Week notes 2020-28

Social media is what the internet was made for, whether we intended it that way or not. I sometimes describe the internet as “an unconsciously generated tool for unconscious generation”, by which I mean that we didn’t really know what we were building when we created it, there was no central plan or guiding intent, and there’s still no consensus on what it’s actually ‘for’ – nor could there be. Yet it seems to have this extraordinary ability to enact and amplify our deepest, often latent desires – the things we most long for, even if we’re not consciously aware of that longing.

What I’m talking about here is protocols.

The internet-era folks really got this right. Email system speaks to email system. The code that implements a web server has changed a hundred times, and can come from a thousand companies, and it still works.

But the web-era folks, my generation, really dropped the ball.

I can’t export my photos from iCloud to Google. I can’t message from Discord to WhatsApp. My phone can’t even give me a consolidated “recent calls” list across the half dozen video calling systems I regularly use.

<< Back to Week Notes Index