Listening to audiobook of yet another academic bestseller warning of the apocalypse caused by the internet, esp. “cybertrolls.” I feel like warnings to Victorian women abt “licentiousness” & “bad men” in the city were more specific. Seriously what internet are they talking about
How is this science? There are upsetting provocateurs in some precincts of computer networks and thus our brains are broken and the world is over — I get trolled a lot & I probably encounter one troll/week
Blowing past random subway small talk like “we are all in filter bubbles” or “echo chambers” without evidence of then then some false precision about the rise in “anxiety” based on lab studies in the social sciences and voila tons of funding
American Trotskyites of the 20thc were far more persuasive in envisioning a world outside market capitalism than these extremely famous academics are at seeing a world outside digitization
And if digitization represents as absolute a paradigm shift as they argue it does, then its consequences for the psyche would seem to be incalculable - and certainly much more than the presence of bad actors who in digital form are pretty analogous to bad actors in analog times
It’s as if Marx had written that the problem with capitalism was street pickpockets or exclusive social clubs — hmmm maybe
One thing exposure to social media may have done to older brains without immunity is fill them with cute neologisms like “trolls” which they then use to name to their unease & incompetence & grief & fear — and sell it to reader as a keen observation

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