Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.
Ed Phillips on Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:00:37 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.


I find myself heartened to see your thoughts in my inbox, and that has
been the case for me for many years. But perhaps that is because I
"friended" you on nettime many years ago. And because I have developed
a respect for your capacities and your efforts, I actually do bother
to try to make sense of what your write and I try to get at the more
elusive truth of what you think and the still more elusive truth of
"what is actually going on" through the lens of what you think.

I'm not on Facebook in any real or active form, so I can't tell you my
impression. Perhaps Keith or Ted, those who do use it, can.

I can say that I see something in your second paragraph that gives
me pause. I want to take issue with how that paragraph turns on
"turning". Simply, does social media (i.e. Facebook) turn people into
avid self-promoters and greedy quantitative collectors of friends?
Does it reduce people to only glad handing and appearance management?
Or does it draw out and consolidate what many people want from both
the social and from media?

I could have fallen asleep at my Unix terminal fifteen years ago and
not have missed a whit if Facebook has merely turned the naive into
self promoters and image managers.

Even more detrimental than a society of self promoters and most
pernicious to my mind is the sense that anyone is determined by these
media. It is us who fail the media, or we get the media we deserve. Or
maybe we get the "experience" of media that we deserve.

One way to constructively look at actually existing social media is
as a petri dish for the "consolidation of error" as old William Blake
used the phrase. It is that much easier for us to talk about the way
a primitive group devolves into friend collecting and spam wars, and
it looks even more comic and silly now than such trends looked on
Usenet. And as they try to quantify and monetize, to give a price tag
to social capital, they consolidate error ever more distinctly and
more farcically.

But today's social media is also many people's first homesteading in
the noosphere and such conversations and uses as they are capable of
are available to them. I imagine that new capacities for conversation
are being born in individuals every day. And I also imagine that a
gorging on the use of media for self aggrandizement and narcissistic
satisfaction might even be salutary for those who grow weary of it.

On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:05:16PM +0100, Felix Stalder wrote:

> I must admit, I'm thinking about joining Facebook. It's such a
> giant social experiment. The main direction seems to be to totally
> obliterate the difference between advertisement and virtually all
> other forms of speech.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org