Why Allegro.cc Is Important AKA Social Media Is A Serious Thread To Humanity
bamccaig

Threat* Fuck. ::)

If you haven't yet I implore you to watch the film, "The Social Dilemma".

I've been saying for 13 years that social media was problematic. I just had no idea how bad it had gotten.

They're not just selling our data. They're selling our attention. And they're manipulating us subconsciously. And even the people that created these systems cannot resist them.

AI is controlling humanity TODAY. AI decides what posts appear in your customized social media feed. To the point where they may literally be isolating some of us with one version of "facts" and isolating others of us with a contradictory version of "facts". One of them is obviously a lie, but nevertheless the network pushes it on some of us because it's valuable to some stakeholder.

Could this potentially be behind the insanity in the USA right now? Just how serious is the problem? What the hell effect is this having on the children that grew up with this always around them. None of this is being regulated. Corporations are doing whatever maximizes profit without concern for what impact that has on people. And governments are standing by and watching. And all of us are oblivious that it's even going on.

Allegro.cc is important. The modern Web is not the same for all of us. What information we find is being manipulated. We cannot trust computers to give us facts. We must rely on each other to correct us when we're wrong. We used to do very well by that around 2006. We need to go back tot that. We know that social media is bad for us. Delete Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. All of us. Come back here and communicate with real people without AI manipulating the conversation! :P

RmBeer2

That is, to vociferate all the evils that we find? At least I remember that I kept writing all the garbage I found and how I tried to correct all that.

My purpose in creating my own server was to replace all that, including social media and the internet. I wanted to enable as a replacement the use of a social network, a forum, a file storage, an email, and various other services. What a poor fool i was.
In the end I gave up all of it.

You could say that the fault lies with AI or multinational companies, but the real fault lies with the people. They may even cry for salvation, but the truth is that they do not want it, they only pretend to seek a better quality of life when they only want the worst. :-/

jmasterx

I'm not sure it's a problem for us. I deleted my FB account in 2014, and even then it was seldom used. What I think is a threat to humanity is misinformation. When people don't understand that what they're looking at is inherently extremely biased. Those Got Talent shows are a great example, they're harmless sure but same idea. They don't show you the insane contracts contestants have to sign. They don't show you how the producers ask contestants to do certain things or have in certain ways. They don't show you the pre auditions for the producers. They try to fool the audience into believing a fairy tale. I have no problem with any of this when it's clear to the audience that this is all manufactured for entertainment. But people believe it is genuine and that's wrong. It's not like a rom com where you understand going into it that it is fiction.

Same for auto generated content. There should at the very least be a little disclaimer:

The following recommendations were generated by an AI and may reflect a biased view of events. Use critical judgement and ensure this is not your only source of information.

If they had something like that where I knew that people knew that the news feed was self serving, and made by an AI, then they could use their own judgement.

I have the same problem with music videos with loads of product placements and no disclaimer. Tons of kids watch that and don't understand the real reason they see BEATS headphones in 90% of shots. They just think, oh cool my favorite singer uses BEATS headphones, they must be good, I should get some.

That said, I think it should be illegal to show this kind of targeted autogenerated, biased content to minors under 18. I know COPPA is 13 but it should be 18. Even 18 is pushing it because the brain is still very influenceable and trying to adapt to what it believes is reality ground truth.

Once AI like GPT 3 becomes the norm and we start seeing ARTICLES specifically written FOR THAT USER, and it is indistinguishable from a real article, we're in real trouble.

>:(

bamccaig

It's a problem today. Now. Look at the USA. People are insisting that Trump is still a good leader. Are they mentally retarded? Or is their version of "the Internet" telling them lies?

The reality is that psychologists are involved in designing the feed to convince experienced, adult human beings to consume content repeatedly. And as it turns out the most profitable way for Facebook/Google/etc. to operate is to feed people misinformation. Misinformation gets people motivated to consume and participate. It keeps them glued to the social media. The misinformation or "fake news" is not accidental. It's very much by design.

And it fools even the people working at Facebook or Google that created it. You and I are not as immune as we like to think. We're better off than the average person, but that's irrelevant. When the misinformation is political in nature it affects us anyway. It can have real world consequences. It can effect how people view political candidates, and who they vote for. And they're oblivious to it.

You and I might take the time to Google ideas ourselves to fact check them most of the time, but we already know that 99% of people don't bother to do that ever, let alone most of the time. They just believe it. And run with it. And it affects their behavior. And they aren't aware of it. I'd be lying if I said I never fall prey to misinformation online. It's rare, but there are still instances where something plausible is put in front of me by AI that knows I'm biased towards it and I bite.

We have been regulating television and radio for decades. We don't regulate Internet services. We should. It's not about censorship. It's about preventing abuses of human psychology. Our brains are essentially millions of years old. The hardware has limitations. We're up against supercomputers running AI that even its creators don't fully understand. There's no way we can win.

We need to shut this business model down with regulations, and harsh penalties. Like bankrupt Facebook scale penalties. Like life imprisonment for Facebook shareholders penalties. They know that what they are doing is wrong. They have for a decade or more. Employees of these companies have even tried to raise the issue internally. And the corporation shut down that conversation. They do it knowing that they're exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology. Knowing that human beings are susceptible to the tricks.

I insist that you take this seriously. It is a serious problem. It is affecting us now. It can lead to the downfall of our entire species. There is essentially AI that was designed with one purpose, maximizing profits, that has been trained to manipulate people and it is currently on the loose manipulating billions of people every day. The corporations that control it are making billions of dollars, all the while we as a people and society are failing to address very serious threats to our existence such as climate change and Donald Trump as president because these networks are pushing fake news down people's throats, and people don't even realize it. It's not that people are idiots or ignorant. It's that these systems are designed to BYPASS human intelligence and instead feed the primitive mechanisms in our brains from millions of years ago that were up against wolves and snakes, not supercomputer AI.

This is not a drill. Until we force them to change, these corporations will continue getting rich while human civilization goes to shit.

The Russians don't need to "hack" anything. They just need to purchase advertising space from Facebook, and Facebook's AI will shove the misinformation down American's throats. And Americans will do the right thing, or what they perceive to be the right thing, and ultimately will be actually doing Putin's bidding. And none of them realize they've been duped. None of them realize they've essentially been brainwashed.

Polybios

So, bambam, you want us to believe you're a real person? I thought you were Matthew's AI for inciting discussion to keep the site alive. :P

Anyway, of course you have a point here.

Erin Maus

I just use social media to keep up with friends. :-/ Am I using it wrong?

bamccaig

Are you really keeping up with friends, or is the AI generating events on behalf of your friends for you to respond to to keep you engaged with the platform?

Unless your friends just post personal anecdotes without linking to anything on the Internet ever. ::) Even then the social media platforms will be affecting how your FRIENDS behave. So can you ever be sure of what your friends do on social media?

jmasterx
bamccaig said:

It's a problem today. Now. Look at the USA. People are insisting that Trump is still a good leader. Are they mentally retarded? Or is their version of "the Internet" telling them lies?

No doubt that media influences voters. Ironically if today, you literally never heard of Trump again... like I mean, he was still president, he did his thing, you got reports and facts on bills signed, etc... eg : you just got the output of the government black box, but Trump never tweeted, never got any coverage, or any mentions anywhere.... but his actions as president did not change, I'm sure he would lose hands down.

Loved watching this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Y-P0v2Hh0

Quote:

I just use social media to keep up with friends. :-/ Am I using it wrong?

No, but they all collect your data, and we're okay with that. I remember back in the 90s when MSN Messenger literally was just there to establish an ip to ip peer to peer connection. So, while what you sent was in plain text, no one was actively storing it and analyzing it.

It depends how you use it too, is it just DMs, thats not too bad, but if you depend on news feeds then there is bias.

A big problem is the technology is so far ahead of the understanding of law makers and even citizens that we just will not see any laws around this stuff any time soon, even if it is deceptive and highly unethical.

To talk with my close friends, I give them access to my VPN, each with their own key, and we use an open source LAN messenger to talk and ensure that there is no paper trail... not because I have anything to hide, I just don't want to share my personal conversations with another entity... and that's my right not to want to.

Steve Terry

tldr; A.cc forever!!!!!1 ;D

DanielH
Steve Terr said:

tldr; A.cc forever!!!!!1 ;D

Thanks for the laugh!

Yes, A.cc forever. Maybe an update or two would be nice though.

Erin Maus

IDK how posting selfies on Insta or liking pictures of dogs my friends post can influence me to vote for Trump.

...

I'm partially being an ass, like I'm sure many of my friends don't use Facebook/Insta/Tumblr the way I do. But you can use it the way I do and then your life is ok. :) I have too many friends, most of whom are not tech savvy, to depend on LAN VPNs or weird IMing platforms or even texts. 5ish close friends? Sure. The rest? Not feasible.

jmasterx

Thats kind of the point. Most people kind of dont have a choice...

bamccaig

Everybody has a choice. Few are strong enough to be the first to sacrifice.

Tools already exist to actually communicate with friends, family, etc. Better tools than social media actually! They just aren't "fashionable" anymore.

jmasterx

Yes, of course everyone has a choice, that choice is often, assimilate your friends, abandon them, or accommodate them. Many choose the latter because most people will not change for you, even if it's in their interest to do so.

Edgar Reynaldo

Alright, when's the last time you wrote a hand written letter and mailed it?

jmasterx

About.... 22 years ago....

RmBeer2

First option: Don't use social networks.
Second option: Return to the first option.

It's hard? :-/

I can't find the vice. Everything scares you.

Mark Oates

Yea, I generally agree.

I stopped social a long time ago. I only listen to long-form conversations and lectures, watch light-hearted videos or researched documentaries, or watch disc golf coverage. I keep my phone in the other room when I sleep. I don't look at my phone in the morning until I start work for the day, and I wake by the sunrise. I only ever message and have conversations with people directly, never in public groups. (Acc would be the only exception).

I think humans are eating themselves. As far back as I have cared to consider, it all probably started around the introduction of language. "Ideas" have hacked the human species and they are the gods we serve.

Bodies don't naturally become overweight. Our teeth don't naturally become crooked and rot. Porn has turned our natural sex drives into an evolutionary trap. Sustained anxiety for no reason is not a natural psychological state. These, to name a few, are symptoms of the human species in an unnatural environment. Social media and the introduction of incredibly rapid, disparate, and fragmented pieces of information have hijacked our minds and retarded the intentionality of our agency. Simply put, human brains are overloaded with information.

bamccaig said:

It's that these systems are designed to BYPASS human intelligence and instead feed the primitive mechanisms in our brains from millions of years ago that were up against wolves and snakes, not supercomputer AI.

It's like we created the ultimate troll. ;D

Edgar Reynaldo

Forums are a dying art form we must preserve them at all cost! :o

RmBeer2

Those who don't want to use social networks are useless for large corporations. Google, twitter, facebook, discord, telegram, instagram, and other networks are going to unify their forces to exterminate all the useless in the society. When that day comes, it's time to be a fugitive. Who will be the leader of the resistance?

LennyLen

I like entering random terms into Facebook's (and Google's) search bar just to screw with their algorithms.

RmBeer2
LennyLen said:

I like entering random terms into Facebook's (and Google's) search bar just to screw with their algorithms.

Or the algorithm will believe that you like any crap. :S

jmasterx
LennyLen said:

I like entering random terms into Facebook's (and Google's) search bar just to screw with their algorithms.

So you're engaging with the platform. Perfect.

bamccaig

I think that it's a bit misleading to say "algorithm" anyway. We're talking about AI and ML. The computers have programmed themselves. It might not even be possible to determine what entering "random" terms might do. But odds are it would have an insignificant effect unless that's predominantly all you do. We're talking about computer programs that can reshape themselves that are analyzing data from BILLIONS of people. Theoretically these programs understand humanity better than we do.

jmasterx

The software is trying to optimize for keeping you engaged and on the platform for as long as it can. As the documentary said, they're competing for your attention.

So, sure, enter a bunch of random search terms, it looks for patterns, and probably ignores anything else. If you spend 15 minutes entering random things in the search, that's 15 minutes of opportunities for them to either show you ads or to find content that you cannot resist clicking on to keep you on the site for even longer. So you came to troll, but you stayed to read the article about how research shows that people who enter random keywords to troll search engines are statistically up to 50% more intelligent.

bamccaig

Well said.

Bob Keane
RmBeer2 said:

Those who don't want to use social networks are useless for large corporations. Google, twitter, facebook, discord, telegram, instagram, and other networks are going to unify their forces to exterminate all the useless in the society. When that day comes, it's time to be a fugitive. Who will be the leader of the resistance?

People who do not engage in social networking want little or nothing to do with other people. Why would someone like that want to be a leader?

Edgar Reynaldo

@Bob Keane
How big is your soul botnet by now? Do people who see your sig have to register with a service?

Just kidding I've never read it I don't know what it says......

LennyLen
jmasterx said:

So you're engaging with the platform. Perfect.

The software is trying to optimize for keeping you engaged and on the platform for as long as it can.

It's doing a terrible job. My earlier comment was a joke, so FB is using the same techniques for me that is uses for everyone else and it never suggests anything I'm vaguely interested in.

For a while I was getting suggestions to read articles from British and American newspapers, but I told it to hide all of those as I have no interest in America or Britain, so I don't seem to get suggested articles from there anymore. I even turned off New Zealand newspaper articles as they had no interest for me.

The rest of the suggestions are quizzes, which I've tried hiding, but the sites they come from propagate faster than I can hide them so I just ignore them as they only pop up once a week or so.

Apart from that I get sponsored content which seems to be suggested based on nationwide trends. Probably the reason I don't get any targeted specifically at me is because I never click on any of them.

One thing I've noticed is that FB doesn't base content on what groups you're a member of, as I'm a member of a vaping group and a Dutch recipes group and I never get any suggested content based on those. I'm also a member of a community group for my town and one from the last place I lived, and I never get ads based on either of those, just nation wide ones.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you don't engage with the platform, it gives up on you and leaves you alone.

As for Google. My newsfeed is a mix of national news, articles about Trump, and articles about whichever show I'm watching on Netflix. Sometimes I read the latter.

jmasterx
LennyLen said:

I guess the moral of the story is that if you don't engage with the platform, it gives up on you and leaves you alone.

That makes sense, and also, you're not in the coveted 18-24 age range so the platform cares even less about you.

And you're not exactly the normal on the standard curve, if they can capture everyone within 2 standard deviations, that's 97%, so that's plenty.

It's hard to imagine because they only think macro, and the people who are actually affected or targeted, are also not the set of people who talk about it on a forum :P

And some personality types are more easily influenced than others.

MikiZX

Haven't been in a right mindset to watch the documentary yet. But following this thread did bring to mind few things and posting them here in random order.

This song, in its parts, seems oddly corresponding to things you guys are saying:

video

The song, as lead singer James Hetfield explained, "deals pretty much with drugs. How things get switched around, instead of you controlling what you're taking and doing, it's drugs controlling you."

This kind of brings up Google-able term 'dopamine fasting'.

Youtube suggested Nirvana's 'Man who sold the world' and that one kind me made me think:
It's all just "good" showbiz. Entertainment.

The 'appeal' of the social media being that they are placing each of us in the center of the show. I think it is serotonine (?) which is related to 'feeling special'... a 'feel good' chemical.

The likely only long term concern really should be how well can human body operate normally with those chemicals' pathways saturated most of our waking life. People are experiencing burnouts from adrenaline. I guess the same might happen with serotonine, dopamine, and the lot.

For me A.cc is also on the list, chemical wise. :)

bamccaig
MikiZX said:

This song, in its parts, seems oddly corresponding to things you guys are saying:

I don't think it's really very odd. Social media was engineered to be addictive. Just like hard drugs are. Some say alcohol is on the same level as heroin for addiction. Alcohol addiction I know well. And my reaction when somebody tries to take a drink away from me (when drunk) is the same reaction my wife has if I attempt to take her phone from her. :P Suggesting that she goes ONE day without her phone has NEVER gotten any agreement.

LennyLen
bamccaig said:

Some say alcohol is on the same level as heroin for addiction. Alcohol addiction I know well. And my reaction when somebody tries to take a drink away from me (when drunk) is the same reaction my wife has if I attempt to take her phone from her.

I think what would be more telling is how you react when sober to the idea of alcohol being taken away from you.

For some people, it doesn't matter which drug is present, the addiction would be the same. For the general population however, heroin is more addictive. Most people who use alcohol can do so casually and not become addicted, but 25% of casual heroin users become addicted.

I tried opium once, and vowed to never try an opiate again as I knew if I did I'd never stop.

jmasterx

Another thing to consider is how destructive a drug is. Being addicted to heroin quickly destroys your ability to earn a living and a bunch of other things. So the effects are very quickly noticeable.

Social media could be just as addictive but we perceive it as less addictive because the rate of change to a user is much harder to perceive. Can you look at a 7 year heroin user and see the effects by looking at them? Probably. Can you look at a 7 year social media addict and see anything visibly wrong? Probably not. But talk to them before and after 7 years of social media then take a diff. But because the long term effects are harder to perceive, and the person is still a functional member of society, it's not seen as bad or addictive as heroin.

In fact, they need to engineer it so you stay functional. If they make it so you stop eating and going to work, that will no longer appeal to advertisers. Showing an ad to someone who can't consume products is useless. So a balance must be found. Which they can control.

Mark Oates
MikiZX said:

The 'appeal' of the social media being that they are placing each of us in the center of the show. I think it is serotonine (?) which is related to 'feeling special'... a 'feel good' chemical.

"Feeling special", that's an interesting observation. In our (particularly most recent) culture, this seems to be a key philosophy. That, in addition to being "included" and "one of" the group.

That seems to be what's simulated the most. 🤔

Quote:

This song, in its parts, seems oddly corresponding to things you guys are saying

This is like the perfect song for a late 90s-early-2000s LAN party. ;D

Matthew Leverton

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. One could point to the internet itself as the problem, but I feel like until mobile phones made it always-on-everywhere it wasn't as bad. The death of real journalism (especially local) is sad and has had very negative consequences.

In terms of social media, it's a lost cause. Most of my commentary would be repeats of what has already been said, but it's largely because companies are purposefully trying to entrap people into using the app 24/7 (I've heard TikTok is the worst/best at this) regardless if the content is true or false, good or bad, etc.

If there were simply a cap on the number of followers/friends you could have and if there were no targeted advertising, then I think things like Twitter or Facebook could be great. But as long as one company has the floodgates open, then it's impossible to try to do anything else.

bamccaig

I think that advertising should be held to a standard, including on the Internet. You should not be allowed to lie or even stretch the truth in any way. Nor should fine print disclaiming the lie excuse the lie (i.e., no legal loopholes to get around it).

At the same time, publishers should not be able to push ads upon you to fulfill a contract. The way that ads are distributed should be done to enrich the user experience instead of exploiting the psychology of the population. If there were competition then one way to stand out would be to have the most unintrusive, genuinely helpful targetted advertising model. If it's unclear whether or not a product or service will be productive then it either should not be advertised to the customer or should at least not be targeted at the customer.

I'm not sure how you could define it precisely enough, but some sort of regulation or ban on technology that exploits human psychology should also be considered. This seems really pretty scary and dangerous.

LennyLen
bamccaig said:

I think that advertising should be held to a standard, including on the Internet. You should not be allowed to lie or even stretch the truth in any way.

I once tried reporting a TV ad to the NZ broadcasting standards authority for false advertising because the advertisers claimed their product was chemical free. I got a reply back saying that the ad had been reviewed but that no standards had been breached.

Good luck policing the internet.

RmBeer2

Standard, politics, spam, etc. They only use those nice words to clarify that they are right, each one does what they want in the end.

Before in medieval times they used to use heresy, devil, saint, etc. The purpose is to control people, it has never changed, we are still the same old idiots who never mature.

Derezo
bamccaig said:

Could this potentially be behind the insanity in the USA right now?

It absolutely is. >:(

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. One could point to the internet itself as the problem, but I feel like until mobile phones made it always-on-everywhere it wasn't as bad.

Human nature is the problem ;D

:-/

:(

:'(

The Internet as a technology is not the problem, neither is mobilizing that technology. It is that we have not regulated it in the same way we regulate other things. Millions were oblivious to the dangers of this as the technology progressed.

As a simple example, there is nothing stopping someone of any age from accessing pornography. In the "old world" you needed identification showing you were 18 years of age.

Things really fell apart when privacy disappeared, though. Everything you do is tracked. We hit the "I agree" button too many times.

Matthew Leverton

A magazine never asked how old the "reader" was. ???

jmasterx

Kids had no problem buying playboys from some older kids on the playground. The difference is before, you'd have that same playboy for months and you'd have to actually use your imagination to keep things interesting.

Now they have access to virtually unlimited amounts of these, which over stimulates the brain and is bad. We are over saturated with content and it is creating all kinds of problems.

Remember when you saved up and went to buy that new album? And you listened to that album every day for at least a few months. Now you listen to a song once and move on to the next 'fix' not actually taking the time to enjoy or appreciate anything more than a quick dopamine fix before moving on to the next thing. Something like an album which takes hundreds of hours of hard work by many people, is now just something you expect, and expect to get it for free. Once you've heard it once you never want to hear it again.

It's a little like having access to unlimited deserts. That's all you eat.

Movies are at least not total garbage, but many do fall into the formulaic maximize profit margin. But sooner or later people will stop going to theaters, and will watch movies for free with targeted ads, and probably targeted product placements too.

Every music video has Beats headphones product placement now days.

Think about that. The record label makes a music video, which is marketing material to sell singles. Then Apple pays for that marketing material in order to place their marketing material in the record label's marketing material. Apple pays to place an ad in an ad.

bamccaig
LennyLen said:

Good luck policing the internet.

I'm not proposing we regulate every random Web site. Obviously that's infeasible. We only really need to worry about "big" Web sites. Essentially the ones big enough to be a problem.

I think that a Web will naturally police itself. The problem is companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are essentially monopolies. They don't have competitors. They can do whatever malevolent deeds produce the most profit. There's no underdog competitor that can steal the business away by being better.

This is partly an education problem. People are completely ignorant of what the Internet is, how it works, and why it works so well. What it's founding principles were.

There's also the dilemma that the platforms are proprietary and it's either impossible or inconvenient to switch platforms without making sacrifices (e.g., losing all of your history, or being disconnected from friends/family, etc.).

Perhaps we should also consider some sort of data sharing standard to keep data open and free, and prevent platforms from locking things down.

Of course, the real question is can Facebook and Google and Amazon do what they do for us if they don't do what they do against us?

Append:

Proprietary platforms are sort of like a telephone manufacturer 50 years ago coming out with a proprietary, encrypted protocol so that once you bought their phone you could only talk to other people with that phone. I wonder if history has learned this lesson before, and how many times...

jmasterx

That's a good point, imagine if your data was accessible using an api. Rather than create FB accounts people created OpenAccounts. and things like, who your friends are, and your profile (neutral data) is neutral data that must be openly accessible.

This way you can choose to go to a competitor social network, you still have all your friends, profile etc, you can still chat and send out status updates. The core social networking features would interoperate between social networks (remember when MSN people could chat with Yahoo people?)

And same thing applies to search engines, video sharing web sites. They all have a standard set of information that must be accessible from an api and you must be able to migrate and interoperate with any other platform implementing the standard.

This means I can write my own social network and immediately you can sign in and have access to all your FB friends, chat with them, etc.

Content specific to the platform (news feed, ads etc) stay platform specific.

That way the 'value' FB adds is its news feed and how it displays information to you rather than, well you want to stay in touch with family? FB

Eventually, just like how Windows was forced to give you browser alternatives, you have social network and search engine, and video sharing alternatives.

bamccaig

I'm stoned right now, but I can't help dreaming of a peer-to-peer, "blockchain" network, but where the entire ledger isn't distributed to the entire network, but rather is "intelligently" fragmented throughout the network to keep enough redundant copies to make it still infeasible to tamper with them, but few enough that every user didn't need to download, store, and upload petabytes or more of data. :P

Of course, nothing would stop a particular user from opting in to hosting more of the network if they had the resources... This is still sounding potentially infeasible or at least unreliable, but I wonder if neither could be true. I think that's sort of the ultimate "sharing" technology. And could potentially make for a good backbone for what you describe, whereby the contents of your social media can move between networks.

This sounds a bit like Diaspora. I've dabbled with it a bit, but I haven't used it enough to really understand it. What I do understand is that it's a distributed network of hosts, and I think anybody can host a server. I'm not sure if it's an explicit feature of the network to move between servers, but I think the data is implicitly shared across the whole network.

That said, few people are using it. I think we can't really figure out what works and what doesn't because there aren't enough people using it. From what little I did use it it didn't seem to work very well. Or at least, I never experienced any interactions at all. :P

There definitely are people in the free software community that are interested in tackling this problem, but the proprietary nature of existing tools makes it impossible to gain market share. In particular without the billions of dollars of dirty revenue to throw at it.

Derezo

A magazine never asked how old the "reader" was. ???

Yeah they did, if you peed on the strip and you weren't 18 it wouldn't show the pictures.

jmasterx said:

Kids had no problem buying playboys from some older kids on the playground.

I found one when I was 13 and I was suspended for giving out pages of it. The only scene I remember from that magazine was an icicle dildo. WTF ;)

The point of that simple example was that pornography use has negative sociological effects, and the rate of consumption and ease of access have increased since the Internet. You can find articles that disagree if you like (the Internet caters to both sides). If you search hard you can even find one that shows, rather incorrectly, that infidelity has decreased since the Internet.

bamccaig said:

We only really need to worry about "big" Web sites.

We only need to worry about our own families. This isn't something that will be "fixed".

Let them eat each other and lets get on with it.

RmBeer2

Really interesting.

Much of what you're talking about had also occurred to me during the development of a social network, but I have had many problems that were not viable.
Many of the ideas are not very convenient when it comes to making a profit. It may not be so much a problem that people have control of their own data, but you lose control yourself as the owner of the server. It's already known that people do not have any loyalty to anything, therefore it does not matter how kind or sacrificial you are, and then go into how you can support yourself or keep the server, which can only come from the people who use it, And if you don't force some kind of payment, they just don't pay anything.
After that, it comes in that you offer something free but in return you plug in any malware, sell their data or prevent them from leaving your platform with various tricks.
In the end it ends with the fact that people don't care what are the benefits that a network offers, they are simply absorbed by vice and only serve to be exploited. Although that's the mechanic that ultimately everyone uses, social networks not for the benefit of the people, but as a business to make money.
Do not forget that those who offer space on their disk with a server need to earn something in return, and that everything has finished as it is currently due to a series of needs, let's be honest, if these multinational companies steal countless amounts of money it's because it works , even if it's dirty, dishonorable, and unethical.

Even if you had the best social network that exists, you still have problems to make yourself known, especially if your network has a protocol or an open API, you need at least one organization that establishes a standard with weight over all. A standard API that allows information to be freely shared even if you change servers or the server dies.

I have already thought of many possibilities and ideas, I have mentioned a few relevant ones so as not to make it so dense.
It is important to take into account the needs of each one and how it benefits everyone.

Personally, I'm probably very demanding with everything, that's why I have done almost nothing, just think about many things, and write down some interesting things, but there are many things that scare and demotivate, especially that you do not earn any personal benefit. It also doesn't make sense to set up a server so that it dies the following week because you didn't have enough to support it.
A true social network is not profitable.

EDIT:
Maybe I'm wrong with the last comment, the fact that things should be free is surely wrong and it's nothing more than a garbage idea generated among the masses. Perhaps what works best is the usual buy/sell.

MikiZX

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@Joshua, ..... Spotify adds 28 new songs a minute?! OMG

I don't quite understand this (how serious it really is) but it might prove to be a complicated thing:
Facebook threatens to quit EU after spat with Irish regulator

jmasterx
RmBeer2 said:

Much of what you're talking about had also occurred to me during the development of a social network, but I have had many problems that were not viable.
Many of the ideas are not very convenient when it comes to making a profit.

There's nothing wrong with running ads to pay the bills. Traditional media like TV, radio, magazines, etc have run ads in their content for a long time and it was not really a problem.

Google used to run ads based pretty much on your keywords only, which once again I don't think is that bad. If I search for diapers and see ads for various brands of diapers (for that query only), I'm okay with that.

Users should be able to opt out of seeing ads that use their data in some way to target them.

They should also be able to opt out of seeing recommendations / feeds that are personalized based on their data.

That way the news feed / recommendations would be based on traditional metrics like popularity or something.

That way you don't have an AI constantly using everything it knows about you and your behavior to keep you on the site. It can use whatever other data it wants, just not yours. That includes geographical data. Don't even show me things trending in my region. I'm just a random ip connected to your network. Do your best.

That way people at least have a choice and we can educate people on that choice.

MikiZX said:

@Joshua, ..... Spotify adds 28 new songs a minute?! OMG

Only 28? I expected much higher....

bamccaig
Derezo said:

I found one when I was 13 and I was suspended for giving out pages of it. The only scene I remember from that magazine was an icicle dildo. WTF ;)

An older kid (who would have been 20 or so at the time) built a cabin in the woods that was literally full of porn magazines. I mean this cabin had to be something like 3 meters squared, and the outside walls all had countertops. These countertops were covered with layers and layers of porno mags. :P I couldn't guess how many magazines there were if I tried. Hundreds. Maybe thousands. Our neighbour friends told us about it after they discovered it by chance. These friends, my brother, and I went to go check it out as soon as they told us about it. It was like finding heaven for boys our age (except a creepy, icky heaven..). And then my brother stole like 50 magazines, and built his own fort to store them in. :P I was probably about 13 at the time, and my brother was about 15. The other kids were about 13 and 14. I was too afraid of either getting caught by this bully, or of possible biological fluids that this cabin was surely covered in. :P I didn't really touch anything, but I looked.

That wasn't even the first access to porn we had though. When I was about 10 or 11 we were visiting friends of ours. Their father was a divorced police officer. Apparently he had a stash of playboys. I'm not sure if he gave his sons playboys or if they snuck them behind his back, but regardless they showed them to us. I remember one of the women had protruding labia minora and none of us knew what they were. The other boys were disgusted by it, but I was intrigued. :D I think by about 12 or so my brother had also figured out how to find porn on the Web, and had shared his knowledge with me.

Back in those days though the lingerie section of Sears catalogues was also effectively softcore porn for kids (or anyone else desperate enough). :P Especially the two fat catalogues that were distributed at Christmas and for summer. :P I made good use of those back in the '90s! Boys are innovative when it comes to accessing stimulating material. :P

RmBeer2 said:

A true social network is not profitable.

I wonder what you would need to charge the average user of a social network the size of Facebook to afford the cost. It's probably not prohibitive for most people. I bet most people in the West would be willing to pay $5 or $10 per month to use it ad-free. That is millions, if not billions, in revenue. It's probably a viable strategy for an ethical social network. I would gladly pay to use one that worked for me, but only if it also worked for my family, friends, peers, etc.

jmasterx said:

There's nothing wrong with running ads to pay the bills.

Not inherently, no. The trouble starts when the advertising is misleading or disruptive. Essentially when ethics are set aside and profit is the only motivator. Which probably started in the '50s or '60s and has only gotten worse.

Think about what false advertising really means: it means that products or services that don't work can still be successful. This is the epitome of waste. It exists because of this silly notion that every family needs to earn their own keep. And so instead of having your basic needs met you need to come up with some kind of hustle to convince people to give you money. There are only so many things you can do that actually work and are affordable and still profitable.

The worst are the products and services that do more harm than good to our world. These are literally destroying the habitats that are vital to our survival and the survival of millions, if not billions, of life forms on this planet. All in the name of "earning" survival. It's sickening.

jmasterx said:

Traditional media like TV, radio, magazines, etc have run ads in their content for a long time and it was not really a problem.

It really was becoming a problem, but the Web dwarfed the problems of TV advertising. A few problems with TV ads:

  • The volume was generally boosted on the ads so that when you left the room to get snacks or pee you could still hear the ad. If you happened to stay sitting on your couch though the volume was suddenly painfully high. Also if anybody was sleeping they are now awake and they're blaming you.


  • The ads often made outlandish claims that were outright dishonest.


  • The ads would simulate a product or service working perfectly, and imply that the product or service actually worked that well, knowing full well that it doesn't.

Kids are fully gullible to advertising. Humans are in general. We typically believe what we're told. Unfortunately, due to nefarious forces such as religion and politics we're not taught as a society to be skeptical. Instead we're taught to just have faith and believe. Only adults that have experienced false advertising before and/or consciously choose to be skeptical will be oblivious to the ads.

On a side note: if Axe body spray worked as well as advertised would it be rape to take advantage? If so does that imply that Axe is encouraging rape?

relpatseht

The business model, left unchecked, is the problem. The ads and invasion of privacy are just the means. The harm isn't in acquiring and selling users, it's in the process of addicting those users to extract as much revenue from them as possible. It is an inevitable ends so long as the business model remains viable. Like selling cigarettes to children.

Derezo

There's nothing wrong with marketing as a general concept. It's the type of targeting they use and the high level of detail they can use to focus that targeting virtually right down to a particular individual.

It's this targeting that allows advertisers to take advantage of people based on information they provide through natural interaction with the product. It's especially sinister with Facebook/social media because the product is full of emotional and personal details about the users. That's not something your TV could provide to them in the 90s.

Most people don't realize that the algorithm can determine what 'triggers' them, or that advertisers are able to hook onto those triggers. They may not recognize those triggers in themselves to begin with. It's far more complex than most people are able to understand (myself and you included, don't mistake my disdain for righteousness). They just like and share, pick their size, plug in their card number, and feel great about it. That's how it's designed.

Taking advantage of people through advertising is definitely not new. If you never watched 'The Century of the Self' I strongly recommend you check it out.

RmBeer2

DATA NEVER SLEEP 8.0: BlackRook - 0 users! YAAAAY!!! \o/

bamccaig
Derezo said:

If you never watched 'The Century of the Self' I strongly recommend you check it out.

4 hours?! :'( This is going to take all year to watch...

RmBeer2

I have watched 2 hours (2 episodes), and I have come to the conclusion that they are all crazy and have no remedy. Why not push a red button and blow them all to pieces with nuclear silos? Best solution impossible!

Look at smoking torches of freedom because unconsciously they were burning male penises. Or they all end up exploding in rage or depression because they can't suppress their self-destructive impulses. They overthrew a government with false information because they wanted to get all the bananas to the whole world. Government and companies always find opportunities to control idiots because they cannot even suppress their desire to control everything.

The Second World War, the market crash, hysterical people, the army of psychologists, etc. It's not fault of Freud! No no no! It's all Moses' fault for allowing them to multiply instead of letting them die out! *SIGH*

EDIT:

Moses was the first son of a bitch to have manipulated the masses psychologically so that they did not fall into extinction.

EDIT:

If the technology advances drastically and we reach the pinnacle before the established AI, I am going to take the time machine, travel to the past and screw Moses just to have it all disappear along with Egypt.
And if necessary I go back even further, and kick all ass of fucking Martians' by creating genetically a shitty race.

Derezo

This guy condenses the entire 4 hours into a single minute.

video

Mark Oates

I don't know if you guys saw the debate last night but it was basically a twitter fight. It was just egos defending themselves and swinging around like monkeys. The individual is being hyper-inflated and it's just permeating everything.

bamccaig

I didn't watch them. Not only did I neither know nor care that they were going on, but the power went out for a few hours, and I have a sore throat so I went to bed at like 7:30 PM. Over the course of the evening, night, and morning I woke up a few times and there were some updates on my phone about the debate. Sounds like Trump was a troll as usual.

The only highlights that I know of so far are that at one point Trump kept interrupting Biden, ignoring moderation, and Biden got fed up and told Trump to shut up. I would like to know why the moderator didn't have any teeth though. I get that the moderator was a Fox News staffer so I guess that's not surprising, but you'd think a moderator would threaten a candidate speaking out of turn with some kind of penalty (and obviously follow through).

And at some point the moderator pointed out that Trump is calling for Biden to condemn "antifa" (which Biden correctly stated was an idea, not an organization or formal group), and the moderator asked Trump if he would then denounce white supremacists and militias. Biden also correctly pointed out that the FBI has identified white supremacists and militias as initiating violence at peaceful protests. And after some beating around the bush, Trump refused to do that. Instead he said something like, stand down, but stand ready. :o>:(

RmBeer2

I read a few lines, and I'm already thinking that Biden has no support contrary to Trump. Maybe Biden also needs PR lessons to get support from the masses and also from the moderator or Fox News.

Chris Katko

I wrote in the other thread.

The national debate was an embarrassment.

Bob Keane

I didn't watch it either. I just checked his reaction on #TheRealDonaldTrump Twit account. He was more interested in the TV ratings than any substance. Why did he not discuss any points, plans etc he made during the debatecle? Why did he not discuss any issues in his tweet? Did he not discuss such things during the "debate"?

Matthew Leverton

And after he recovers from mild COVID-19 symptoms (as the majority of Americans do) under the watchful eye of a dedicated, talented medical team (as the majority of Americans don't) he'll boast that he's the strongest person ever and COVID-19 is no worse than a tiny tiny cold.

So yeah, I wish he'd never gotten it.

video

bamccaig

I concluded the same. Well actually I questioned if he's even sick in the first place or is it an elaborate election scam. For all I know it's an established fact, but I am not aware of it, and I wouldn't put it past them.

Bob Keane

And after he recovers from mild COVID-19 symptoms (as the majority of Americans do) under the watchful eye of a dedicated, talented medical team (as the majority of Americans don't) he'll boast that he's the strongest person ever and COVID-19 is no worse than a tiny tiny cold.

Maybe his advisors told him to fake it to cancel the next debate.

Matthew Leverton

It was just simply a terrible debate performance by Trump. He should be able to walk all over Biden. He did Biden a big favor in the debate by continuously interrupting him. Trump should be looking forward to another debate where he interrupts Biden 98% less and lets Biden trip over his own words.

I hate Trump and already have cast my vote for Biden, but the guy seriously isn't able to compete on stage at his age. Not sure what he was like when he was 20 years younger - didn't pay attention.

Bob Keane

Trump should be looking forward to another debate where he interrupts Biden 98% less and lets Biden trip over his own words.

Trump won the last debate,watched by more people than the Trump/Clinton debate. Why would he bother debating Biden again?

bamccaig

Arguably Trump supporters are still on the fence. It has been nearly 4 years, but they need a little more time. This is tough. Everybody else already knows what needs to happen. In a sick way I will be amused if he wins just to see how much faster this is going to get fucked up than it needed to.

Edgar Reynaldo

Interrupting Biden was a tactic used by Trump to trigger his stuttering.

Kinda cheap.

In 2016, Trump's campaign kept a list of 3.5 million black voters (among 200 million in the database) that were marked for 'deterrence' and to convince them not to vote for Hillary.

Mark Oates

New article about how GPT-3 posted as a user on Reddit in the past week:

https://www.kmeme.com/2020/10/gpt-3-bot-went-undetected-askreddit-for.html

There wasn't even any nuance in this, just a sloppy throw of the tech against the wall.

bamccaig

Honestly, I've been seeing players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) lately that play like bots, except bots the way you would have envisioned they should work if you learned of the idea today. They have a mechanical nature in that they'll spin around while perfectly smoothly raising their crosshair (diagonally across the screen) straight onto a target they shouldn't have known was there without changing their aiming vector and be perfect. Humans usually develop a reflex to "snap" onto target instead (to compensate for our reaction time, etc., because it's a race between players to see who can shoot sufficiently accurately the fastest). Yet these suspects aren't stupid when the objective is far away or unclear; they're intelligent in what they do and act just like people do. It's somewhat worrying that these might well be machines that are so good that they can reliably fool people. I'm already convinced that CS:GO (excepting maybe competitive in the highest ranks) is literally full of hackers (>50% chance of encountering one on any given public server; from what I can see the private server market really isn't there yet), but having bots that appear real and are effectively also hacking is next level. That would effectively ruin online gaming until we could reliable differentiate between people and bots again. :P Let alone the scary real world consequences of what that could mean for warfare, police states, etc.

Bob Keane

New article about how GPT-3 posted as a user on Reddit in the past week:

https://www.kmeme.com/2020/10/gpt-3-bot-went-undetected-askreddit-for.html

There wasn't even any nuance in this, just a sloppy throw of the tech against the wall.

I did not read the entire article, but from what I read, it could produce an essay if the user types in three or four words. Is that true? and if so, BamBam, why don't you type "I think Donald Trump" and see what comes out.

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