Thursday, 2 January 2014

A refined form of evil: You Tube commenting and the Mass Media

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I seldom look at You Tube comments because I usually browse in Safety Mode - but the other day I did; and it struck me that most of them seemed to be revelatory of a very refined form of evil.

The You Tube comments were the product of people who were themselves deliberately wasting time; and the deliberate motivation of the comments was to waste the time of others.

This combination is extremely wicked, and its near-ubiquity on the internet is a damning indictment of something or other...

Yet, of course, You Tube is only one branch of the Mass media; and deliberately wasting time/ wasting the time of others is precisely what 99% of the Mass Media is doing 24/7.

What a world! - a world of time-wasting wasters!

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8 comments:

  1. asdf has left a new comment: "
    Whenever someone tries to tell me that times a better because of the internet I remind them that 95% of the internet is just a means for idiots to talk to other idiots faster about idiotic [stuff]...and porn.

    I like google maps and Wikipedia and all that, but its hard to look at the whole social media nonsense and not see a big waste of time."

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  2. @asdf - Yes, and there comes a point at which strategic time-wasting becomes a malicious act of combined soul-suicide plus murder of the human spirit.

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  3. I think part of the effect is to increase distraction. Modern society concludes meaningless existence, so the only point to existence is to entertain yourself until you stop existing. So now, with enough distractions, we don't even have to think about how dark the abyss is (and why we might not what to accept the official description of existence).

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  4. What a world! - a world of time-wasting wasters!

    Yes! As New Year's Resolution, I have codified the practice I have already been following over the past few months or so, which is not to spend any more than about 15 minutes online per day, with only two blogs that I allow myself to read anymore with any regularity.

    This practice has been a fantastic success. I *feel* so much better! Do you know what I did this week with some of the time that I formerly might have spent wasting on the internet? I read about birds and wildflowers, went snowshoeing, read some actual (i.e., non-blog) history, and felt wonderfully alive. I remarked to my wife earlier that with all of the interesting things there are to do, it's amazing that anyone is tricked into wasting any amount of time in front of a screen at all.

    Whenever someone tries to tell me that times a better because of the internet I remind them that 95% of the internet is just a means for idiots to talk to other idiots faster about idiotic [stuff]...and porn.

    Yes. Wikipedia offers a striking example: literally almost anything you could want to know, at your fingertips, and certainly most of us are probably familiar with the "wikipedia wormhole" experience, where you click one link, and then another and another - but 95% of people? They have all this fascinating knowledge available, and never take advantage of any of it.

    I personally am flabbergasted, struck dumb, when I read commenters on some of my favourite websites talking about the "Facebook debates" that they've recently gotten into. What a WASTE of time.

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  5. I completely agree with all of the above. I have recently moved into a new house and there is no TV or internet yet (except when visiting family to send blog posts). Every evening is spent reading, cooking, praying/meditating, playing guitar, and entertaining guests to talk about what is important in our lives/play board games like scrabble or trivial pursuits. It feels wonderful. I think I may leave it that way and post a letter to the t.v licence police that I will be opting out from now on. When I was a boy, and even today, whenever there is a power cut I get a little bit excited. It removed the mind-numbing'distractions' and my family would end up spending 'quality time' together instead of being a pack of tele tubbies. I wonder if anyone else has felt like this? Unfortunately, the problem with adopting this kind of 'lifestyle' (although i know that word is taboo on this blog) is that it marginalises you significantly, and potentially leads to isolation\loneliness by swimming against the cultural current; and the rest of the world really wants to drag you kicking and screaming back into their Facebook and T.V soap drama\ reality T.V worlds, or else they forget you exist at all because you haven't posted an update to let them know what kind of cereal you had this morning or a 'picture' of yourself at a party/pub to prove to everybody what a wonderful time you are having living a westerners dream life. I was at a friends birthday party recently and the table was surrounded by a group of 20/30 somethings, most of whom were not socialising because they were too busy posting on Facebook or twitter (on their phones) to let everyone know they were at the restaurant for said friends party and 'tagging' who else was there. It felt pretty sad to observe. I wanted to confiscate everyone's phones and bin them. Possibly with a few well placed slaps to remind them to return to the here-and-now of life. Alas, I don't think I will be invited to next years meal.

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  6. @David:

    When I was a boy, and even today, whenever there is a power cut I get a little bit excited.

    Oh yes! Although there was the time we lost power for several days in February... no fun in Canadian winter...

    Unfortunately, the problem with adopting this kind of 'lifestyle' (although i know that word is taboo on this blog) is that it marginalises you significantly

    WEEEELLLL... I want to disagree with you. Or rather, I mean, I don't know what kind of life you are living, or want, but here's my little two-cents on Facebook, etc.: I don't use it. I don't even have an account. And my life is NO WORSE off for it in any way that I find apparent or important.

    Every so often I have the strange experience where people will be discussing something that "happened" on Facebook, and it makes me realize, hey, oh yeah, there is this whole world online, where people are "interacting", going on all around me, and I have no part of it - sort of the way you would feel if you were deaf or blind and people were talking about what they "saw" or "heard", I suppose. But my lack of participation in this seemingly ubiquitous, all-important world makes no (negative) difference at all to me so far as I can see. I highly recommend getting out.

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  7. @Samson J - This sounds like good solid advice. Perhaps a New Year's resolution in the making. Alas, I understand that the 'evil axis' that is Facebook still retains all of your photos and info so that all you have to do is log on to a deactivated account to rejoin the bovine masses and your old account pops back into cyberspace. I may be wrong about this but seem to remember hearing about somewhere, possibly on Facebook, ironically. Still I'm sure I can make it happen if I put my mind to it.

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  8. @David-
    You can in principle remove everything you have put on Facebook by selecting the *Delete Account* option, rather than simply Deactivating your account. But even this is only a stopgap, since you can always rejoin Facebook under a new variation of your name.

    For myself, though I think significant 'Net reduction time would do most people good, I can't be as down on it as many here: without the 'Net I wouldn't have learned half the things that profoundly shifted my understanding of the world and solidified my gradual rightwards/ conservative drift, as well as helping me keep my faith.

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