Tuesday, February 06, 2018

what if you were the only real person in the world

Anyone read Theodore Sturgeon's fabulous short story It Wasn't Syzygy?

Trying to wean people off facebook by creating an alternative (e.g. advert free, subscription, but open to link to other platforms) system, so everyone always starts by saying "you can't beat the network effect". so at what scale does this network effect magically become unbeatable? for example, the web has beaten TV even though TV had a billion users. Metcalfe claimed the value was n-squared, others have toned that down tho n log(n), but i think it's ignoring the _negative_ contribution level from spam/phish/troll/advert/attention grabbing, which inevitably grows with the network, but usually, over time, faster in the end. so here's my proposal anyhow: we invite you to our new net which has "everyone" in your network on it, but initially, your friends are al just bots emulating your real friends they make you feel at home there. now you tell your real friends about your safe new, ad free social net, and as they join, they replace the avatar/bot of them (a bit like the opposite of the stepford wives). oh, did I forget to tell you. we already did it. No, really, We didn't have to do it, they are doing it to themselves - c.f. Dr Wu's fine book on the attention merchants...

 so in fact we can model this from the fact that the network is directional, and end points (humans) take more time to create new content than to consume (new to them) content - so even if we aren't all couch potatoes, this asymmetry in creativity versus consumption means that the network will tip from peer-to-peer, to being dominated by a small number of producers and a large number of consumers - the cost of creation will drive the quality of creation down, but the quantity up (to keep it new - well known to pornographers for example - c.f. https://yourbrainonporn.com/)

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home