[thingist] the thing with facebook

susanne gerber cu at cucusi.de
Fri Jul 16 08:49:17 UTC 2010

Hi everyone,
sorry for joining in so late, but i was discussing things offline  
Beside the fact, that there has to be an accessible archive and  
documentation about THE THING, i feel one has to look after an  
appropriate interpretation and contextualization. I think this is  
still missing and perhaps - could be a starting point for further  
activities. i would like to participate in a group working on this.

On the other hand it is just the facebook discussion, as a culmination  
point of the development of the internet, which i would like to start  
outside facebook - and why not on thingist. I just came across  
Ionescos "Die Nashörner" and i have to read it again - might e useful.


Susanne Gerber

On Jul 16, 2010, at 1:16 AM, Caspar Stracke wrote:

> oh please...you were misquoting and misunderstandig me -
> I follow the entire fb privacy debate, lastly because I am on fb which
> -as a mass communication tool- ironically has a hard time to avoid  
> the grouping
> of politically active members that -among other things-  
> strategically plan fb's very own demise.
> I found the two suicide sites smart, funny, but strongly agree with  
> Sean Dockray they are not very effective
> and I guess since FloodNet the opposite direction,  filling it up  
> with noise, had always proven to be the smarter way to go.
> So, ... I cannot and will not continue a fb privacy / data profiling  
> debate - but luckily there are some
> great possibilities for action, instead.
> (despite, when the new kids have figured out the jabberworking, we  
> all can join the diaspora)
> Hope we can rather concentrate on thing archive efforts.
> ©
>> Caspar Stracke wrote:
>>> Re: Facebook links and interaction with social media
>>> absolutely not necessary  in my opinion. A Facebook antidote?   
>>> Despite
>>> debates on privacy, I dont really understand the big fuss here. What
>>> has one to do with the other?
>>> People come to fb to giggle with (or at) their friends or -as some
>>> THING members- becoming friends with Paul the octopus. That's it.
>> i am always surprised how sanguine some people, who in many other
>> respects display some degree of critical faculty, take the facebook
>> phenomenon.  during the dot com years, i somehow got on the list of a
>> focus group head hunter.  he probably thought the "ceo" of thing.net
>> would be a qualified participant for focus groups that dealt with new
>> online services, technical products, advertising and these kind of
>> things.  i often gladly accepted, since the groups met in the early
>> evening, not too far from the office, and included coffee and  
>> sandwiches
>> and at the end of a 90 minute session an envelop stuffed with $200 in
>> cash.  this is the difference, facebook doesn't give you free  
>> coffee and
>> cash and behind the one-way mirror glass wall there are no human
>> marketing spooks watching you, but banks of computers registering  
>> your
>> every "like" and  aggregating it into mind-blowing amounts of  
>> marketing
>> data.
>> recently some web sites popped up helping facebook and other social
>> networking aficionados to "commit suicide,"  sites like
>> http://www.seppukoo.com/ and http://suicidemachine.org/   (btw, the
>> southpark episode is worth the download).  they all were hit with  
>> cease
>> and desist orders from zuckerberg & co and surprisingly they all
>> complied.  another indicator how media culture has changed.  we  
>> relished
>> those fights and employed every trick in the book to keep going and
>> provide time and legal wiggle room, didn't matter whether the  
>> opponent
>> was DOW or eToy or Mattel.
>> recently on the idc list an aricle appeared which i am reposting  
>> below.
>> the author of the article notes the suicide phenomenon on social  
>> media
>> networks and suggest an even more effective method of resistance.   
>> stay
>> on and just befriend everybody and like everything, just flood the
>> system with meaningless clutter (not that it isn't full of that
>> already).  so THE THING member you allude to, the one befriending  
>> paul
>> the oracle octopus, is doing just that.  back when i was doing these
>> focus group sessions, i was almost always bored to death with the
>> products or design suggestions, so i  invented  answers i thought  
>> they
>> might be fishing for or sometimes i just went for the opposite.  it  
>> was
>> a similar strategy.  at least i was paid handsomely for my time.
>> ---- from iDC list --------------------------------------------
>> Sean Dockray wrote:
>> Everyone now wants to know how to remove themselves from social
>> networks. It has become absolutely clear that our relationships to
>> others are mere points in the aggregation of marketing data.  
>> Political
>> campaigns, the sale of commodities, the promotion of entertainment –
>> this is the outcome of our expression of likes and affinities. And at
>> what cost? The reward is obvious: we no longer have to tolerate
>> advertisements for things for which we have no interest. Instead our
>> social relations are saturated with public relations. But at least  
>> it is
>> all *interesting*!
>> Unlike the old days, when we could invent online identities daily,  
>> our
>> social networks today require fidelity between our physical self  
>> and our
>> online self. The situation is unbearable.
>> The frightening consequence of it all is that we believe in the  
>> value of
>> these networks. We understand perfectly well that our privacy is  
>> being
>> renegotiated without our consent; the rules are changing in plain  
>> view;
>> but we still participate! It is like a new form of money, something  
>> we
>> realize is a myth, but we act like it is real and that is its  
>> power. We
>> can’t leave because everyone else is there! Or because we are  
>> invested
>> in the myth ourselves.
>> The question is how do we extract ourselves from this predicament?
>> Recently, some programmers figured out how to computationally do  
>> exactly
>> this. By entering in your username and password, the software would
>> delete as much information as possible, ultimately removing the  
>> account
>> itself. It was a radical enough idea to attract the legal attention  
>> of
>> Facebook.
>> This software did not go far enough!
>> When someone disappears from Facebook, does anyone notice? Does this
>> software retroactively invalidate all of the marketing data that has
>> been collected from the account? Has this person de-dividuated
>> themselves? No, silence has not disrupted the system in the  
>> slightest!
>> Social networks need a social suicide. In the same way that  
>> 99.99999% of
>> users on Facebook don’t exist within the cloistered world of one’s  
>> home
>> page, an invisible user – one who has committed suicide – is simply a
>> non-factor in the constant and regular computational logic of the  
>> thing.
>> The answer isn’t silence, but noise!
>> Suicide on a social network is a matter of introducing noise into the
>> system. It spreads viruses and misinformation. It makes things less
>> interesting for others. It disrupts the finely calibrated advertising
>> algorithms on which suggestions are made – for friends, groups,
>> institutions, ideas, and so on. Social networking captures,  
>> quantifies,
>> and capitalizes on positive feedback. It records and reproduces
>> similarity. Oh yes, everyone is not watching one of three mass- 
>> produced
>> choices; but beneath all of the possibilities there is only one  
>> choice!
>> The one for you!
>> A roadmap for an effective Facebook suicide should do some of the
>> following: catching as many viruses as possible; click on as many  
>> “Like”
>> buttons as possible; join as many groups as possible; request as many
>> friends as possible. Wherever there is the possibility for action,  
>> take
>> it, and take it without any thought whatsoever. Become a machine for
>> clicking! Every click dissolves the virtual double that Facebook has
>> created for you. It disperses you into the digital lives of others  
>> you
>> hadn’t thought of communicating with. It confuses your friends. It  
>> pulls
>> all those parts of the world that your social network refuses to  
>> engage
>> with back into focus, makes it present again.
>> Invisibility comes in many forms, and on social networks it is the  
>> form
>> of a radical overload of information – a maximum participation. No  
>> more
>> thought, because every considered click adds to the collaborative
>> filtering algorithms that makes sure everyone continues to like what
>> they like, but in slightly modified form. Click everywhere, click  
>> often,
>> and don’t stop until you have disappeared beneath a flood of
>> meaninglessness.
>> This is a call for suicide, for the abandonment of seriousness and
>> belief. It is a call to reclaim ourselves from the sad version of
>> ourselves that lives in that bloodless village. Don’t become nothing,
>> the singular point defined by an absence, become everything, with
>> everyone else. Drown the system in data and make a new world in the
>> ruins that remain!
>> iDC — mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity
>> ---------------------------------
>> and if you are still not clear what "the big fuss about privacy and
>> facebook" is about, here is a starter via bruce sterling:
>> http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/05/facebook-backlash- 
>> time/
>> ahoi mate,
>> wolfgang
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> -- 
> caspar stracke
> www.videokasbah.net
> _______________________________________________
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susanne gerber
tucholskystrasse 48
10117 berlin
0174 3040503

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