7 min read · Jun 2nd · Three-dimensional human beings can’t thrive in a one-dimensional space
There’s a line that Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian used to repeat back in the halcyon days of 2012. It went something like: ‘The world isn’t flat — but the world wide web is.’
The internet facilitates these powerful, complex parasocial relationships but, at the same time flattens everything that makes the messy, human elements of relationships possible. It flattens audiences, it flattens time and it flattens a lot of nuance.
It’s called context collapse, which is when a piece of information intended for one audience finds its way to another — usually an uncharitable one — which then reads said information in the worst possible faith. (For that piece, I spoke to Elle Hunt, a journalist whose movie opinion tweet exploded into a culture war argument as result of this audience switching.)
6 min read · Aug 31st · A conspiracy theory spreading online says the whole internet is now fake. It’s ridiculous, but possibly not that ridiculous?
Dead-internet theory suggests that the internet has been almost entirely taken over by artificial intelligence.
Dead-internet theory. It’s terrifying, but I love it.
Thankfully, if all of this starts to bother you, you don’t have to rely on a wacky conspiracy theory for mental comfort. You can just look for evidence of life: The best proof I have that the internet isn’t dead is that I wandered onto some weird website and found an absurd rant about how the internet is so, so dead.