The Secret to a Better Internet? Post Less, Chat More - The New York Times – “One of the web’s oldest functions remains one of its most powerful and promising. As we debate the negative effects of social media, consider the earliest and arguably most prevalent way that we use the internet to connect with other people: the chat. Networked chatting predates the internet; there might not be a more obvious thing to do with two connected computers. In 1988, the first version of Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, made widely available a new and yet instantly familiar mode of communication: groups of people choosing each other and then typing together in real time. From then on, chat was everywhere.
Mainstream service providers, including CompuServe and AOL, embraced chat. So did email services. Napster was a chat app. Early social networks either had chat features (like MySpace) or were populated by users who also had accounts on popular instant message services. Multiplayer gaming, a profoundly social experience, has always hinged on the embedded or peripheral group chat. Smartphones immediately became the ultimate chatting machines.
Commissioner’s address to the Institute of Public Accountants National Congress 2021.
Untimely Futures Places Journal
Are You My Mother Tongue? Lapham’s Quarterly
The human chain across the Baltic states; the 1746 Scottish kilt ban; legislators and slumlords in 19th century New York battling over windows and sunlight; when the dictator of Portugal was removed from office no-one told him for two years.
Lust for life immortal Times Literary Supplement. Bezos and Thiel.
How Covid-19 spreads: narratives, counter-narratives and social dramas (preprint) Trisha Greenhalgh et al., Authorea. “In this paper, we contrast inside-track narratives of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from the World Health Organisation, UK government and their official scientific advisers with outside-track counter-narratives offered by aerosol scientists. We examine related events that unfolded as social dramas — hand-cleansing rituals, care home deaths, public masking and occupational health and safety.”
The biggest social apps of the 2010s, with their various spins on posting, sharing and following, all eventually built either chat features or chat-like DM services, some of which were spun off. Livestreaming? That’s about chat, too. For people who have spent enough time online — or, probably, most people under the age of 50 — chatting in a live context is as natural as talking on the phone, and quite a bit more common. Many of the problems people identify with social media can be traced not to chats but feeds. It’s too stimulating. It’s too boring. It makes us loathe ourselves. It requires us to vet disinformation or fall into its snares. It forces us to endure the worst parts of celebrity. It’s the opposite of a social experience: It’s alienating.