The Crowd Has Nice Threads [241]

Oh boy.

You knew I I was going to have something to say about all this didn't you?

At the end of last year I wrote about decentralizing social media and started to pick at a little bit of where this all came from, what got us to this point, and about the deterioration of things at Twitter and what that might mean for the space. I wont rehash it all here but for anyone who has been here for a while you know that "the problems with centralized social media" is a topic that I've wasted a lot of pixels writing about. The fact of the matter is corporate interests will never align with the wishes of the people using these services and the best we can hope for is for some shared bases being covered. "I want to talk to my friends and see what they are up to" is always going to be at odds with "we want to keep people on the site and serve them ads" and the larger the corporation that manages the centralized social media option is the more difficult that conflict is going to get.

So for some suicidal reason Elon Musk pushed out a rate limit to reduce how many tweets you can read a day, and Facebook launched it's "Twitter Killer" creatively called Threads and it's all everyone has been able to talk about since. I may have ranted about it myself. My position on Facebook is no secret and it's been more than a decade since I left and haven't looked back. Highly recommended move btw. It should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention at all that if you have a problem with something happening on Twitter the very last place in the world you will find a solution for it is with Facebook. And despite that millions of people rushed there to sign up and then ran back to Twitter to talk about how great it is. Most apparently unaware that Facebook has stooped pretty low to make things feel "engaging" in the past. Or that they can't control what posts show up in their feed. Or that it has zero privacy protection so much so that it can't legally be used in the EU. Or that they can't decide to quit without deleting their Instagram account too. It's a disaster and people are eating it up, which says a lot about people honestly.

Every once and a while I come across a piece of writing and think "there's going to be a good point in here that I can incorporate into something similar I'm writing" and then as I keep reading it I realize it's so brilliantly written that trying to pull any idea out of it would be not only unfair to the author but also disrespectful to the reader and Ryan Broderick's assessment of Threads is just such a piece. This is literally one of the best things I've read about Threads, about Twitter, or about anything else really in quite some time. If you do nothing else, follow that link and read it. I don't even need to tell you to read the whole thing because if you are anything like me you won't be able to stop reading once you start. This is the article that makes me want to quite writing because I know I'll never write something this good. Here's a snip:

In retrospect, it seems like Jack Dorsey and his, what I like to call, “Burning Man libertarianism” approach to content moderation, was the real secret sauce to Twitter’s cultural cachet from 2015-2021. He was able to balance enough plates with a deft enough hand to keep all the disparate parts of the app in place. You could watch porn. Its hashtags could topple governments. Minorities could put pressure on society’s power structures. Rich people could feel like celebrities and celebrities could feel like artists. And, most importantly, it created a lot of really good memes. Even if everyone was completely miserable. Facebook, over the same stretch of time, became a place for old people to share Ring camera footage and haggle over used furniture.

And to make a dumb story even dumber, Twitter is already threatening to sue because some number of the employees Twitter fired last year might have gotten jobs at Facebook. What a shit show, really. Anyway, no I'm not on Threads. At this point I'm going down with the ship so I'm still on Twitter, but I'm trying to spend more time on Bluesky and Warpcast so if you are on either of those look me up. I've also dabbled with Nostr but while I may be a huge nerd I'm not nerdy enough to put up with what a mess that is.

On a more interesting and thought provoking note, last week I launched Burned Punks. The center point of the site being an essay I wrote (crossposted on medium too) diving into the paradox of culturally important NFTs that have been burned. Beyond that I researched the history and story behind each one of the punks that has been burned and tried to documented what I could, as in only 6 years these stories were already being forgotten. I'm also slowly working on memorial pieces for each one, which can't be bought but instead can be exchanged by burning something like this (which is an open edition forever). Speaking of Cryptopunks, I'm excited to officially be a contributor for the upcoming book about them, which I'll talk more about as that gets closer.

A whole bunch of people sent me this story about Elián González becoming a politician which is cool and also kind of crazy to think about in the obvious context for me - I think about him often in fact. What a weird place the internet is.

Speaking of doing things on the internet, the new 8TARI video is out, for her version of Guns Of Brixton by The Clash.

And while we're talking music, General Despair is reprinting, with permission, the original Assück "Anticapital" shirts that were the uniform so many of us scrappy kids from Tampa wore day in day out. I still have my original navy blue one, with hair bleach stains on one shoulder. I'll be ordering a rainbow of these for sure, just need to figure out sizing because back in those days I was all about XL or XXL EVERYTHING and my tastes when it comes to how clothing fits have matured a little bit. This is shocking to many of you I'm sure as I almost never wear shirts with any printing on them because years and years of printing shirts turned me into such a snob that I can't really stomach anything printed on clothing anymore and also I can barely make a decision about important things these days so just having 100 black t-shirts makes mornings much easier for me, but I have to say some of the stuff Bread And Water has been making is really really really making me second guess that position.

OK it's Friday evening here on the 4th hottest day ever recorded in human history, the 3 previous records all being made and broken this week so I'm going to get away from this computer and go lay down in front of a fan and try to prevent a heat stroke. I'll leave you with this final question to ponder:

Rock out mofos.


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