Observing the public conversation around FB, and the private ones happening among techies and ex-FBers, I think the mutual misunderstanding is worse than when I set out two years (and 500 pages) ago to (in a small way) bridge that gulf.

We're basically fucked.

The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.
To say more than generalities for a moment, here's what I think is likely the core problem.

Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Most people work inside a legacy industry that's evolved that way over time (usually for good reasons), and they think about the future via some analogy with their present (which is a function of a long-ago past). The interruption that tech will introduce is often hard to grasp.
We have techies who are technically skilled and motivated, but who (and I'd be the first to admit it) often have narrow educations that don't let them see a bigger picture. And we have people who live in the world who don't understand technological implications. That's our mess.
Let's take a concrete example of how this shakes out. Not sure why I'm doing this, as I'm done with screaming into the FB media tornado, but I'll just go ahead:
Disinformation is not a solvable problem. It is here to stay, forever. Every election in the foreseeable future will feature massive amounts of user-generated disinformation. The only hope is to culturally adapt, as we did to other weird aspects of social media.
Why do I say that?

Facebook & Co. can take on the most egregious disinformation examples, or efforts undertaken by identifiable state actors (maybe), but it will never be able to shut it down entirely.
Assuming some semblance of free speech, ubiquitous online identity, and some amount of engagement-optimized distribution (even if crude and self-selected, like on WhatsApp), and global reach, we will always have it, full stop.
No techie I've spoken to--I'm talking people who've spent years inside FB or TWTR--think it's solvable at scale, and anyone who says so is blowing smoke up your ass.

Why do I feel confident in this assertion (that I'm sure will get trolled)?
Remember privacy? Remember how that was the biggest angle on the FB story, and how many rivers of electrons were spilled in talking about it?

Where'd that end up? Nowhere. We got GDPR, which is pointless, and if anything solidified FB/GOOG's position in Europe. Ditto CCPA.
Privacy didn't get 'solved', we merely shifted culturally to accommodate new notions of it, and now we don't think about it much (even the Privacy Industrial Complex that made a career out of this has pivoted to being a new Disinformation Industrial Complex).
Think I'm being glib and dismissive? Let's take a historical perspective.

If you sat down to a meal in the 80s, and took out a camera and took a photo of your food, while telling everyone you were sending copies to your friends, you'd have been locked up in an insane asylum.
And yet now 'Stories' (which FB ripped from Snap) is basically that, and one of its most popular features.

The Beacon scandal that blew up FB in the late aughts now seems like a joke. People got worked up over that?

We'll read the current disinformation coverage the same way.
You can see the shift in polling by generation cohort. Those raised in a world where smartphones and ubiquitous sharing are just givens think about it very differently.

It's the bridge generation (looks in mirror) that's mostly freaking out about it.

https://t.co/LqB2xNe7Cw
Note, I'm not dismissing disinfo complaints. It's clearly a real problem that's produced human suffering in places like India or Brazil. I'm questioning our ability to do anything about it at scale, while still maintaining the technology that is (i.e. forget Butlerian Jihads).
Nor am I saying there's *nothing* anyone can do about it. FB policing (or trying to anyhow) political advertisers much more severely *is* a solvable problem, and one they should undertake (and be taken to task if they slip). But that gets back to my earlier point....
Which is it's hard for anyone to discern what's worth worrying about with this immense gulf. The techies don't see the bigger picture, the public doesn't see the disruptive vision, and the chattering classes are wrapped up in exploiting the very spectacle they claim to deride.
So, we'll muddle through, as we've always done. It'll get worse before it gets better. Mistakes will be made, and then doubled-down on, again and again.
We as a species are dumb. We don't learn anything, and only technical and scientific knowledge is cumulative.
Doubt me? Compare the conversations on this service with one of Socrates' dialogues. Are we smarter now? More respectful in dialogue, more clever in our conclusions? I don't think so. We (or some us) just know how to make things like smartphones now. Best of luck. We'll need it.

More from Tech

One of the best decisions I made during a very turbulent 2020 was to leave conventional coding behind and embrace the #nocode movement. @bubble made this a reality. Although my own journey thus far is premature, I’ve learned a lot so here’s a power thread on....


‘How I created @buildcamp sales funnel landing page in under 2hours’.

Preview here 👇

https://t.co/s9P5JodSHe

Power thread here 👇

1. Started with a vanilla bubble app ensuring that all styles and UI elements were removed. Created a new page called funnel and set the page size to 960px as this allows the page to render proportionately on both web and mobile when hitting responsive breakpoints.


2. Began dropping elements onto the page to ‘find the style’. These had to be closely aligned to our @buildcamp branding so included text, buttons and groups - nothing too heavy. Played around with a few fonts, colors and gradients and thus pinned down the following style guide.


3. Started to map out sections using groups as my ‘containers’ to hold the relevant information and imagery needed to pad out the sales pitch. At this point, they were merely blocks of color #ff6600 with reduced opacity set to 5% to ease page flair.

You May Also Like

Knowledge & Bharat : Part V

The Curriculum of Vedic Education :
According to the Ancient Indian theory of education, the training of the mind & the process of thinking, are essential for the acquisition of knowledge.

#Thread


Vedic Education System delivered outstanding results.  These were an outcome of the context in which it functioned.  Understanding them is critical in the revival of such a system in modern times. 
The Shanthi Mantra spells out the context of the Vedic Education System.


It says:

ॐ सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

“Aum. May we both (the guru and disciples) together be protected. May we both be nourished and enriched. May we both bring our hands together and work

with great energy, strength and enthusiasm from the space of powerfulness. May our study and learning together illuminate both with a sharp, absolute light of higher intelligence. So be it.”

The students started the recitation of the Vedic hymns in early hours of morning.


The chanting of Mantras had been evolved into the form of a fine art. Special attention was paid to the correct pronunciation of words, Pada or even letters. The Vedic knowledge was imparted by the Guru or the teacher to the pupil through regulated and prescribed pronunciation,
This is NONSENSE. The people who take photos with their books on instagram are known to be voracious readers who graciously take time to review books and recommend them to their followers. Part of their medium is to take elaborate, beautiful photos of books. Die mad, Guardian.


THEY DO READ THEM, YOU JUDGY, RACOON-PICKED TRASH BIN


If you come for Bookstagram, i will fight you.

In appreciation, here are some of my favourite bookstagrams of my books: (photos by lit_nerd37, mybookacademy, bookswrotemystory, and scorpio_books)