Sameness and Flatness

I came across this article on Friday that spoke of flatness being an overriding value of Silicon Valley.

Because this cohort insists on sameness and purity, they have turned the once-independent parts of the American cultural complex into a mutually validating pipeline for conformists with approved viewpoints—who then credential, promote and marry each other. 

If the introduction sounds like quackery to you, I think it is, but this is one of the better written examples I’ve read about the complaints of the deplorables. Wretchard the Cat has more today.

Today, as Rana Dasgupta argues in Harper’s, the Western middle class including those with gender studies and critical theory degrees — especially them — are the new unemployables, made redundant by cheap Chinese and robotic labor. The only way to make the destitute Woke feel good about themselves is to let them look down on the Deplorables.

One reason I’m reducing my presence on Facebook is that it promotes a weak thinking and discourages real discussion. The correct cultural understanding of social media is that it is a dinner table: meaning politics is not something to be discussed. It’s always kind of been boorish behavior in ideological mixed company to assume everyone else wants to hear the (usually) dumb shit going through your head. But there it all is on Twitter and Facebook. I quit Twitter years ago and did not miss it. Twitter is a toxic witches brew, and the sooner we purge it from the earth the better off humanity will be. I felt it was turning me into an awful, shallow person.

I am soon to largely quit Facebook (except for pages I manage, including this one). The only thing that’s kept me on there is that it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and distant old friends. But not really. My experience on Facebook is that people on the left will spew their politics to you on a regular basis, as if no one should disagree, then berate you if you dare to argue. I’ve even had family do this!

No one wants to think about anything. Everything is simple, black and white, one-dimensional sameness. People on the right have been quiet for a while if they were thoughtful. It’s largely the clueless boomers on the right that keep sharing shitty memes all day and spewing vapid political nonsense. The primary difference between the left and right on Facebook is on the left, it’s the educated who are spewing vapid political nonsense.

If we’re to come to a new political consensus, it will take serious discussion and honestly. But Facebook is no place to have that conversation. But neither will moving to platforms like Gab and Parler going to help either.

8 thoughts on “Sameness and Flatness”

  1. The primary thing I’ve noticed about FB is that for some reason I can’t grasp, people become committed to using it exclusively for their communications.

    There are people I used to carry on long and thoughtful email correspondences with, who disappeared completely once FB came along. I had an FB account for about a year, “just didn’t get it”, and took it down.

    Nothing changed on my end; I could always be reached at the same email address. Just the FB aficionados disappeared, while I would sometimes hear backchannel that they wondered what had become of me.

    My one critical comment about your post is my usual; if you are accusing one faction of being more guilty of certain weaknesses than the other, that’s a symptom that you are being deluded by common tactics yourself. But we are all guilty of that, to some extent.

    I have been known to oversimplify that to, “There Ain’t No Good Guys.” ;-)

  2. Deactivating my FB account 7 years ago was one of the best things I’ve done for myself. Like you, my wife stays on it just to manage a group page. The curious thing is that most of the people who subscribe to the group page are also of like mind regarding social media toxicity. It’s only a matter of time until the socials take a larger financial hit. Add to that the fact that wings of the Ds and Rs want to see them take a hit and social media problem may fix itself.

    The first electronic social correspondence I had access to was email/AOL mail and internet relay chat (IRC) which hasn’t gone away, by the way. IRC comprises a large chunk of what they call the “dark web”. I suspect more communication will move to there. As long as you can install Linux or BSD variants, you can freely compile an IRCD build of your very own and run it on the server in your basement, much like this blog.

  3. Nope. The Social Media djinn is out of the bottle and can’t be put back in. Pretending otherwise is specious, at best.

  4. I still keep my facebook for seeing friends event updates. I avoid friends who spew political BS.

    I don’t really post all that often (mostly because I am not free to speak as I’ll get fired).. Same with my personal twitter. It’s all life events and sporting commentary. I have no intention of getting rid of it.

    But I do maintain an active Twitter presence for my anonymous political user. I’m on Parler and Gab as well to maintain freedom.

    1. “I’m on Parler and Gab as well to maintain freedom.”

      Freedom. Is that what they call it now?

      Remember that in Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, Big Brother ran everything, including the resistance, aka “The Brotherhood.”

  5. I’m done with Facebook. It’s been building for a long time, but in the last several months it’s just pissed me off. A few days ago I realized I wasn’t able to comment on anything in groups, I just kept getting an error (just like a failure to post kind of thing), yet I was able to comment on friend’s posts in their timeline, or post in my own.

    Earlier today I attempted to post something in a group and I was met with this:
    So finally now an explanation as to why I couldn’t comment. I didn’t get put in “Facebook Jail” or post anything or do anything that got flagged for a terms of service violation, but I guess because I’ve been identified by FB as being conservative, I’m being censored until after the inauguration. 🤷‍♂️

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