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I write StayGrounded.online a newsletter about establishing healthy boundaries with the digital world.

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JustinHanagan OP ,
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First of all, thank you for the fantastic feedback.

We live in a society that commodifies everything, and as human-made content becomes rarer, more people like Veritsaium will be presented with more and increasingly lucrative opportunities to sell bits and pieces of their authenticity for manufactured content (be it by AI or a marketing team), while new people that could be like Veritsaium will be drowned out by the heaps of bullshit clogging up the web.

This is exactly the point I was trying to make in the last section, except I used MrBeast as an example because I felt like it was easier for readers to accept his propensity for cutting corners to make a buck. But yes, I agree, things will get worse. Before it was common knowledge that cigarettes caused cancer, a whole lot of people had to get cancer.

I also think it's important to remember that people don't actually follow Veritasium directly. They follow him indirectly by means of YouTube. If people could actually follow him directly he wouldn't need to worry about competing with AI crap for the attention of YouTube's algorithm. But of course, YouTube would never allow that.

JustinHanagan OP ,
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Very good point! He'll be in a reasonably good place when YouTube goes to shit.

"The Airbnb-ification of the arts." How social media algorithms are gently nudging the art world towards sterility, comfort, and predictability ( www.staygrounded.online )

This is an essay I wrote in 2022, inspired by Kyle Chaka's 2016 viral essay, "Welcome to Airspace". After seeing an excerpt from Kyle's new book on the front of /c/Technology, I thought y'all might be interested in reading this piece of mine, which is less about the design of physical spaces, and more about The Algorithm™'s...

JustinHanagan ,
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My first reaction was that this excerpt reminds me of a piece I wrote two years ago called "The Airbnb-ification of the arts", about how artists looking to make a career out of art are forced to cater to an algorithm that favors comfortable predictability over depth or uniqueness. My essay was heavily inspired by Kyle Chayka's famous 2016 essay "Welcome to Airspace".

Jokes on me for not reading the byline because it turns out Kyle wrote the book this excerpt is from! lol good for him. Looking forward to reading it.

I'm curious to know if he has a presence on Mastodon or any other Social Web apps, he's a really great writer I'd like to follow.

JustinHanagan ,
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The feedback loop is the most disturbing part, IMO. You have an algorithm deciding what gets popular, which means creatives hoping to be financially sustainable have to cater to it to some degree, which reinforces the algorithm and removes a little bit of uniqueness from society.

Creative people have always had to consider"what sells" to some degree if they want to make money from their effort, but we've gone beyond artists making "art with some degrees of marketability" into making products called "art" with little of the emotional/intellectual "challenge' that comes with unique works.

JustinHanagan ,
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Exactly! I actually talked back and forth with him a bit and eventually said that "complaining about a missing FOSS feature is like complaining to the volunteer ladeler at a soup kitchen about the lack of a gluten-free option. It's just not the path to getting the change you want."

In the end he seemed to get what I was saying, but was still irritated. I've been really learning lately how hard it is for some people not to see themselves as customers in FOSS land.

"A Billion Nazis at the Table" - The Fediverse model proves contextual moderation by real humans is both easy and affordable. The presence of Nazis on corporate social media implies at least a tacit acceptance. ( www.staygrounded.online )

"If you’ve ever hosted a potluck and none of the guests were spouting antisemitic and/or authoritarian talking points, congratulations! You’ve achieved what some of the most valuable companies in the world claim is impossible."

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