I really wanted to reject Liu Cixin’s the dark forest theory. Growing up with the hope of early and mid science fiction meant that we could think of the advanced species who may decide to elevate us to a greater civilization.
The naivete of a young an innocent species. But we have already made noise. It is probably too late and we will be eaten at some point. But we will probably die out first from the wild smashing of our small planet.
But maybe we have hope in the evolution of controlled communities. Somehow Medium has survived and grown. I’ve come to think that the membership fee is an answer that is working. This community is big but requires an investment. It rewards us for giving to it while the open internet rewards only those that try to take. It’s maybe only a matter of orientation.
I can’t escape the idea that it is also a matter of having to show literacy in this semi-public place. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram require and reward only the briefest memes but these are usually shouts and snarls evoking the same.
People in urban and virtual communities need places to shout and fight. In order to go slumming you need slums but you certainly don’t want to live in one. And we don’t have to although some people chose to.
Perhaps this is the slow maturing of digital culture with many layers and close proximity and the bottom layer is the docks and the rough inarticulate world. That could work for those that need it and we all do at times but we really don’t have to live there.
The Russian GRU and its agencies were clearly incredibly effective at spreading chaos in 2016. With the Republican Party and Trump they managed to drag the country down to the level of slum where people such as that could wield great power by fear. But that is not all of human society and less and less of it as we culturally mature. Building quiet and safe forests is part of that maturation.