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The realization: the perfect audience for any advertising company is a person who’s impulsive, angry, frightened and tired. The cyclic relationships between what you see and how you feel and react means that any machine learning effort aimed at improving business outcomes for an advertising company will unavoidably optimize itself towards creating an audience that’s impulsive, angry, frightened and tired. The incentives don’t permit any other outcome, whatever the people working there say.

Another way to say this is: no matter what you do, no matter how you use it, no matter what value you derive from it, this is an abusive relationship and this tool will try to turn you into somebody you don't want to be.

@mhoye thanks. I'm really glad you put into words something very precise that I've been rolling around in my head too.

@mhoye I can identify with the part about playing around in the fediverse, getting 8 hours of sleep, and having "a sense of being on the verge of different." I sometimes think of Mastodon as my nicotine patch for social media; it helped me cut my Twitter addiction and find time to do other things.

@nolan at first I was referring to Mastodon as “Twitter Methadone”, and at first it sort of was. I have a sense that I’m starting to outgrow that, though.

@mhoye why is it good to be angry? Do angry people buy more stuff? Frightened?

Genuine question.

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