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DRushkoff526 karma

The way I got out of it is by realizing that these dudes' "mindset" - their picture of the world - is just wrong. And that they are laughably silly. The purpose of the book (it's actually a black comedy) is to be able to laugh at these guys. So we can stop emulating them or fearing that their nightmares need to be our nightmares.

I have a story about one guy who was worried that I post too much negative stuff about AI. He told me he's afraid for me that once the AIs are in charge, they will eliminate me. He said he doesn't post anything about AI so they won't know how he feels. And I'm like, dude, don't you think the AIs will be able to analyze your posting pattern and use statistical analysis to infer your feelings? And his jaw drops, like he never considered the possibility.

That doesn't make me afraid. It makes me realize they are just silly.

DRushkoff399 karma

Are we fucked? I don't think so. If you believe the only way for anyone to survive is to keep up an exponential rate of growth, then yes we are fucked. We can't keep converting atoms to bits at this rate. If you believe there's a way to either wind down or detach from the balance sheet we're using to measure our health, then we should be just fine once we stop playing this crazy game.

DRushkoff362 karma

What they're calling "longtermism" now is anything but. It's basically the idea that we're only 8 billion people now, but one day there will be trillions spread out through the galaxy, and it's okay for people today to suffer in order to benefit the trillions in the future.

And that's basically a complicated way of saying "the ends justify the means." And sorry, they really don't. Not ever, in fact. It's not like 'ripping off the bandaid' or some other ridiculous metaphor. It's just a justification for sociopathy. If you're not doing it in the moment, you're not doing it. The theory of change matters way way more than whatever endpoint you envision.

Rapacious venture capitalism destroys more through its externalities than it "builds" through its primary endeavor. Or, at some point you can't keep taking steroids. You have to wind down.

DRushkoff256 karma

What gives me the most hope is how easily people are able to laugh at these dudes and their way of thinking. Ten years ago, it was really hard to get anyone to agree that there could possibly be a problem with growing a trillion dollar company. People thought it was quite silly to talk about the experience of Uber drivers or other gig workers, or the survival bunkers and utter selfishness of the tech overlords. Now, people realize it's not some crazy conspiracy theory or extreme Marxism. It's basic common sense.

DRushkoff209 karma

That's a toughie, for sure. I think Francis Haugen's ideas are pretty coherent. Reduce the number of times a post can be reposted automatically at the same time. Combine that with some of Cory Doctorow's ideas about breaking monopolies, and these platforms would have less impact.

Plus, yes, changing education to emphasize real world, face to face learning over transmitting data to kids through iPads.

South Korea spent a lot of money on early childhood education on internet etiquette, with some positive effects.