Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Eternal September refers to when the Internet became open to everyone to participate on (1993). Our communications capability has grown at an amazing rate since then. I marvel daily at all the things that are possible, just 20 years later, thanks to the Internet. At the same time, I cringe at the ugliness that the Internet has created in humans that was not previously possible.

There was a study, the link escapes me, that shows that the Internet allows like minded people to essentially isolate themselves from different points of view. A different study showed that people who discuss things that upset them with others end up becoming more upset.  The combination of these two factors result in people who are very angry and whose anger is reinforced by their isolated communities.

I purposely try to spend time on other communities – particularly ones where I don’t have any moderation power.  The Stardock and Neowin communities are very active, rich and fun places. But I make a point not to focus all my attention there because I don’t want to be lulled into a false sense that my opinions equate to some sort of universal truth.

But most people (i.e. normal people) don’t have the time to spread their activity across multiple Internet communities. The predictable result is that people are having their opinions reinforced by like minded participants and are increasing angry at those who don’t share their world views.

The problem I run into, one that wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago, is that people mistake their opinions as “truth”.  And it’s getting worse with no end in sight.

It does not bode well for the future.


Comments (Page 2)
on Nov 01, 2012

Just avoid those sites, its pointless trying to defend yourself on social media. Whether the charges are dropped or not won't affect their opinion of you anyway. All responding does is feed trolls and make your private matters more public.

on Nov 01, 2012

I try to use a different handle on every forum I am on. That way, the baggage of one forum won't follow me to another forum.

Every forum is a different microcosm of humanity. 

That "broken forum" place I remember. They're the people too crazy for QuarterToThree and that's saying something.

I agree with others that the voluntary isolation we see results in extreme outlooks, that forum FB linked to is a good example of what happens when rotten people get to indulge their worst instincts.

Like Rata says, people should just avoid those kinds of places. The Internet will continue to see more and more of that kind of thing and the only real solution is to stick with the good places and avoid the bad places.

on Nov 01, 2012

I'm lucky... nobody shares my viewpoints wherever I go... 

 

Okay thats a bit of an exaggeration but yeah I worry more that people will ignore my comments because of TLDR or because it doesn't fit into their view. I usually spend lots of time typing out thoughtful forum replies and even delete about half of them before posting (self-editing).  

on Nov 01, 2012

UmbralAngel
I'm lucky... nobody shares my viewpoints wherever I go... 

 

Okay thats a bit of an exaggeration but yeah I worry more that people will ignore my comments because of TLDR or because it doesn't fit into their view. I usually spend lots of time typing out thoughtful forum replies and even delete about half of them before posting (self-editing).  

You lost me at exaggeration.  That's a big word.  With all those other words after it, too.

on Nov 01, 2012

When I read this thread, I thought it was about the effect of the internet on language. It pains me every time I see a respectable, journal world like "trope" treated like a hussy because of some popular website.

on Nov 01, 2012

I spend time on many different forums. Car forums. Political forums. Game forums. Customization forums. Tech forums. Firearms, preppers, Treehugger (well not now, they took it down) you name it.

Each forum is different. But the trend I've seen is that we now have a generation and a half of people who have grown up realizing that they can spend most of their social time talking to only like minded people. There are consequences.

 

on Nov 01, 2012

Sort of like inbreeding. 

on Nov 01, 2012

Most people talk with people they know physically and rarely talk to strangers online. Maybe i have an atypical group of friends/family but I am the only person I know who regularly frequents forums and chatrooms. I am a little surprised that you see this as a major trend.

on Nov 01, 2012

I tried to keep active on Broken and QTT, especially since they cover some things I don't see anywhere else.  Broken just got too negative and nasty for me, and I got my internet chops through fighting games, which makes QTT look like a Brony Convention.

 

I have to spend a bunch of time to spend on the internet, so forums are a great time-waster, especially when you can't do anything more constructive.

on Nov 01, 2012

We can all become Wizards of Oz if we let ourselves. (Not talkin' 'bout you, Jafo).

on Nov 02, 2012

UmbralAngel
Most people talk with people they know physically and rarely talk to strangers online. Maybe i have an atypical group of friends/family but I am the only person I know who regularly frequents forums and chatrooms. I am a little surprised that you see this as a major trend.

 

He sees it as a major trend because he hangs out with people who frequent forums and chatrooms... it kind of makes sense.

on Nov 04, 2012

Brad, I apologize for my link to Reddit, for some reason I felt like trying to wound you by making you sound butthurt. Your post doesn't really support that reading, and you don't need more people piling on. Sorry.

on Nov 04, 2012

Noumenon72
Brad, I apologize for my link to Reddit, for some reason I felt like trying to wound you by making you sound butthurt. Your post doesn't really support that reading, and you don't need more people piling on. Sorry.

No worries. I get flamed somewhere every day. You should see the tweets I get.  I don't think Reddit is isolated enough to lead to the issues I was getting at in this thread.

I actually had stopped being active on JoeUser.com because it was getting too singular.

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