#1
We all know the internet is the result of the research and development efforts of the United States Government AKA The Greatest Satan OF All Time. We see around us, all the time, the evidence of the internet's insidious evil, most obviously in the so-called social media, which contrive to produce a false sense of connection and group identity while inexorably driving us apart from our class-peers. We see how this is contributing in no small way to western civilisation's death drive and the constant thrashing of the drums of war, accompanied by the barked chant of 'white power'.

The question then is this: is ANY connection in this space "Good"? Or, to reach our potential, to free ourselves of the psychic strictures the World Wide Web has cast over humanity for most of MY life (and possibly, Dear Reader, for all of YOURS).... must we switch off? Must we unplug, tune out?

And if so: Should I delete ALL of my accounts?

These are the thoughts I am very seriously having at the moment I type these things. Disregard any pretension you perceive (rightly?) in my posting style, at least when it comes to divining my seriousness, because I mean it when I tell you, friends, that I have never been MORE serious about account deletion, in a clear-headed moment not inspired by a dispute with a fellow poster. Continuing to participate in even THE BEST forum, which this OBVIOUSLY is, feels right now like a capitulation to the aforementioned death-drive. Am I content to literally die having achieved nothing, in my own estimation, of any worth? Or am I willing to take the risk of eschewing all internet-based socialisation for a chance to regain my humanity on a deeper level? Not like, in a luddite way though. I still need my blender
#2
Pretty much everyone is internet brain damaged, even when I was in Cuba everyone was glued to Facebook.
#3
It's cool to just not read the rhizzone or go a few months without reading your social media. Going cold turkey on your own is simply not an effective way of dropping an addiction however. Maybe what you should do is give your social media information to like, your mother so you can only post knowing that they're watching. Whatever. Not my department

Edited by swampman ()

#4
i've been trying to curtail the more exploitative and poisonous social media like facebook. it's unfortunate because there were a lot of leftists using facebook to talk theory, etc. in private groups who i will miss but the bargain of sacrificing all privacy and paying for the service by allowing them full control to sell your personal information and search & post history combined with zuckerberg's obvious transition to being more blatant about being a right-wing white supremacist and supporting those groups/advertisers on the site got to be too much. the fact that facebook in particular is anti-anonymity (as opposed to twitter which at least pretends to allow a form of it) makes it pretty uncomfortable to have an account tagging you as a communist.

with the continuing slide of the country into overt fascism & the police apparatus beginning to restart cointelpro programs, i recently decided to begin a general information security audit of my online life. that included deleting facebook, and even blacklisting their IPs on my pihole to prevent any further accumulation of a shadow profile (even without a facebook account, visiting any website with a facebook widget - which is almost everything these days - will tag your IP as visiting the site along with your browser fingerprint, etc.). i also switched to linux from windows for daily use, with full system encryption, as well as learning how to use pseudo-anonymity networks like tor (which despite funding from the US state dept. for use in spying still has legitimate use to prevent surveillance since the core network methodology holds strong imo). honestly if things got really grim i wouldn't mind the rhizzone having an onion site.

anyway, all that said, i believe the positive of being able to easily network with other leftists around the globe far outweighs the negative social and mental ramifications of internet posting. the challenge is moving off of websites glued to a profit motive that not only gamify the more negative aspects to keep you logged in and clicking, but farms your information to sell to advertisers (or possibly hand over to police departments) into more secure and encrypted channels. what we need is more literacy in regards to computer and information security.
#5
online group communication seems to percolate new forms of antisocial and harmful behavior, and to make people stressed and misanthropic. i know that's definitely a deliberate effect with twitter and facebook, but the same thing was happening even back on usenet. building these "communities" exclusively through long distance text might just be inherently bad

Edited by Horselord ()

#6
one thing that's bad about twitter and facebook is that the whole world is on them, which means that you look across an infinite sea of people, and inside it is a whole lot of smaller infinities made up of every kind of malicious person and every kind of person who for reasons not their fault have become a danger to other people, and even if you don't find yourself interacting with any of them, you have to interact with people who do. so you end up with an endless stream of the worst shit humanity gets up to, forever, and also it's addictive to look at. a sim card slot has formed in my torso.
#7
Perhaps some aspects of aerdil's comment could be framed dialectically. First, as f_h_i_s_a notes, the internet is indispensably associated with Amerikkkan intellectuals and research. But, aerdil points out that an antithesis of this is provided by the U$ Navy itself -- tor. Another example is RSA, the basis of TLS (Https). What is the synthesis here? I think that to the extent that the online constitutes any non-negligible area of social space, we should co-opt this as a productive communist space. To the extent that the web codes a portion of the totality of social motion, we should use it to oppose the bourgeois foundation thereof. It seems to me that the web indeed does account for some of the social dialogue, and although internet relationships are mostly mediated in the superstructure, we should recall that "theory becomes a material force when it grips the masses."

I think that the material relationships -- outside of the superstructure -- which coded in the internet can be separated from the superstructural online relationships. An example of these relationships would be your employer's communications to you, your bank, and communications to the government I suppose. Sometimes the superstructural and material bands of online coding can overlap. As part of her university studies, a friend of mine had to make a twitter account and get a certain amount of retweets. But in the spirit of f_h_i_s_a's comment I think it is realistic to distinguish between material-related internet use and leisurely social media use. After all, similar to the facebook shadow accounts are the possibility of being surveilled by weather balloons, etc.

So to what extent is it permissible as marxists, or desirable as social beings, to use the leisurely social internet? The question is analogous to that regarding bourgeois media in general, or stolen private property in the real world. There may be no hope of excluding oppressive, backwards structures from one's productive social life tomorrow but total disengagement, were it possible, might not be the best option.
#8
I would get the hell off Facebook. But I dunno, I think of Marx: "The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims." I'm posting here under a pseudonym, though, but the internet recently allowed me to watch a Vietnamese communist on YouTube go over her college textbooks on Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, and it's hard for me to imagine how I would've encountered that if she (a) wasn't using YouTube or a similar site or (b) if I swore off internet videos. And watching those videos was good thing, I learned something. But there are many bad things about the internet too, and others here who know more about all the negative and invasive aspects can elaborate on it.

When I see internet leftist stuff online, and then when I think about what would be most concerning from the perspective of, like, the Atlantic Council, I don't suspect it'd be just the random, noisy stuff or leftists squabbling over historical questions. If I were in their shoes what would concern me is Max Blumenthal building an audience because he's lifting up stones those guys want to stay planted firmly in the ground. There's another guy, Carl Zha, who is just this surfer dude who lives in Bali and has a Chinese history podcast. And I don't know what his personal politics are but he challenges the Yellow Peril hysteria that is being promoted by the usual government sources, and these shady cutout rags have gone after him with hit pieces. That is scary because he's just a guy on Twitter, and if they do that to him, they'll do it to anyone and much worse, but we already knew that. But he's still posting. He's a player and wants to be in the game and is he going to stop because some dweebs published a nasty article in Bellingsquat? I don't think so.
#9

Acdtrux posted:

Perhaps some aspects of aerdil's comment could be framed dialectically. First, as f_h_i_s_a notes, the internet is indispensably associated with Amerikkkan intellectuals and research. But, aerdil points out that an antithesis of this is provided by the U$ Navy itself -- tor. Another example is RSA, the basis of TLS (Https). What is the synthesis here? I think that to the extent that the online constitutes any non-negligible area of social space, we should co-opt this as a productive communist space.



as that quote misattributed to lenin goes, "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

#10
also i think it's important to note that if communists disconnect, unplug, tune out, the far right will be more than happy to fill the void for anyone searching for answers about why things are the way they are
#11

Horselord posted:

online group communication seems to percolate new forms of antisocial and harmful behavior, and to make people stressed and misanthropic. i know that's definitely a deliberate effect with twitter and facebook, but the same thing was happening even back on usenet. building these "communities" exclusively through long distance text might just be inherently bad



this narrative that the internet amplifies the mean side of people needs to go honestly. it breaks down as soon as one gets reminded that theres millions if not billions of people using tools like whatsapp/facebook to communicate with family or friends whose ties with should otherwise be cut because of migration. elevating online communication as the contemporary totem of antisocial behavior and immediatly slapping the BAD label on it - putting the surveillance aspect on the side here, this is about interpersonal relationships - is akin to unabomber-related critique of productivism. there's bullies and tough guys outside too, whose acts take a much bigger toll on someone than the bad words people say to each other through screens. if anything getting called all types of slurs by some anime avatar profile should teach U how take things lightly LOL... if you get aggravated online then hows it going outside? you hyperventilate when the bus is late? toughen up...

online social groups also give the opportunity for people not fitting in their immediate social circles (family/institution related such as school, coworkers etc.) to blossom in life. Im sure most of us wouldn't be enjoying the media we enjoy, reading the things we read and so on if it wasn't for spending hours staring at internet machines. This is the good outcome, the bad outcome is the frustrated and resentful of the physical world becoming the goebbels-lite of the virtual one. The online only reveals the true intentions of people rather than activate their MK ultra psycho switch or breed whole new personalities, which is why its good. shows whos the enemy and whos the friend, which is something physical social conventions, such as fear of ostracism for example, darkens

#12
whats facebook?
#13
The most dangerous effect of the internet isn't the spying or data collection, it is that private companies have started to master the ability to slowly manipulate how we see the world around us. By subtly shifting what kind of content we are exposed to, our perceptions of world events can also be shifted. In this sense, it doesn't matter if you delete your accounts, because the average young person now spends 4 hours a day being actively manipulated through their phone. These forms of manipulation are now much more powerful and influential than previous mediums, it isn't like a TV manufacturer can trigger an anxiety response at will and then sell your attention to an advertiser to alleviate that anxiety.

While "dropping out" may not be the best approach, I don't believe that this level of sophistication can be defeated by willpower or ideology, so the creation of some sort of alternate social and community connection seems necessary. The problem with a society where people spend 20-30% of their waking hours doing something, it becomes impossible to think outside of that construct.
#14
I started crafting thoughtful responses to lots of different points all of you have made itt but I think I'll just leave the OP as my legacy here. I don't claim to have realised anything universal but it is true, I think, for me, that the web is bad for me to participate in. I will continue to use the internet for private communication and to that end I am happy to receive PMs from anyone who wants to keep talking.

#15

Flying_horse_in_saudi_arabia posted:

I started crafting thoughtful responses to lots of different points all of you have made itt but I think I'll just leave the OP as my legacy here. I don't claim to have realised anything universal but it is true, I think, for me, that the web is bad for me to participate in. I will continue to use the internet for private communication and to that end I am happy to receive PMs from anyone who wants to keep talking.


#16

dizastar posted:

this narrative that the internet amplifies the mean side of people needs to go honestly. it breaks down as soon as one gets reminded that theres millions if not billions of people using tools like whatsapp/facebook to communicate with family or friends whose ties with should otherwise be cut because of migration.



What you're talking about using the internet as a supplementary form of communication between people who know each other in real life

what I'm talking about is complex online communities forming of people who don't know each other irl

it seems pretty obvious the drastically different circumstances under which these relationships are created and maintained has an effect

#17
I will prevent anyone here from deleting their accounts by all means available, and with lethal force if necessary
#18
sorry i cant play call of duty: warzone without an internet connection
#19


hit me up if yr on coub - that's all i'm on
#20
1) Access to potentially subversive information and 2) opportunities for greater social connection have always been carrots offered to consumers of media controlled by the bourgeoisie, whether it’s one-way or a nominal, restricted two-way “engagement”.

Talking about either as an abstract benefit in a tally of pros and cons is not Marxist, consistently erases class, etc. They’re both mechanisms of control, though that control can never be total. It’s why places like this site are allowed to exist after showing up in the Wa$hington Po$t, in addition to our vast collective influence and charisma of course.
#21
the internet has been 1,000,000% more radicalizing than <10 kind-of marxist professors in higher education occasionally admitting that marx existed. i do not think "Just Sever" will have meaningful effect in world where you would be the only person doing that aside from your one paranoid aunt and the uncontacted tribes in the highlands of new guinea
#22

winebaby posted:

the internet has been 1,000,000% more radicalizing than <10 kind-of marxist professors in higher education occasionally admitting that marx existed. i do not think "Just Sever" will have meaningful effect in world where you would be the only person doing that aside from your one paranoid aunt and the uncontacted tribes in the highlands of new guinea



You could say that the internet has created a flatter, more connected world that creates the basis for democratic rights

#23
Thinking of that one guy on here whose av was friedman pushing a dick away like no sirree bob!! Classic stuff.
#24

cars posted:

Thinking of that one guy on here whose av was friedman pushing a dick away like no sirree bob!! Classic stuff.



those were the days... .

#25

winebaby posted:

the internet has been 1,000,000% more radicalizing than <10 kind-of marxist professors in higher education occasionally admitting that marx existed. i do not think "Just Sever" will have meaningful effect in world where you would be the only person doing that aside from your one paranoid aunt and the uncontacted tribes in the highlands of new guinea



i dont think that this is true. widespread internet use has been around for a long time now but back then all it amounted to was obama hype or some shit. if there is any radicalization in the US it is due more to the deteriorating conditions in the US than the easier access internet provides. not to mention that the leftist noise on the internet is a fraction of the lib noise or far right noise

#26

sovnarkoman posted:

i dont think that this is true. widespread internet use has been around for a long time now but back then all it amounted to was obama hype or some shit. if there is any radicalization in the US it is due more to the deteriorating conditions in the US than the easier access internet provides. not to mention that the leftist noise on the internet is a fraction of the lib noise or far right noise



I agree that our present economic and social conditions are the cause of leftist resurgence. And the death of boomer ancedents, of course. However, marxist texts are now widely available, unsuppressable, and I think that is whence you will get a revolutionary vanguard, maybe. Some day. Will everybody who has ever ordered anything from AK press get lined up against a wall when the nascent american revolution inevitably takes on fascist characteristics? Maybe! If that happens, I will private message you to concede the correctness of your views in this thread.

#27
Give me 100 brave fighters carrying 100 rifles on their shoulders, and after 10 years of marching down the revolutionary road, we will seize the data centers and direct these vital tools of communication for our own ends.
#28

sovnarkoman posted:

i dont think that this is true. widespread internet use has been around for a long time now but back then all it amounted to was obama hype or some shit. if there is any radicalization in the US it is due more to the deteriorating conditions in the US than the easier access internet provides. not to mention that the leftist noise on the internet is a fraction of the lib noise or far right noise



does anyone know what the fuck was up with ron paul mania

#29

Horselord posted:

does anyone know what the fuck was up with ron paul mania


yes

#30
thank you
#31

Horselord posted:

dizastar posted:

this narrative that the internet amplifies the mean side of people needs to go honestly. it breaks down as soon as one gets reminded that theres millions if not billions of people using tools like whatsapp/facebook to communicate with family or friends whose ties with should otherwise be cut because of migration.

What you're talking about using the internet as a supplementary form of communication between people who know each other in real life

what I'm talking about is complex online communities forming of people who don't know each other irl

it seems pretty obvious the drastically different circumstances under which these relationships are created and maintained has an effect



which is, out of billions using the internet, a tiny fringe that leaves absolutely no legacy when it comes to forming new behaviors and impacting life outside or inside the internet. the only difference between the physical&the virtual socialization is the geographical foundation is replaced by a subcultural one, but still every microcosm are related to one another in a way, through somebody sharing multiple hobbies and engaging in multiple communities and so on. Some set of norms copied on real ones emerge at some point, theres just as much shitflinging online as there is offline, just expressed in a different way/in communities you have no geographical access to. online communities are just a reflection of real ones, kids in mw2 lobbies were calling each other every kind of slurs at school

#32
someone said "subscribe to pewdiepie" while livestreaming himself committing a massacre
#33
that's pretty fucked up, better gas the video game thread.
#34
right now i'm thinking about how easy the internet has made it for likeminded people to find each other and to collaborate on their ideas. this was a lot of the point of inventing it. i can find people who're interested and knowledgeable about any topic, no matter how obscure, and we can collaborate and achieve things that would be impossible otherwise. its changed my life for the better

but anyone can do that, not just me learning about how to fix 1930s bike gears or w/e. its a huge opportunity for the most deranged bullshit to happen too, which is why in every high school in the english speaking world theres 1 extremely fucked up kid who can give you a rote speech about "femoids". In the old days geographically distant fucked up people couldn't sync up and make each other worse

i don't know if its a worthwhile trade. even if online has given an equal advantage to everything, it's still made history go faster than it was before. i'd like it to slow down because i'm tired all the time
#35
my microwave has been telling me to commit suicide by cop lately, before it was just telling me how handsome and smart i was but it flipped on me all of a sudden. black & decker forums ought to be closed down
#36

Horselord posted:

which is why in every high school in the english speaking world theres 1 extremely fucked up kid who can give you a rote speech about "femoids". In the old days geographically distant fucked up people couldn't sync up and make each other worse



yes, that is totally a contemporary phenomenon. never there has been social rejects espousing bizarre ideas, and said ideas being found in totally disconnected spaces because of similarities in the cultural zeitgeist... come on...

#37
i said "sync up and make each other worse". they're not disconnected anymore, they've pretty clearly collaborating on their ideas and form a subculture and a belief system with it's own vocabulary. i shouldn't have to explain to you why it's dangerous for people who really need professional help to have their own support network telling them that the sickness is actually visionary genius.
#38
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_the_United_States#/media/File:Rapes_per_1000_people_1973-2003.jpg
#39

winebaby posted:

I agree that our present economic and social conditions are the cause of leftist resurgence. And the death of boomer ancedents, of course. However, marxist texts are now widely available, unsuppressable, and I think that is whence you will get a revolutionary vanguard, maybe. Some day. Will everybody who has ever ordered anything from AK press get lined up against a wall when the nascent american revolution inevitably takes on fascist characteristics? Maybe! If that happens, I will private message you to concede the correctness of your views in this thread.



maybe i m way too online but it seems like so far this easy access mostly brought morons online googling "what did marx say about deng xiaoping" "what did lenin say about the uyghurs" etc and picking up a few quotes and firing them off at each other and saying "based" to quotes they side with

Edited by sovnarkoman ()

#40

Horselord posted:

i said "sync up and make each other worse". they're not disconnected anymore, they've pretty clearly collaborating on their ideas and form a subculture and a belief system with it's own vocabulary. i shouldn't have to explain to you why it's dangerous for people who really need professional help to have their own support network telling them that the sickness is actually visionary genius.


The only difference the internet creates is letting RSS and AfD cadres talk to and support each other through retweets, which is trivial unless they don't have a life outside the internet, which is a mental issue having nothing to do with the internet. They talked within their local irl groups before the internet and are doing so after it.