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FirebrandRoaring  ·  473 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Something is Wrong on the Internet

Is it, though? I feel like calling Alphabet the main or the sole perpetrator would be like calling Al Qaeda the only terrorist group or the US -- the only democracy.

I'm not denying Alphabet using the rules already established, but I think the problem is not with people using the system, but with the system itself being what it is. YouTube -- for this particular example -- uses its vast analytical capacity to rabbit-hole people into a journey they didn't "know" they wanted to go on. It's its usage of the primal instincts ("I want more of what I already like") to drive its business model that makes the whole idea malignant. Can you blame them for wanting to do what they believe to be good service. Unlikely. Can you blame them for mangling the definition of what a good service is? I'd say you must.

Abusing others' instincts for your profit is so animalistic, in itself. It is as if a predator has discovered the idea of traps and is now using it to get rid of its social hierarchy competition by luring them into a place of no return. Capitalist business model is driven by greed, another primal instinct ("I want power"), on a scale one could never even begin to grasp -- such is our human limits to empathy. If you could only imagine, for a moment, the grief and the misfortune you're causing to others through your services, I'm sure you'd think really hard about any possible reason for staying in the loop any longer.

But the animal part of us is not going away any time soon. The delvings into the horrible parts of the human condition makes one sure of that -- a feeling we insulate ourselves from in the daily life, because the misery would drive us crazy. It's not bad: it's just how things are with us, animals as we are. But we -- the collective humanity -- have built a civilization not doing the same thing: we've built it on doing better. That insulation we provide ourselves in also serves as a guide: it tells us that the primal is not normal, and that there are advanced ways to do things -- ways coming from centuries of research, experience and fighting for what one thinks is right.

My feeling is: the goal here is not to stand up to the bully and to the abuser. The goal may be to stand above them, by keeping one's conduct a level better. What that might mean in practical terms is yet beyond me, but doing better by example seems to me like a good way to do things. It's like Marianne Williamson said: "[A]s we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same". Doing better breeds doing better.