"When you take a step back and look at the playing field of an algorithm-controlled society and how it influences people, the view is absurd. It’s not inclusive, it’s not equitable and it’s not in any way attentive to human wellbeing." - @axbom

@imgn curious, I just read the article :) I still have LinkedIn and YouTube. I don't have many issues with the latter, I'm using it as a TV, don't follow any suggestions. I'm very irritated by the former though. Keep thinking about getting rid of it. @axbom

@m2m @axbom I keep a LinkedIn account so professionals can find me, but I never open it unless I get a message. And when I do, I avoid the home feed which is mostly just self-promotion anyway.

I left Twitter and the other social media networks a while ago and don't miss them at all. As for YouTube, I can't quit it. But I only browse with an ad-blocker and sometimes logged out, so it doesn't create a problem for me either.

@imgn My workflow with YT is basically I subscribe via RSS. In fact, the channels I 100% like are downloaded automatically via cron + yt-dlp and the rest are checked manually on the RSS reader and played via mpv. I guess the minute Google ditches public RSS feeds I’m fucked... @m2m @axbom

@tagomago this is interesting. I tried to follow via RSS multiple times but there's always something off-putting. yt-dlp is my go-to tool as well, as soon as I find something I find interesting. About Google ditching public feeds, I have to say I'm honestly surprised they're still there... @imgn @axbom

@m2m Yeah, we should talk quietly about that, maybe they just don't remember they're still on... 😁 @imgn @axbom

@tagomago @m2m I have seriously been considering using RSS for YouTube too. Especially now that @thunderbird is getting really interesting again!

Isn't it funny how as the corporate web moves forward, we move ever more back to the future ;) @axbom

@imgn you have just described my setup. I left Twitter, Facebook and everything else almost 2 years ago, never ever missed any of that. I approach LinkedIn in the same way, and also when I get message, 80% are recruiters who never bother to read my profile. Same for YouTube, I have my music video in there and a lot of useful accounts I subscribe to. I never see ads, never click on any suggestion. I use Vanced on Android, so same situation. @axbom

@imgn thank you for sharing, the article reminded me to finish a book I was reading on just such a topic!


@imgn it's called Stolen Focus by Johan Hari. He's written a few books previously most famously Chasing the Scream.

Stolen Focus talks about what how online media has been designed and refined to remove ones ability to concentrate. Also talks, broader picture, about various aspects of consequences of diminished focus, flow and sleep.

I got to the bit that started talking about what an individual could do, the limits of their actions and what larger changes are required

@stevenson I recall at the time the massive furore of the people claiming that he'd stated people should give up their meds, I read the book and noted he didn't claim that and stated that people should stay on them, especially if they work for them BUT a change in lifestyle etc could be as effective.

I got something different out of that book, Lost Connections, than I think commentariat did. I'm certain a lot of people who commented hadn't read the book with any attention =/


@stevenson if I can add for this book, I think I have taken something different from Stolen Focus than the reviewer there has.

I don't think he's presenting it as a revelation. Nor does he quietly admit to there being no long-term studies.

I read it as a book that was quite frank about where the research is (not as far as it needs to be) and that there're multiple main views on the research taking place.


@stevenson final bit:
I read these pieces as reviewers taking these books as something they aren't and attributing bits from the cover to the author, when they'd be given by the publishing house.

I'm not claiming he a saint, just that I read them with that in mind and what I get from them is a pop-sci book written from a personal perspective using conversation with others. I haven't read them as novel-sized Science Journals.

His writing has helped me twice and this a third time.


@athairbirb @stevenson In any case, thanks for bringing this controversy to my attention. I understand the need to popularize an important issue, but the lack of research gives me pause. However, it could be a gateway to better books on the topic if it helps people.

@imgn @axbom I feel like we need to fight fire with fire, here. Figuratively going off the grid and living on well water makes you terribly vulnerable to disasters perpetuated by everyone else and their broken system. We need open source algorithms designed from the ground up to restore community and bring people together, to help us suss out when we're victim to a malicious algorithm made by a few nasty elites.

@imgn @axbom It's funny, when there are systemic problems, some people think we just need to eliminate all the bad people, and I think we just need to eliminate all the bad systems. So am I as deluded and naive as they are? When I say we need to replace our systems with better ones, it's similar thinking to people who say we need to replace our leaders with better ones. Is a working system as much of a myth as a benevolent philosopher-king?

@cy It's difficult to separate the systems from the operators. So perhaps they both need to be replaced/improved.

@imgn Without a working system, I can't even replace a flat tire. I'm just all by myself out here in the PNW...

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The original server operated by the Mastodon gGmbH non-profit