What the Silicon Valley idealists got wrong – The internet and social media were supposed to democratise knowledge and unite the world. Things didn’t quite turn out that way.

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It’s like the history of print. Valuable information exists if you possess the ability to recognize it. Too many cannot.


I think this article glosses over a third important point, the divisions we see so clearly now in a world of personal broadcasting where always there, they were just never as visible. Social media gave visibility to humanity’s worst traits.


The biggest problem in the world is that a human will put their immediate needs before the greater good. Why use the internet for good when I can post bullshit misinformation and make a quick profit? Why would I save the Amazon when I can clearcut it for my cattle and improve my own life? Why would a middle management Facebook employee choose to whistleblow the fucked up work they’re doing when he can boost his numbers and maybe get promoted? We think we want to change the world until the choice is directly in front of us and we choose ourselves instead.


This title is a mess. The internet 100% democratized knowledge. However, it also has caused divisions.


Remember when if you wanted a general digest of some historical event or place or physical process or something you would go to the library where they kept a shelf of books explicitly for that. It was called an encyclopedia. There was a map room there too, because maps of terrain and roads were precious secrets. There was a shelf of “phone books”, where people would pay to be doxxed, and pay even more to not be doxxed. And you could get through your day without finding out the details of Aunt Bertha’s abcess draining procedure. Those were the days.