Yet, according to the research, our past actions can’t predict future intentions. They can only signal our past reliability and suggest what we might do in the future. Regardless, an entire economy of ideas is based on online reputation, because it’s the people with the reputations and the social currency who get people’s attention. “Attention” has become a synonym for “influence”. And that’s nonsense.
The world around us is ultimately subjective. We can measure the rocks in the ground, we can measure the fish that are in the sea, but we can’t measure social reality. We need one another to confirm that the world exists. That money exists. That politics exists. That we’ve not actually lost our grip. And sometimes, we get it wrong.
—  Aleks Krotoski, “Crowded,” the June 4th episode of Digital Human

if like us, you can’t be arsed to go to a “seminar” or “reading” about the internet by people whose authority is largely that they’re on the internet a lot (but in a cool subversive way mind you), then just read this book instead. it’s less technical than our previous recommendation but it vibrantly remarks upon the irreversible social changes that digital networking has forced upon any participant. call us old fashioned, because we are old and fashionable alcoholics, but we want to read net theory from someone who is qualified in social sciences and is old enough to remember 33.3k modems. it’s just more trustworthy. jeremy paxman had this same lamentation about YouTube footage infiltrating journalism, so we don’t know what company that puts us in really. we’ve never bought underpants from marks and spencers.


Aleks Krotoski on the next billion people to go online.