Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article From Manchester to Barcelona https://logicmag.io/nature/from-manchester-to-barcelona/ Techlash ignores capital Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook: Annotated Translations of Greek and Latin Texts and Documents https://www.worldcat.org/title/greek-and-roman-technology-a-sourcebook-annotated-translations-of-greek-and-latin-texts-and-documents/oclc/1243344417&referer=brief_results Ancient technophobia Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Hundreds of AI tools have been built to catch covid. None of them helped. https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/30/1030329/machine-learning-ai-failed-covid-hospital-diagnosis-pandemic/ AI didn’t help with COVID Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Maelzel’s Chess Player https://www.eapoe.org/works/essays/maelzel.htm Edgar Allen Poe grappling with the Mechanical Turk Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit https://thebaffler.com/salvos/of-flying-cars-and-the-declining-rate-of-profit Technological change has stalled Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Once billed as a revolution in medicine, IBM’s Watson Health is sold off in parts https://www.statnews.com/2022/01/21/ibm-watson-health-sale-equity/ AI failure Automation β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Robots: what do they mean for jobs and incomes? https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/robots-what-do-they-mean-for-jobs-and-incomes/ Economic argument against automation discourse Automation β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Smart Machines and Service Work: Automation in an Age of Stagnation https://www.worldcat.org/title/smart-machines-and-service-work-automation-in-an-age-of-stagnation/oclc/1266189478&referer=brief_results I didn’t really enjoy this but I think I’ve entirely ripped it off Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Tellers, toil and technology https://www.atmmarketplace.com/articles/tellers-technology-and-atms/ ATMs doubled the amount of bank tellers Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ΊVideo Tesla AI Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0z4FweCy4M Stupid Elon bullshit Automation β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Automation Charade https://logicmag.io/failure/the-automation-charade/ The illusion of automation Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Mechanical Chess Player That Unsettled the World https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/08/the-turk-a-chess-playing-robot-was-a-hoax-that-started-an-early-conversation-about-ai.html On the Mechanical Turk Automation β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand https://onezero.medium.com/the-modern-world-has-finally-become-too-complex-for-any-of-us-to-understand-1a0b46fbc292 Nodes in networks Automation β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Smart, the Stupid, and the Catastrophically Scary: An Interview with an Anonymous Data Scientist https://logicmag.io/intelligence/interview-with-an-anonymous-data-scientist/ AI hype vs reality Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Uber’s algorithm and the mirage of the marketplace. https://slate.com/technology/2015/07/ubers-algorithm-and-the-mirage-of-the-marketplace.html Uber designed to maximise worker exploitation Automation β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Why algorithms beat experts (even in shipping) https://splash247.com/why-algorithms-beat-experts-even-in-shipping/ Math has use cases Automation β˜…
πŸ“°Article Despair Fatigue https://thebaffler.com/salvos/despair-fatigue-david-graeber Art, welfare, future Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Don’t be a creator if you can’t do it for free https://marker.medium.com/if-you-cant-afford-to-do-it-for-free-don-t-be-a-creator-569488f3ef72 There’s no money in creating Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Ed Sheeran’s Vinyls https://dadadrummer.substack.com/p/ed-sheerans-vinyls Big artists stifling others Creators β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article HBO Max Might Have Outsmarted the Streaming Wars https://www.wired.com/story/hbo-max-outsmart-streaming-wars/ HBO burning millions to make a dent Creators β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Hollywood is quietly using AI to help decide which movies to make https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/28/18637135/hollywood-ai-film-decision-script-analysis-data-machine-learning AI for script reading and casting and stuff Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article How Can We Pay for Creativity in the Digital Age? https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/14/how-can-we-pay-for-creativity-in-the-digital-age Money in art Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Is Spotify’s Model Wiping Out Music’s Middle Class? https://www.theringer.com/tech/2019/1/16/18184314/spotify-music-streaming-service-royalty-payout-model No money in streaming Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Jobless, Selling Nudes Online and Still Struggling https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/business/onlyfans-pandemic-users.html Coronavirus and OnlyFans Creators β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Netflix loses subscribers for first time in 10 years. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/19/business/netflix-earnings-q1.html How could this happen Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Netflix will consider buybacks as it returns to positive cash flow after 2021 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/19/netflix-says-cash-flow-positive-after-2021-no-more-external-financing.html Whoops Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Netflix’s subscriber growth has slowed dramatically. Blame competition and the pandemic https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-07-20/netflixs-subscriber-growth-has-slowed-dramatically Oh dear Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article No One Makes A Living On Patreon https://theoutline.com/post/2571/no-one-makes-a-living-on-patreon No One Makes A Living On Patreon Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Tears in Rain https://dadadrummer.substack.com/p/tears-in-rain Spotify fraud Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The creator economy is failing to spread the wealth https://www.axios.com/2021/10/11/creator-economy-revenue-content?utm_campaign=organic&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=twitter Title Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Data Journalism That Wasn’t http://futureofmusic.org/blog/2015/08/21/data-journalism-wasnt Some weird internet beef and also a good overview of the money in streaming Creators β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Death Of Subculture part 3: The role of poverty and social class https://gravityglobal.com/news/the-death-of-subculture-part-3/ The working class has been priced out of art Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book The Death of the Artist https://www.worldcat.org/title/death-of-the-artist-how-creators-are-struggling-to-survive-in-the-age-of-billionaires-and-big-tech/oclc/1246727096&referer=brief_results Easier to create, harder to make money, a social issue Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Economics of OnlyFans https://xsrus.com/the-economics-of-onlyfans Losing money from creating Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Gig Economy is failing, enter the hustle economy https://onezero.medium.com/the-gig-economy-is-failing-say-hello-to-the-hustle-economy-13ae3aa91954 Work is increasingly atomised Creators β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Year Sex Work Came Home https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/style/camsoda-onlyfans-streaming-sex-coronavirus.html Coronavirus and OnlyFans Creators β˜…
πŸ“°Article β€˜Stan Twitter, do you know this song’ is the unifying meme we need right now https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/22/17768546/stan-twitter-do-you-remember-this-song-meme Nostalgia of stan twitter Nostalgia β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article β€œI’m Not Interested in Cinema”: Adam Curtis on Bitter Lake https://filmmakermagazine.com/93080-im-not-interested-in-cinema-adam-curtis-on-bitter-lake/ Conflating our current moment with Brezhnevian stagnation Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Boris Johnson: The Brezhnev Years https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/boris-johnson-the-brezhnev-years/ Conflating our current moment with Brezhnevian stagnation Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Chapter 1: The Politics of Kpop http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-1-politics-k-pop/ The start of K-pop Nostalgia β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Chapter 10: The Downside of the Debut http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-10-downside-debut/ Exploitation Nostalgia β˜…
πŸ“°Article Chapter 6: How the Internet Almost Killed Kpop, and How Idol Advertising and Acting Saved It http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-6-how-internet-almost-killed-k-pop-and-how-idol-advertising-and/ K-pop and internet marketing Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Covid and fictitious capital https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2021/01/25/covid-and-fictitious-capital/ Markets decoupled from reality Nostalgia β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More https://www.worldcat.org/title/everything-was-forever-until-it-was-no-more-the-last-soviet-generation/oclc/941080827&referer=brief_results Anthropological study of the mood of pre-dissolution Soviet Russia Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Ghosts of My Life https://www.worldcat.org/title/ghosts-of-my-life-writings-on-depression-hauntology-and-lost-futures/oclc/936416159&referer=brief_results misc hauntology ramblings Nostalgia β˜…
πŸ“°Article How K-pop became a global phenomenon https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/2/16/16915672/what-is-kpop-history-explained On K-pop production and reception Nostalgia β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Op-Ed: How the streaming wars are changing what you watch https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-07-18/netflix-amazon-hulu-streaming-competition-hollywood-content Streamers monopolising Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Protocol https://www.worldcat.org/title/protocol-how-control-exists-after-decentralization/oclc/982668932&referer=brief_results The Net exerts power Nostalgia β˜…
πŸ“•Book The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech https://www.worldcat.org/title/circle-of-the-snake-nostalgia-and-utopia-in-the-age-of-big-tech/oclc/1140683049&referer=brief_results Prediction feedback loops Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media https://www.worldcat.org/title/end-of-forgetting-growing-up-with-social-media/oclc/1109928854&referer=brief_results You can’t escape your past Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book The End of the End of History https://www.worldcat.org/title/end-of-the-end-of-history-politics-in-the-twenty-first-century/oclc/1252422521&referer=brief_results misc end of history ramblings Nostalgia β˜…
πŸ“°Article The stock market is detached from economic reality. A reckoning is coming. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/stock-market-unemployment-disconnect/2020/09/09/087374ca-f306-11ea-bc45-e5d48ab44b9f_story.html Markets propped up by bullshit Nostalgia β˜…
πŸ“°Article Twenty Years Ago, β€˜Harry Potter’ and β€˜Lord of the Rings’ Changed the Future of Hollywood https://www.theringer.com/movies/2021/12/17/22840267/lord-of-the-rings-harry-potter-anniversaries-fandom-ip-hollywood Post-00’s nostalgic blockbusters Nostalgia β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper A Review Of The Data Broker Industry: Collection, Use, And Sale Of Consumer Data For Marketing Purposes http://educationnewyork.com/files/rockefeller_databroker.pdf 2013 US Senate investigation into data brokers Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Austerity is an Algorithm https://logicmag.io/justice/austerity-is-an-algorithm/ Australian failure to automate social services Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance https://www.cag.edu.tr/uploads/site/lecturer-files/behind-the-one-way-mirror-a-deep-dive-into-the-technology-of-corporate-surveillance-electronic-frontier-foundation-dCqr.pdf Data collection overview Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article BUGGER https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/3662a707-0af9-3149-963f-47bea720b460 Spies aren’t good at their jobs Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Catching Or Creating Terrorists? https://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/government-corporate-wrong-doing/catching-or-creating-terrorists.html Manufactured terror Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Classroom Management: Simon Sinek, ClassDojo, and the Nostalgia Industry https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/classroom-management-simon-sinek-classdojo-and-the-nostalgia-industry/ Surveillance deployed against schoolkids Surveillance β˜…
πŸ“°Article Data Broker Errors https://www.brennanlaw.com/practice-areas/identity-theft/data-broker-errors/ Data brokers fucking up Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Data Brokers Are a Threat to Democracy https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-data-brokers-are-a-threat-to-democracy/ Innacurrate data used evilly Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Data Relations https://logicmag.io/distribution/data-relations/ Data production as work and stuff like that Surveillance β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Estimating The Prevalence Of Entrapment In Post-9/11 Terrorism Cases https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/jclc105&section=24 More sympathetic towards counterterrorism Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article How The Lapd And Palantir Use Data To Justify Racist Policing https://theintercept.com/2021/01/30/lapd-palantir-data-driven-policing/ Tech won’t help policing Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Inside the Whale: An Interview with an Anonymous Amazonian https://logicmag.io/commons/inside-the-whale-an-interview-with-an-anonymous-amazonian/ Amazon relationships with law/Corporate perspective Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Logistics Workers of the World: A Conversation with Agnieszka MrΓ³z of Amazon Workers International https://logicmag.io/care/logistics-workers-of-the-world-a-conversation-with-agnieszka-mroz-of-amazon/ How Amazon workers are surveilled/Worker perspective Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Only 1 percent of “terrorists” caught by the FBI are real https://www.salon.com/2013/07/10/only_1_percent_of_terrorists_caught_by_fbi_are_real_partner/ Manufactured terror Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Predict and Surveil https://www.worldcat.org/title/predict-and-surveil-data-discretion-and-the-future-of-policing/oclc/1239321544&referer=brief_results LAPD data use Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Radicalization Theory: An Imminent Threat https://scholar.colorado.edu/concern/undergraduate_honors_theses/9k41zd97f Counterterrorism is harmful busywork Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Ring gave LAPD officers free cameras, pushed product promos https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2021-06-17/ring-influencer-marketing-los-angeles-police-department Amazon <3 the police Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Safe or Just Surveilled?: Tawana Petty on the Fight Against Facial Recognition Surveillance https://logicmag.io/security/safe-or-just-surveilled-tawana-petty-on-facial-recognition/ Increasing use of facial recogntion Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Separate And Unequal: The Law Of “Domestic” And “International” Terrorism https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/agispt.20190828016173 Counterterrorism is harmful busywork Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Social Media Privacy: A Dozen Myths And Facts https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm?abstractid=2298891 Weird privacy hot takes Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information https://www.fastcompany.com/90310803/here-are-the-data-brokers-quietly-buying-and-selling-your-personal-information Overview of data brokers Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Data Is Ours! https://logicmag.io/scale/the-data-is-ours/ Data vibes overview Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Informants https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/fbi-terrorist-informants/ FBI entrapment Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The Popular Family Safety App Life360 Is Selling Precise Location Data on Its Tens of Millions of Users https://themarkup.org/privacy/2021/12/06/the-popular-family-safety-app-life360-is-selling-precise-location-data-on-its-tens-of-millions-of-user Underhanded data trading Surveillance β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article The secret police: Cops built a shadowy surveillance machine in Minnesota after George Floyd’s murder https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/03/03/1046676/police-surveillance-minnesota-george-floyd/ Recent expansion of surv. tech Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“°Article Woke AI Won’t Save Us https://logicmag.io/bodies/woke-ai-wont-save-us/ This stuff doesnt work. Why keep going Surveillance β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Automation and the Future of Work https://www.worldcat.org/title/automation-and-the-future-of-work/oclc/1316769061&referer=brief_results Stagnant economy vs automation hype Automation β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“•Book Platform Capitalism https://www.worldcat.org/title/platform-capitalism/oclc/1236075764&referer=brief_results Platforms amassing monopoly power Creators β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper This Person (Probably) Exists. Identity Membership Attacks Against GAN Generated Faces https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.06018 Algorithms just show us copies of the past Algorithms β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸ“ƒPaper Predictive Inequity in Object Detection https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.11097 Object detection racial bias Algorithms β˜…β˜…

Audio Draft

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Shooting Script

EXT. AMORPHOUS DREAMSCAPE – DUSK

A ROOM you think you recognise. Or maybe an ALLEY.

Changing.

Images of images from the past. Entertainment content from 2003 filtered by AI.

CALEB walks in.

NOT BLISS

Now, in about 10 minutes I’m going to blame technology for making us nostalgic. But obviously that’s a bizarre and unjustifiable position. β€œWhat is he even talking about?” So I’m not gonna start with that, I’ll work up to it.

Hey (d’ya) remember things

THE COMMODIFICATION OF GHOSTS

32

Basically nostalgia’s an emotion. Actually I think there’s some debate about that. But it definitely is or isn’t an emotion. That’s the range of options available.

Now the word’s been around for a few hundred years, and the feeling we assume, has been around forever.

It’s usually triggered by interacting with something you remember, or remembering something you remember. But it tends to show up more in times of change. Like, in your life. You’re more likely to watch a 90’s movie or play a PS1 game if things are going badly for you.

But it doesn’t have to be that extreme. Like… vinyl records… You think you like them because of the sound quality or whatever but that’s not it. The reason you like vinyl is because they stopped making iPods. They stopped making iPods and now your iTunes library is worthless, so in revenge you found some tat to collect. It’s pathetic.

Now, once I hit the Spotify library limit I got into cassettes. Which is different. It’s different. You can tell the difference in sound quality with a cassette. (Beat) It’s much worse.

22

But nostalgia tends to show up more when there’s been some change, any change. So everyone gets more nostalgic in unstable periods. Whether that’s Coronavirus, the Global Financial Crisis, or when the Americans elected to have James Corden on TV.

And we can see that in the swell of sales of products from your childhood. The trading card industry basically relies on regular crises.

Because as an emotion, nostalgia is incredibly powerful, and even though it’s usually triggered by bad things, most of the time it’s very positive, it can lift your mood, give you meaning, make you feel less alone, even though you are, you are alone.

25

But it can be worse right. Remembering some things, that’s nice. But you can be overtaken by nostalgia, to the point where you don’t just want to remember things you want to make it the past now. Which is really the driving force behind a lot of racists: β€œRemember racism times? Let’s have them now.” And it’s that impulse which makes it so commercially successful.

So like a lot of things nostalgia’s been around for ages, but for the longest time it wasn’t monetised. Until the 60’s with the invention of β€œretro.”

After the student movement had all hope for the future beaten out of them by the cops they stopped looking forward and started looking to the past. Before then, there hadn’t been a way to dig up old crap from the recent past and start selling it immediately after it stopped being cool. So the tastemakers and advertisers and PR people went, β€œlet’s dig up old crap from the recent past and start selling it immediately after it stops being cool.”

And what they found was that nostalgia was actually incredibly useful: You get an instant emotional connection with your audience, and an overwhelming yearning for an imagined past. And if you could tie that yearning to your product you could, in theory, create an emotional need for the product.

And they’re very proud of doing this. Nostalgia has therapeutic properties, so they’re not using it as a form of emotional control, they’re just doing a bit of public service while they advertise.

But it’s not just in marketing now. Throughout culture there is sort of stuckness. Our movies, music, and culture seem to be increasingly stuck in the past. Or at least, people have been saying that for the past 30 years.

27

In the 90’s there was this fucking idiot who was like: β€œWe’ve basically come up with the perfect world and we’ve found out all the facts so you know, we’re done now. The Russians will never go to war again, so there’s nothing left to challenge the financial free market.” And that’s the End of History: it’s just going to be now, forever.

he’s still at it by the way

And that caught on. Not because history ended but culture slowed.

explains the attitude

There’s that thought experiment: if you took music from the 90s, went 30 years back and played that to someone in the 60s, they’re gonna be like, β€œWoah what the fuck, this doesn’t sound anything like The Beach Boys.” You take music from now, you play it to someone in the 90s, they’re going to be like, β€œOkay, that’s nice. Thanks for sharing.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been any musical developments since the 90’s. Of course, some guys learnt to mumble 10 years ago, and autotune 20 years ago, and uh, K-pop. That’s the one brand new genre that we’ve never had before. It didn’t exist 30 years ago. 

Actually, I don’t want to get on the bad side of the K-pop stans, if they got wind of this, they could wipe me off the internet. I’m not being an ignorant racist, I understand that K-pop started on the 11th of April 1992, at about 5pm KST. That’s roughly 30 years ago. Please don’t come for me.

28

So, that’s the one brand new genre that we’ve never had before. And I don’t want to get on the bad side of the K-pop stans. But… For a brand new genre that we’ve never had before, it is just noughties pop. It’s just noughties pop with different lyrics.

And that lyrical content has a childlike innocence. Love and drugs; the mainstays of the American pop scene are kind of a no go. So actually it’s more nostalgic than even our stuck-in-the-past, mainstream pop.

Which is deliberate. They are intentionally employing nostalgia as a marketing tool. K-pop has an extremely corporate, top-down, production system. They snap up talent as pre-teens, make them sign β€œslave contracts,” which you should never do: You should always read a contract through, and also, double check that it hasn’t got “slave” in the name.

But they train their artists to perfection, deny them a private life, and food, and pump out production line hits.

So in 2016, when China limited their import of Korean culture (due to a disagreement over anti-ballistic missile systems) there was a concerted effort across the K-pop industry to penetrate America. K-pop had always followed the American pop trends, so the early attempts were just to produce english-language versions of their existing hits. But that actually had the opposite effect, those english-language versions often had worse international penetration than the originals.

What they found instead, was that you had to make the music’s production reflect American pop music of the recent past. The K-pop agencies are the only ones actively head-hunting producers of the Jonas Brothers, for example. Maybe K-pop’s existing appeal came from how nostalgic it was, so instead of trying to put an American spin on it, you double down and remind people of their childhood.

So, now, while these agencies are starving young boys to death, they’re also going β€œcould we subliminally sample Britney Spears in this song.”

But it’s not just K-pop, not just music, nostalgia’s kind of everywhere now right?

33

In movies, there were the Batman/Superman serials in the 40’s, and then 20-30 years later the Batman/Superman movies, and then 20-30 years after that you have Spiderman, which they’ve just been remaking twice a year ever since. They just open up that Sam Raimi Spiderman script and run a find/replace on all the character names. 

But that’s not necessarily about trying to smuggle in some nostalgia as a marketing ploy. It’s just the narrowing parameters of commercialism. The Hollywood studios are continually moving away from making little gambles.

Outside of the scam known as β€œstreaming,” no-one’s really making midsize movies anymore. Which is absolutely deliberate. The theory is, our attention is more divided than ever; most people are only going out to see a movie once a year. So instead of trying new things, they make that movie. Instead of expanding out, creating a broad range of options that are gonna be interesting to different people, some of it good, the model is to pile all your resources and make a few expensive, inoffensive, theme park rides every year.

Now that’s all nice to know, but it’s not really what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about, if you remember, is how technology is making us nostalgic.

34

Now maybe technology makes us nostalgic because of how we use it. That feeling of instability which creates nostalgia can be caused directly by technology. Since they released the iPhone back in the noughties, we’re expected to do the constant work of posting. For absolutely no reason. Log off now while you still can. But for a lot of people that constantly running public persona is a stress.

Extreme pushes in productivity and surveillance create stress. Instead of giving their employees time off, Amazon just use cameras to make sure they never stop working, classrooms are adopting surveillance tech designed to squeeze maximum productivity out of children, while harvesting their data for advertisers.

But maybe technology makes us nostalgic because we’re surrounded by reminders of the past. We’re sitting on a database of niche moments from your past. You don’t have to be feeling nostalgic at all, but suddenly your apps are going, β€œLOOK AT THIS. THIS IS YOU 5 YEARS AGO. LOOK AT THIS” and you have to go, β€œAlright calm down I’ll be nostalgic.”

And taken to the extreme there are people leaving high-school now, getting to an age where they might start to experiment with different personalities, interests, racial identities… But they can’t actually escape their past because it’s so thoroughly documented.

35

But maybe the tech makes us nostalgic because the algorithms themselves are nostalgic. Now, the goal of a recommendation algorithm is to predict what you’ll like, right? But there is a key problem with that: it’s not possible. 

So there’s two approaches:

There’s content-based filtering, which compares the content itself: If you liked Space Jam it’ll recommend Space Jam: A New Legacy, or if you bought a product it’ll find products in the same category, or posts with similar keywords…

Or there’s collaborative filtering: which matches up people with similar tastes and recommends their likes to each other: This person likes clips from the 2011 movie Real Steel and racism, and this person likes clips from the 2011 movie Real Steel, so they might like racism. Just expanded to a mass scale. Comparing all the tastes of all people.

Both ways have drawbacks, so usually it’s some kind of combination of the two, using hundreds of slightly different variations to generate an overall score of β€œrecommendedness” — and it seems to work(, right?)

But no matter how it’s done, it’s an internal filtering system. Which means instead of trying to expand people’s tastes, the goal is actually to cull them. You’re always recommended to be like someone else, and for the system to work that person is like you in the first place. So on a social scale, instead of expanding everyone’s tastes, it has the effect of dragging everyone together and streamlining everyone into a few buckets. 

And it’s always based on data from the past, it’s very difficult for new information to be introduced. And the platforms have so much faith in these algorithms that they often limit your browsing ability beyond the recommendation system. So it’s a closed feedback loop. No new taste information can be introduced, and all recommendations are a copy of the past.

That’s not a prediction. If someone had said to you β€œI like Nicolas Cage,” so when you go to watch a movie you let them pick what movie to watch out of all the Nicolas Cage movies, when they pick a Nicolas Cage movie, you can’t be like β€œOh I predicted that.” That’s n– At best that’s remembering. 

36.0

Then the people making this content have to go along with these algorithms. The only hope for a musician or a YouTuber to be financially viable is that you somehow make a viral hit. Or, you could do this, which is just a waste of everybody’s time.

But it’s not just internet losers, in Hollywood historically it was the executives making sure that no one ever took a risk or made anything good, but now they’ve outsourced that to algorithms.

People joke about scripts being written by algorithm, which is ridiculous, obviously they can’t do that. What they do is use an algorithm to filter existing scripts. See how similar they are to the successes of the past. There’s multiple services built to check over pitches and scripts and casting, and predict the Box Office numbers. By looking at the successes of the past and applying that to the present. So Spiderman with the nouns changed, that’s a smash hit, but if you want to try something new, get fucked. If your script isn’t nostalgic, it just won’t get made.

And weirdly, all of this race-to-the-bottom, nostalgic-feedback-loop shit, actually makes the algorithms work better. It becomes much easier to β€œpredict” that you want some nostalgia, if you’re trapped in a loop of nostalgia.

Again, not a prediction.

But it’s a pretty good outcome for them, from what, let’s be honest, is a mistake.

36.1

So maybe culture has slowed but it’s not just because of tech, these algorithms have only been in use for the past 15 years. Or– well, β€œonly.” It’s a good example of how stagnant things are actually. There haven’t really been any major technological innovations since the noughties, just fiddling at the edges.

Outro V1

So maybe culture has slowed a bit since the 90’s, we’re in a bit of a stagnant time. But it’s not because history ended, it’s not because we’ve come up with the perfect world, it’s that we can’t imagine a better one. We see stagnant growth, our ruling class is getting older and older; not just in politics but in business, the average CEO age is going up 1 year per year.

Outro V2

But I think we’ve seen this cultural stagnation before. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, their politics stopped promising a better future, their culture became stuck in time. They called it the age of stagnation. 

The dream had been that they’d be able to manage society through complete subordination of the market to the state. And through quantifying, forecasting, and planning, you could create a perfect system. And you could, you could create a perfect closed-system. But because of this complete devotion to the plan, it was a system that could not handle the complexity of the real-world.

So faced with this decay, but unable to imagine a different future, their culture began to just repeat the aesthetics of the past. Which made actual engagement with politics become increasingly meaningless, while growth stagnated, the ruling class grew older and older, and despite the fact that everyone could see society crumbling around them, no-one was able to even process it, let alone do anything about it. So when the end came, it was like a dream. Impossible, but at the same time, inevitable.

The dream of neoliberalism is that we could manage society through complete subordination of the state to the market. And through quantifying, forecasting, and planning, we could create a perfect system. And we can, we can create a perfect closed-system. But because of this complete devotion to the market, it’s a system that cannot handle the complexity of the real-world.

So faced with this decay, but unable to imagine a different future, our culture has begun to just repeat the aesthetics of the past. Our politicians no longer promise better futures, while growth has stagnated, our ruling class is getting older and older; not just in politics but in business, the average CEO age is going up 1 year per year.


Meanwhile, wages stagnate while housing prices increase, which works for people who got onto the property ladder, but locks an increasing percentage of the population out of the market completely. In some ways, trapping entire generations in a child-like state.

20

V1

Coronavirus has shown us that the market will put short-term cash-flow above millions of human lives, climate change shows us that it cannot offer any solutions, and we’re supposed to expect an unprecedented financial crash every 10 years. We see stagnant productivity, stagnant growth, growing wealth inequality, and corrupted democracy. It’s not completely terrible, the average quality of life is decent and things like the productivity stagnation don’t really affect your day-to-day life. But it all exposes just how broken and absurd this system is, it cannot handle the real world.

V2

And we know that this system isn’t working, the Global Financial Crisis, Coronavirus, climate change, all expose just how broken and absurd this system is, it cannot handle the real world.


V1

But we can’t imagine a different future. So instead of looking forward, we seem to be digging up the past and desperately reframing it to try and shore up the present.

V2

So it’s not that history ended, it’s not that we’ve come up with the perfect world, it’s that we can’t imagine a better one. So instead of looking forward, we seem to be digging up the past and desperately reframing it to try and shore up the present.


Nostalgia can be a destructive, regressive force that traps you in an imagined past. But (when we’re trapped in the present ) we can also deliberately root around in the past for positive moments or abandoned futures, look at it critically, then keep moving forward. And use the reflective power of nostalgia, not to make it the past now, but to imagine new futures.

Nostalgia implodes the world around Caleb.