Flamethrowers and Fire Extinguishers – a review of “The Social Dilemma” [link]
An excellent dissection of The Social Dilemma, a programme on Netflix that I've not been particularly interested in watching, partly because I'm fairly aware of how badly we've messed up our privacy, but also correct, it would seem, I avoided because of the self rewarding Silicon Valley boys claiming "I meant well" whilst carrying on similarly badly thought out paths.
One of the fascinating things about The Social Dilemma is that in one scene a person will proudly note that they are responsible for creating a certain thing, and then in the next scene they will say that nobody is really to blame for that thing. Certainly not them, they thought they were making something great! The insiders simultaneously want to enjoy the cultural clout and authority that comes from being the one who created the like button, while also wanting to escape any accountability for being the person who created the like button. They are willing to be critical of Silicon Valley, they are willing to be critical of the tools they created, but when it comes to their own culpability they are desperate to hide behind a shield of “I meant well.” The insiders do a good job of saying remorseful words, and the camera catches them looking appropriately pensive, but it’s no surprise that these “critics” should feel optimistic, they’ve made fortunes utterly screwing up society, and they’ve done such a great job of getting away with it that now they’re getting to elevate themselves once again by rebranding themselves as “critics.”
Lots of quotable material, and I'll definitely be forwarding this on to my family and friends in the hope they find time to read the full article.
/via Alice Bartlett
Originally published on Remy Sharp's b:log