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The Miasma | Feld.com

The Miasma | Feld.com

Brad Fled was poking around on the Miasma (a phrase Neal Stephenson’s newest book, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel to describe the Internet) and found this Slashdot post about an interview with Stephenson from PC Magazine.

I ended up having a pretty dark view of it, as you can kind of tell from the book. I saw someone recently describe social media in its current state as a doomsday machine, and I think that’s not far off. We’ve turned over our perception of what’s real to algorithmically driven systems that are designed not to have humans in the loop, because if humans are in the loop they’re not scalable and if they’re not scalable they can’t make tons and tons of money.

The result is the situation we see today where no one agrees on what factual reality is and everyone is driven in the direction of content that is “more engaging,” which almost always means that it’s more emotional, it’s less factually based, it’s less rational, and kind of destructive from a basic civics standpoint… I sort of was patting myself on the back for really being on top of things and predicting the future. And then I discovered that the future was way ahead of me. I’ve heard remarks in a similar vein from other science-fiction novelists: do we even have a role anymore?”

Read more by Brad Feld: https://feld.com/archives/2019/10/the-miasma.html

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