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The Internet is the Worst Thing Ever
Having started off as seeing the internet as a fad that would fade away (apart from porno) then embracing it to the extent that I make all of my income through it, to now seeing it having taken over the world, I've finally reached the point where I think the internet is the invention of Satan.

Satan's rule is to divide and conquer - and it seems to me this has come to pass, thanks to the internet.

Douglas Adams had little time to invest in the internet before his death, but even in that short time, managed to get to the nub of the issue very quickly. Here is his view of what was happening:

I think the most important note in that is his quote from Risto Linturi, research fellow of the Helsinki Telephone Corporation, who says: "Pervasive wireless communication will bring us back to behaviour patterns that were natural to us and destroy behaviour patterns that were brought about by the limitations of technology."

Trouble is, the behaviour pattern that we're going back to is tribalistic, and that appears to be exactly what's driving the internet right now - from fights organised by schoolkids to far-right troll communities disrupting elections, these things are growing around tribalism - the idea that "our side" is better than "your side". It also seems that there are only two sides any more - one is right of Genghis Khan, the other left of Lenin, and the positions are becoming more entrenched as the rhetoric ramps up.

Yet, that is only one of the many problems the internet has created. Others include:


Does that really need explaining? Yes, there were radicals, pre-internet, but they sure didn't have the means to reach people across the globe. There is no argument to be had on this - the internet has been the biggest treasure trove imaginable for the insane - from Alex Jones to ISIS to 4/8Chan, their reach has increased almost infinitely.


I'm on the fence as to whether it's good or bad, and am open to evidence, but allowing an almost-infinite expansion in the availability or porn without a clue as to what effects it might have seems a dangerous thing to do.

Wasting time

10 hours a day spent playing on a screen isn't achieving much.
I'd like to find some statistics on productivity per hour from 2000 - present, but it's proving difficult, and I need the numbers because, anecdotally, people are spending time on devices at work that has to reduce their profitability.


The internet has allowed exponential growth in conspiracies and pseudoscience. I don't know that the link between the ease of spreading false propaganda and the rise of antivaxers has been proven, but the numbers indicate an awfully strong link:


While companies like Amazon & Google have risen on the back of the internet, and it enables efficiencies in accounting and other areas, I'm not convinced that overall, companies are more profitable as a result of the internet. The cost of security measures alone is more than most companies generate in additional profit from having internet-based commerce.

In education, the situation contains too many variables to say for sure that the cost outweighs the benefits, but a good example is my boy's primary school of 700 kids. They have two full-time IT workers, and I have yet to see any benefit from the school's connectivity. It doesn't seem to speed up or improve homework, and I don't see any way it saves teachers time, but it does mean they have two fewer teachers because the salaries go to a couple of backroom geeks.


This is the most human face of the harm, destroying lives and life savings - it's estimated that the UK alone is losing £10B a year:

That number is increasing and is already about the same as the UK's estimated illegal drug trade, and about 1% of GDP:
On that basis, we're looking at internet crime being worth around $750B a year, being roughly 1% of world GDP:
That's all money that wouldn't be leaving the system if the internet didn't exist.


I don't even need to add Zuck into this list, because the growth of the internet has given us a large number of people with massive profiles who would otherwise never have been heard of:

Peter Thiel
Elon Musk
Martin Shkreli
John McAfee, to name a few.

Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.

With his pioneering work on comsats, Arthur C. Clarke hoped the technology would produce a 'global village'. Leave it to humans to fuck shit up.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
(08-07-2018, 02:09 PM)sparks Wrote:  Nailed.

With his pioneering work on comsats, Arthur C. Clarke hoped the technology would produce a 'global village'.  Leave it to humans to fuck shit up.

The only thing he got wrong is that it's produced global villages, and just the two of them. Everything other than right/left is redundant.

You'd expect the exact opposite, unless you knew a bit about humans.

In the early days, I think it did work like that - forums were big and gathered thousands of like minds. From knitting groups to amateur sleuths to amateur scientists to astrologers, people flocked to each other and it was great.

Then the inevitable power hierarchy starts and it all falls apart.

People crave power. I threw it away. Pity - my other persona of "stinking rich, self-entitled, capitalist pig Alan" would be right at home now.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
Well done, TA. Very thorough.

Vaguely related, as per societal collapse phenomena, is am old experiment generally called "mouse utopia".

The results of these experiments are full of surprises; well worth a look, imho.

I tried a version of it in the early 60's in the basement of our house with a hamster utopia.
My father went along with it and helped build the structures.
It too ended in very anti-social behavior and the ultimate collapse of the population.
Great link stank, thank you.

The implications are, of course, horrific. But a close look around reveals that we are indeed headed down the 'rat hole'.

Wow. Imagine a generation of children born who are so bloody out of it that they can't have any kids (any that survive) themselves. And that'd be the end of it. One more thing to note and I think it will only exacerbate the problem: With the rats and mice, food and water were supplied by us. In our little human experiment, food and water are provided by the rats (us) in the cage and I think that will make the thing collapse that much faster.

What's the answer? Smaller communities spread out over the land masses available, to hell with big cities with the crowding and dysfunction that brings, population control and perhaps even reduction the world over.

And if we want to keep our technology, there'd have to be some major changes in how we go about that as well. Probably better to just shut most of it off as unnecessary.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
Glad you dug it, sparky.

Toward the end of that link, there is a bit on people not behaving like rats or mice, so as much as we've studied big cities.

In the old experiments with the mice and rats, the reproductive urges and pecking orders were instrumental on how things panned out. I found that part really interesting.
Homosexuality, for instance.
With the mice and rats, it's a nearly predictable side bar in the social disturbance...which might sound like a homophobic assessment.
Not from me.

The more disturbing and predictable feature of these experiments with rodent utopias, is in the realm of child rearing...and eventually, cannibalism...which is what i found in my hamster version of this experiment.

But people aren't rats.
But we are mammals.

There are so many features of these experiments that would surprise most people.
It's not like they simply reproduce like crazy until the ecosystem collapses...

Sometimes, they just quit fucking.
Or tending to the babies.
Long before the ultimate carrying capacity of the utopian eco-system reaches maximum.

It's very abstract stuff. The lesson with the rodents is that the social structures are more significant than the ample food and water.

Anyway, we humans are, in a sense, doing an experiment on ourselves.
We're the rats.
And maybe there are rat masters.

Who knows?

Somewhat similar experiments have been done with primate populations.
And they have similarly unpredictable outcomes.

I could link to some of that stuff...but I don't want to trash TA's excellent thread.

(Complete with its fabulous irony.)

Minus the internet, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Still, mary and I tell each other, frequently, that we need to get away from these insidious devices.
We see how they are wrecking our lives.

(And we don't even have smart phones. We don't do facebook. And still, our lives have been devastated by this new technology.)
I was pondering the mouse utopia experiments, and this thought came to me:

The missing ingredient in those mouse habitats were the predators.
Rats and mice evolved with near constant predation.
Remove them from the equation, and mommy mice inexplicably stop caring for their young.
It's possible that these rodents need the constant threat of predators to successfully arrange their sustainable social structures.

Removing that duress may be the king-pin of why these rodent populations turned to a non Malthusian way.
Maybe the same is true for humans.
In general, we've eliminated all the predators that once preyed on us.
Maybe we need them?
Maybe we've invented an artificial version of the saber-toothed cat to keep us on our toes?
Maybe human society has invented the human predator that preys on humans.

Maybe we depend on these predators in ways we can't fathom.
Perhaps our predators are unseen by the naked eye.

Just watched a program that explained the effects of the Spanish flu during WW I.
"when you think you've lost everything... you find out you can always lose a little bit more." - President Bush

Twilight Zone: Now that shit just never gets old. Smile
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
(08-08-2018, 06:35 PM)grayman Wrote:  Perhaps our predators are unseen by the naked eye.

Just watched a program that explained the effects of the Spanish flu during WW I.

Yeah, I was thinking about that as I wrote the above...
But as far as the bio-emotional load of our programming over time, we mostly haven't been aware of the invisible stuff.
We've only been aware of that stuff for a few hundred years, if that.

Still, now that we are aware of it, perhaps it should qualify as our fear factor and predator.

In fact,
I just noticed a weird rash on my thigh.
And I suddenly want to nurture something.

In the movies, disasters of all sorts bring out the best in people.
And the stars end up having sex after the death of Godzilla or whomever.
Even though they were at odds with each other at the start of the movie.

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