What is currently going wrong?

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What do we Know about what is Broken right now?

  • We have a lot of case studies in communication breakdowns.
  • Salon documented the outrage of the day for 2014
  • People are trying to apply social scripts which work afk (<10 people, single channel, conversation can't branch, synchronous, emphemeral) to a platform where everyone can speak at one, everyone sees a unique view (unique and incomplete)
  • Extreme lack of definition -- previous contexts etc don't inform new interaction
  • Derailing as an issue in afk communication as it's a scarcity mindset -- only single channel afk. You can multi-thread in online space. Unless you have the social norm of paying attention to people.
  • Lack of conscious use/application of social norms online
  • Difficult to see how many people can see how many are participating in the conversation. At best, an approximation thru thread count.
  • Ephemerality as a concern of mapping etc.
  • There will be predators and abusers using any social network. Good and bad actors sharing the same spaces.
  • There will be people who, in good faith, have committed social transgressions. Protect against one and indoctronate the other?
  • No corrective measures
  • People expect leeway in what they've said and done. Recalling to actual past statements and actions is taken as an act of hostility.
  • Desire but resistance to protective measures.
  • Stranger Danger isn't a real thing. Been re-introduced and re-normalized. Fear as a mechanism of control.
  • Outrage is exploited for commercial gain by people who sell things that piss off some sector of society - new forms of collectively destructive exploitation
  • Political space is becoming more polarized.
  • Scaled exploitation for personal gain.
  • Demand for punishment is out of proportion with any given misstep. (Again scale - disproportionate response. "Calling out" as an extraordinarily blunt instrument online. Call-outs as a weapon ["call in" is a private call-out].)
  • Sociopath-empath-apath triad: http://www.sott.net/article/268449-Empathic-people-are-natural-targets-for-sociopaths-protect-yourself (headline is clickbait, gets a bit victim-blamey toward the end, but good description of the phenomenon)
  • Consensus arrived at in the absence of communication about it: Schelling Point
  • The firehose/tsunami effect - people overwhelmed with all the noise - "weaponization of noise"??? - confirmation bias and pareidolia are especially dangerous when your data set is so large that you can find patterns anywhere you look
  • Fallacy/the law of the excluded middle / false dichotomy (law of the excluded middle is an axiom in classical logic; constructivist logic omits it)


  • Internet amnesia is terrifying (Kony 2012)
  • Attempting to apply the wrong map to the territory isn't going to end successfully
  • Collective memory is fucking weird
  • Learned helplessness is a condition to combat.
  • Scared to step out of line
  • Frustration with people viciously agreeing with each other.
  • Feels like trolling and harassment are becoming normalized
  • Despair. Does anyone else even see how much waste heat people are generating, good intentions or no?
  • Scaling of punishment derails actual purpose.
  • People should be able to see themselves in context - their disapproval is ok as the one, but in a group it's not so much
  • Abuse of power (many different kinds of power)
  • Isolation
  • Lack of continuity - changing disasters every day leads to less real engagement
  • No second chances, lack of acknowledgment that people change/learn


  • We could channel attention to better ends.
  • Can we design systems to combat the charasmatic and intelligent people. or just attenuate their domination, make room for the introverted or not so bright - an equalizing tool?
  • Calling out has become performative rather than remedial[/instrumental]
  • Fail faster, fail better http://pyvideo.org/video/1563/fail-faster-fail-better
  • As a general rule, attempting to use AFK protocols (norms and scripts) online is doomed to failure
  • More acceptable online and off to dodge a question than to straight up refuse to answer it

Funny hahas


  • Not answering should be an option.
  • Figure out what goes with consent or non-consent (what features, what level of privacy, etc.)
  • See: Projects category page