2020 election cycle thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AgelessDrifter, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Sanaleb

    Sanaleb TZT Addict

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    The US constitution is basically just the honor system which is obviously a dogshit system. We also decided to require 2/3rds vote to overhaul the system making changing it impossible. Basically we'll just be a centrist shithole until the planet becomes uninhabitable from half of society thinking climate change is a liberal hoax.
     
  2. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    What do you mean it’s the “honor system”? Like it’s trusting individuals to not be morons?
     
  3. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    It's fair to ask someone to justify their position instead of just making blanket statements. I think it will be decades before we can definitively evaluate the impact of social media.

    "Net negative" for me just means I believe the negative effects of it outweigh the positive. I just wanted to share a bit on why I believe that (regardless of whatever Velox thinks about it).

    I hope I'm wrong, but I think it's headed in the wrong direction. The negative trends seem to be getting worse instead of better - the power/rise of influencers, the increased emphasis on image-crafting an idyllic life (interesting to note that nobody was really doing this in the myspace social media days because that platform encouraged artistic expression via other means), algorithms curating our feeds skewing us to echo chambers & political extremes, fake accounts that exist because it's so poorly regulated, data-mining and advertising being prioritized over everything else, etc.

    I think companies like Facebook do not give a shit how their platform is used. There's no accountability, no reason for them to care beyond identifying new ways to leverage it to make money off you.

    Russia chose this route to disrupt the country and sow divisiveness because it was an obvious vulnerability for us.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  4. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    i didnt read all the posts after this but this shit hit me rly strong in the feels. i was just a kid. i wasnt even a teenager and after 9/11 i couldnt go anywhere w/o angry adults screaming at me and threatening to kill me. following me. i had more than one teacher make me stand up in class 2 let the class know that i approximate what a terrorist looks like. it was everyone everywhere.

    i 100% feel safer in 2021. many of the same people who looked me dead in the eye when i was 11 and told me that everyone like me should be killed are on v anti-trump anti-white nationalist pro-BLM etc etc bs 2day.
     
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  5. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    good thing i played everquest everyday
     
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  6. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    "Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness."

    I think that is a big problem, personally. Facebook taking a hands-off approach to their platform would be bad enough, but to actively contribute to political/racial divisiveness?

    This isn't some lab experiment or closed beta test. We can't have "Oh shit, our algorithms are radicalizing millions of people and directly contributing to the instability of the entire country" like it's just some bug fix highlighted on their internal powerpoint presentations.
     
  7. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    @Sear

    I think the mental health issues associated with social media are a much more easily quantifiable concern and probably something I would try to address sooner rather than later.

    The smart phone is a really big confound, though. The two parallel each other and you have to try to tease out effects of social media specifically from effects that are more due to people being glued to their fucking phone (it can be done and a lot of research attempts to address the issue, we just have to acknowledge it exists).
     
  8. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    If I don’t have my phone with me for more than 30 seconds my entire day is ruined. And the single greatest stress in my life is that I’m constantly checking to see how much battery life I have left.

    What a wonderful time to be alive.
     
  9. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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  10. Sanaleb

    Sanaleb TZT Addict

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    Yeah like what we just saw with 4 years of trump. He committed hundreds of crimes but the system requires the house/senate to follow the rules laid out and hold him accountable. If they decided to collude with the president then nothing happens when people break laws. Trump literally pardones people that went to jail for lying to congress for him and there's no recourse even with a new president.
     
  11. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I would think the opposite. Mental health issues seem complicated (e.g., vary wildly depending on the individual & context) and harder to quantify. The sum of what I've read about it leads me to believe it's more-negative-than-positive, but I won't pretend to know how to solve this problem or whether it's symptomatic of a broader issue with technology.

    An algorithm is a much more straightforward engineering problem (and solution) to me.

    I'd have a lot of questions about that for the company. Like why was this public? Why were there no consequences? Did they even fix it?

    Beyond that, why is Facebook now so focused on algorithmic curation and targeted marketing? Do you, the user, need these things to talk to your friends and family members? Why has so much of the suggested content been political? Why is my social feed mostly marketing and random political groups I've never once expressed interest in? How much of my data is being harvested and sold to third parties to facilitate this shit? And what does any of this have to do with the supposed intent of the platform?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  12. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    btw they are now promising to "reduce political content" on feeds https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/27/tech/facebook-earnings/index.html

    Years after unchecked damage with zero repercussions. The only reason this is happening now is because they're facing lawsuits over it and believe it will be better for the company's bottom line.

    There is no reason an app designed for people to connect with eachother needs any curation or marketing. That's just Facebook's business model. It's a digital microcosm of what we used to joke about unregulated libertarian dystopias being like.
     
  13. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    man, that is some shit re: 9/11 - sorry you had to go through that.

    also, re: social media being a net negative... seems so fucking broad without putting in some qualifiers. you're almost to "is the internet net negative levels of vague"

    like if were talking Facebook (FB/Instagram) and all the heaps of shit they have pulled off + people wanting to fucking kill themselves due to trying to keep up w/IG shit, then yeah it feels more like a net-negative. But is that because of social media in general or because it's a horrible fucking company and Zuckerberg doesn't actually have a soul? I'd say it's the latter.

    Throw in Reddit, or positive movements that have come out of Twitter (even despite Trumps fuckery), Youtube (and the vast amount of information that is readily available now that we take for granted, despite all the fake shit), I think the picture becomes much less clear.
     
  14. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    There's some overlap across all of them but I agree that each platform/company has its own set of problems. Facebook is by far the worst, imo (and the most popular). It's what I think of automatically whenever someone says "social media".

    Twitter is harder to gauge. It has the dubious distinction of serving as the preferred vehicle for Trumpism and Trump-era misinformation. There's some overlap with the same problems Facebook has in regards to effectively policing dangerous/fake content on their platform. Part of the reason I've avoided it personally is because I don't think it would have a positive effect on my life. It seems like every time I click on a Twitter thread it reminds me of Barrens chat or the early days of TZT. There's always more toxicity when semi or full anonymity are offered.

    Instagram is 90% ass cheeks and image-crafting via vacation drone photos. Kind of disconnected from the rest but it's probably worsening body image and narcissism mental disorders.

    Reddit I mostly like. Still has some of the same issues with regulating content.

    Regulating misinformation is a relatively new problem that I have no faith in our boomer politicians to even understand, much less solve. Makes it easy for social media companies to just regurgitate a boilerplate "we support free speech" and let it be somebody else's problem while they rake in ad revenue.

     
  15. TulionKT

    TulionKT Spamaton Will Rise Again

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    Quora is the superior platform.
     
  16. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I've always wondered how much different some of these platforms would be if they had a stricter barrier to entry. When I signed up for Facebook in 2006, you had to use a college/university email address.

    This won't ever happen, but it'd be interesting if Twitter enforced something like what Blizzard attempted with their Real ID (forcing you to verify & use your real-life name).
     
  17. Grandasaur Egg

    Grandasaur Egg Groor.

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    quora is incredibly fucking lame imo and i despise the quora "voice" that tends to rank
     
  18. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    Accusing my claim that "social media currently seems to be a net negative for society" as being "extremist" or "fake news" actually seems more extreme tbh. It literally just means that I think social media is more likely to be net negative than positive. I'm happy to discuss this assessment, but I don't see why we have to hold off discussing this issue or taking action until we have solid empirical evidence.

    This is actually a pet peeve of mine that often crops up in policy discussions. Basic decision theory dictates that we take actions with lowest expected cost based on whatever information we have. This is different from science, where we try to distill information into bits of true knowledge. If we never took action before the science was settled, countries wouldn't have mandated general mask usage until WHO changed their assessment in October, and we might not have done anything about AGW yet because the magnitude of its future costs for humanity aren't certain yet either.

    Some simplified decision rules are even more strict when it comes to risk aversion. The precautionary principle [1] is often applied to environmental policy (like AGW), it states that "The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) is a broad epistemological, philosophical and legal approach to innovations with potential for causing harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. It emphasizes caution, pausing and review before leaping into new innovations that may prove disastrous.[1]". Why does this not apply to the biggest social experiment in history - technology letting any angry shitter address the nation from their basement?

    I know I've been more superlative in the past, and that is perhaps what you are thinking about, but I only called for regulation here. I like to make the comparison to a world without social media, because it was only like 10 years ago it really took off with the general public. The world hasn't gotten noticeably better in those 10 years, has it? Quite the opposite, if you look at the rise of extremist political movements, political in-fighting and western alliances falling apart. The outlook for the west and democracy in general hasn't been this bleak since the cold war. In geopolitical terms, China and Russia have profited greatly from our chaos (and probably helped fuel it).

    There are of course other factors also at work (like a 30 year trend of increasing income inequality), but we have concrete examples of people being radicalized and some really dangerous things coming out of social media. While there might be upsides that add up to something substantial but happened to be canceled out by external negative factors over the last 10 years, the ones we have identified seem much smaller in magnitude than the very concrete risks of society falling apart due to all the misinformation and group-think. That I think the net benefit falls on the negative side and that humanity likely would have been better off than the current unregulated social media is just a measure how large I think those risks are. It doesn't mean I think burning it all down is the best option, but I could live with that too.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
  19. Agrul the White

    Agrul the White TZT Regular

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    i've found a few useful groups (e.g. in Blender) from facebook recommendations (well, not really useful because only incompetent ppl use FB to discuss 3D art or math seriously, but useful in the sense that in principle those are the kinds of groups i'd want to be part of)

    i don't think helping people find groups they would like to self-select into is fundamentally evil. nor is targeted marketing; amazon's suggested books, cooking supplies, even friggin' groceries to me that i would have otherwise forgotten or never thought of and did in fact want
     
  20. Agrul the White

    Agrul the White TZT Regular

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    i think what's more disconcerting than the simple existence of recommendation & targeted advertising systems is the opaque way in which tracker networks develop a profile of you across many sites, and make it non-obvious which of your web traffic is being used to make recommendations to you. that isn't fundamentally evil, either, but it is much less voluntary (being so widespread) and pretty much completely non-transparent