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January 29, 2012 10:00 PM   Subscribe

"You know how annoying it is when you're sitting on the train with a magazine and the person sitting beside you starts reading over your shoulder? Welcome to every single moment of your future. Might as well get used to it. It's an experience we'll all be sharing." --Charlie Brooker on sharing, and why the world is doomed
posted by bardic (101 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
And what's up with Facebook and Twitter? Who CARES what kind of sandwich you had for lunch, am I right?
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:04 PM on January 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


and many pearls were clutched.
posted by ninjew at 10:05 PM on January 29, 2012 [18 favorites]


Or I guess you could just, you know, buy the music.

Ahhhh, first world problems...
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:12 PM on January 29, 2012


On the train I stand, glower and listen to metal \m/
posted by planet at 10:13 PM on January 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I completely agreed with his one-percenter bison meat outrage, but... what did that have to do with anything else? Unless his point was asymmetric sharing, but the first example was about sharing of inherently limited resources, not information.

In any case, yes the oversharing seems excessive, but am I the only who thinks the ideal of life is complete telepathy? Short of that, asymmetric information is a bad thing- and why souveillance is so important- but if we could make that leap, wouldn't we live in the best of all possible worlds?
posted by hincandenza at 10:15 PM on January 29, 2012


Oh nooooooooooooooooooo, Charlie Brooker! Oh nooooooooooooo!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:15 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, you can switch this feature off.

Oh?

That's not the point

Oh.

Hover the cursor over my head and watch that stat feed scroll.

I am not making the leap from someone choosing to look at the information you've chosen to send out to "A basic social concept that's somehow got all out of whack."

Also, the entire lead-in with the fellating and bison-meat was a little weird.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:16 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, poor Charlie. Doesn't he realize that you don't have to participate in Spotify or Facebook or Twitter? The world doesn't stop working for you simply because you haven't signed up for social media. Take the time to pick and choose your participation, and you'll find that the only ones who are looking over your shoulder are Google, and they won't tell everyone what you're doing unless it means they can ship an advertisement to you and gain a few fractions of a penny for doing it.

It's not hard to maintain a bit of anonymity and privacy in the modern world. It just means you don't jump on every bandwagon which passes by.
posted by hippybear at 10:17 PM on January 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


also, I guess if 'comment is free' than they are getting what they are paying for.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:18 PM on January 29, 2012


By which I mean, literally no one knows all the cat cuddling, creepy internet story readin' and ice cream sandwich eating I did tonight. AND NO ONE EVER WILL.

....!

Anyway, fool me once with your auto-opt-in... fool me twice...? Nah.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:18 PM on January 29, 2012


OnTheLastCastle consumed M&M Ice Cream Sandwich putting him at 2800 calories today.
*Mom disapproves.
*Aunt Marla disapproves.
*Girlfriend disapproves.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:19 PM on January 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Whew. After Dark Mirror I'd almost forgotten Brooker was one of Great Britain's leading ranting arses.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 10:20 PM on January 29, 2012


Dear Charlie,

Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely,
Your social network
posted by darkstar at 10:22 PM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


+1
posted by wilful at 10:22 PM on January 29, 2012


I can no longer look at the word "apply" without thinking of Apple. The word to me now means "in an Apple-like manner."
posted by Nomyte at 10:22 PM on January 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


"With new wheel others always roll to Og's cave, bother Og. Og no like wheel. Og carve on wall about no like wheel, make you look."

-Og, first social commenter
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:25 PM on January 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


Also that analogy about the magazine on the train is amazingly fucking lazy, even for this, the laziest brand of writing there is.

What's annoying on the train is *someone is invading your personal privacy against your will." A better analogy would be, "you know that feeling when other people in the world have read the same article as you and some of them have voluntarily shared that information?" but of course that's not annoying at all and then there's no lazy-ass article.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:29 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does someone sitting beside me read over my shoulder?
posted by Ardiril at 10:32 PM on January 29, 2012


Rokurokubi.
posted by Nomyte at 10:34 PM on January 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can no longer look at the word "apply" without thinking of Apple. The word to me now means "in an Apple-like manner."

I assume you're not interested in seeing the movie Barfly?
posted by benito.strauss at 10:39 PM on January 29, 2012 [21 favorites]


I will tell you exactly what I think of this Via elaborate Victorian fan language.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 PM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


How does someone sitting beside me read over my shoulder?
posted by Ardiril at 10:32 PM


Verrrrrrrrrrrrry carefully.

It's like I was never there.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:40 PM on January 29, 2012


Maybe he just needs a sense of wonder.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:41 PM on January 29, 2012


Literally every new invention heralds a crop of people saying the end is nigh. I'd really have expected it to happen by the time we had radio, comic books and TV.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:42 PM on January 29, 2012


Because I am a shallow narcissist, I enjoy letting the world know what I'm listening to, because the chances are good that whatever it is is fucking awesome. Because I am curious about music and often discover stuff I like from friends, I am curious about what others are listening to. Because I like books, I enjoy knowing what my friends are reading, and I think it's neat-o nifty keen that I can talk about books online with others.

Sorry, Charlie. Don't really see the problem here.
If the Walkman had, by default, silently contacted your friends and told them what you were listening to, not only would no one have bought a Walkman in the first place, its designers would have been viewed with the utmost suspicion.
Horseshit. Because there was another very, very popular music-playing device around that time. IT WAS CALLED THE BOOMBOX.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:50 PM on January 29, 2012 [35 favorites]


Where would the Internet be without poorly thought out, last second reactionary opinion articles about Things These Days? We'd have nothing to talk about.
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 PM on January 29, 2012


I'd like to see, as an experiment, what would happen If "Facebook and Spotify automatically want to share my every waking action" really happened.Twitter or Facebook should hire people for an undisclosed research experiment, set up state of the art covert surveillance with round the clock satellite flyovers and drones. Tweet every single thing the person did, however mundane, around the clock.

My first tweet was "just eating some chicken", Come to think of it, that might be my only tweet. But really,"just eating some chicken" pretty much covers the last 4-5 years for me.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:59 PM on January 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I completely agreed with his one-percenter bison meat outrage, but... what did that have to do with anything else?

What do you mean? This is Charlie Fucking Brooker we're talking about here. The man may be on to something...
posted by KokuRyu at 11:06 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I am not making the leap from someone choosing to look at the information you've chosen to send out to "A basic social concept that's somehow got all out of whack.""

That's because of the comments so far have overlooked the words "you've chosen to send out".

He's not railing against your favourite social over-sharing network. He's railing against the (nearly-complete) trend of automatically being opted in to over-sharing.

So, yeah, you can turn it off. But a good whack of the 99% won't know it's even turned on (at least until it's too late), and most of the rest will just rationalise it as "the price of using something really handy".

It's not over-sharing that he's complaining about - it's being conned into over-sharing, as if it's only natural and correct that you do. And some people, some where, are making huge amounts of money off your ignorance, apathy, or resignation.

(nothing personal, tmotat, I just used your quote as a representative comment.)
posted by Pinback at 11:26 PM on January 29, 2012 [19 favorites]


I'm just sitting here comparing this thread to the last Brooker thread and very quietly laughing my arse off.

The man has written some of my favourite things, as well as a really trad "I hate Macs" rant, and just recently threw me right off with a completely unexpected "I went to Adelaide and it was really nice" story. I fully expect him to next launch into some way off-base piece about how the east coast of Australia is something other than the bleakest part of hell.
posted by dumbland at 11:27 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with someone peeking over your shoulder to read your magazine? If I catch someone doing this, I shift more in their direction, and start reading, "And then, the Russian president said, 'We have every confidence that next quarter's GDP while exceed the previous expectation of a 0.7% increase, in particular if timber production moves upwards.' And the reporters at the press conference were veeeeerry interrrested!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:47 PM on January 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Horseshit. Because there was another very, very popular music-playing device around that time. IT WAS CALLED THE BOOMBOX.

That, and today there are mobile phones which will play music through brash, tinny speakers for everyone else on the bus to hear.

It's a sharey world, Charlie. No one's forcing you to take part in it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:49 PM on January 29, 2012


I've noticed that Spotify creates this lingering feeling in the back of my head where I'm sometimes incredibly self-conscious of the fact that it's broadcasting what I'm listening to, to whomever happens to see the live feed scroll across at that exact moment. Enough so that I forget that Pandora, TiVo, and my browser DON'T do that.

It's a strange over-sharing element that bothers me a little bit, but on the other hand, I like the dialog it creates, I know how to Private Mode when I want to browse through stuff rapid-fire or don't care, and I know that it really doesn't have that much presence since the live feed is pretty quick and most people aren't watching my timeline for too long.

Still though, I'll definitely draw the line with certain things.
posted by disillusioned at 12:03 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


What an odd reaction here. I'm not sure the article was the be-all-and-end-all of insight into "social sharing," but he's got a point, one which apparently didn't resonate.

I don't use spotify, but I'm tempted to have the laptop out in the shop use it. I'll just put Rebecca Black's Friday on repeat, and have it post that to my facebook feed every four minutes.
posted by maxwelton at 12:14 AM on January 30, 2012


Wow, I'm surprised people are so anti this article. I loved it - particularly the bit about bankers. I've been thinking recently how odd it is (if you make the comparison between food and money) - anyone hoarding food would be seen as a freak, but it's somehow expected that people will want more money than they reasonably need to live their lives. Brooker manages to say this better and funnier than I could.

I actually did share this article on Facebook using my phone. Ironically it wasn't easy. The Guardian's mobile site doesn't let you copy and paste quotes (yay Safari Reader) and I tried to manually change the mobile link to www - which still didn't work for some reason. As my brother pointed out, The Guardian, with their auto-sharing, locked-in Facebook app, are one of the worst offenders.
posted by iotic at 12:21 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did get his point, and it is more interesting than "well dont use twitter dumbass".

Take Netflix, there is nothing, except for potential outcry, to stop them from trying to link to my twitter so they can tweet "Watching Greatest American Hero in Neflix!" every time I watch an episode of greatest American hero. Sure, it will start out optional, with a hard to find way to disable it. Maybe offer some incentives, 1$ off a month to fill your twitter with messages from Netflix. As people get acclimated, one day it becomes mandatory, a condition of membership. What service do I jump to then.

Think about this one. I have an ad supported kindle. I am sure I probably accepted som Eula that allows them to change the Eula at any time. What if they added a condition that requires me to allow the device to tweet what book I am reading. Am I just going to throw the device out?

More likely, millions of people will just let Netflix and Kindle fill their twitter with ads.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:28 AM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I guess we'd not be anti-this article if it wasn't so trivial to turn the stuff he's whinging about off. We're not 70 year olds. I know how scared they are. They tell me daily they got a virus on their email so they had to get a new email address. Literally. Every day.

I don't even know how to begin with them except "Mhm."

And I can no longer look at something done in an Apple-like manner without wondering what Blazecock Pileon and Artw think about it.

They should probably be purged with fire even though I like Art.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:29 AM on January 30, 2012


As people get acclimated, one day it becomes mandatory, a condition of membership.

Yeah, no. Nice try.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:29 AM on January 30, 2012


When I read articles like this--even when I agree--I amuse myself by asking, "What would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say?"
posted by so much modern time at 12:33 AM on January 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Every now and again Charlie Brooker will tweet something like "look at this nonsense I shat out this morning" and he'll link to an article on the guardian website.

For once, I agree with his own opinion of his work.
posted by seanyboy at 1:19 AM on January 30, 2012


Charlie needs to try buying the softer more expensive toilet paper.
posted by srboisvert at 1:21 AM on January 30, 2012


So... he's complaining about people sharing their opinions and likes on the internet... by doing the exact same thing??

(I like him at times, but he needs to take himself less seriously, for sure)

Going to share a bit much here, but i don't care much if other people read or care what i have to say, but after a bad few years of being a serious hermit and suicide attempts, i needed to "feel" like i was connected some how. It was talk on blogs, and other social sites, or bottle it up and let it simmer while it got worse. So... not sure what i'm saying here, but yeah. Not the end of the world. Just people talking with a new medium.
posted by usagizero at 2:12 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the Good Old DaysTM of the internet, the transformative social applications seemed to be things like the usenet, IRC channels, web forums and the like. These kinds of technology (and this place, come to think of it) have some ideas or topics as their foci, and the users gather about them and discuss. In the process people make friends and learn, which I would say are some of the best parts of begin social animals.

In the new world of facebook, twitter, G+ &c., the platform is focused on the representation of personality and 'friendship', with topics and actual content being an adjunct to the central data structures of interest (the social graph, and all that). This changed focus has a pervasive, subtle effect which I feel plays on some baser instincts that come with our social nature; the desire to be seen to be doing interesting things, being cool and so on. Not coincidentally, this kind of interaction fits more neatly with an advertising ethos than the old model.

I think Brooker is railing against the icky feeling which these biases give some of us, and that even if the article is hyperbolic and a bit non-sequitur filled, there is something behind the icky feeling which is of real concern. Jaron Lanier is another guy who I think tries to articulate some of the same feelings, and gets a bit of a beating from the web 2.0 crowd as a result.

Of course, a very self-aware person can overcome all the structural biases built into these platforms, but this doesn't mean the changes are neutral in their wider effect.
posted by larkery at 2:58 AM on January 30, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'll agree with the multitude here... I suspect when God gave Adam a voice, he complained about it...(but not as much as when God gave Eve a voice).

I joke!
posted by HuronBob at 3:00 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


So... he's complaining about people sharing their opinions and likes on the internet... by doing the exact same thing??

posted by usagizero at 10:12 AM on January 30


"Don't get me wrong. I'm all for sharing thoughts, no matter how banal (as every column I have ever written rather sadly proves). "

RTFA
posted by Decani at 3:10 AM on January 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


The problem, if there is a problem, might be something like this....

In order for sharing like that to work, it has to be super-lightweight for the user, in fact it probably has to be silent and automatic. I listen to something and the tech tells the world without me having to think about it at all.

But, even if I'm mostly ok with the world knowing what I'm listening to, what about the few times when I'd rather they didn't? Well given it's all so easy and automatic and invisible, chances are I will not even stop to think: "Hey, I better make sure this one doesn't get shared with all and sundry".

So if you want any privacy at all about those parts of your life, that's hard to reconcile with a properly useful sharing mechanism.

Btw, I personally don't mind people reading over my shoulder. I'm not so keen on listening to loud music escaping out of others' earphones though.
posted by philipy at 3:19 AM on January 30, 2012


ARGH

I guess we'd not be anti-this article if it wasn't so trivial to turn the stuff he's whinging about off. We're not 70 year olds.

Someone else above already pointed out the flaw in your statement: it might be trivial to turn off if you know about it, but no one went out of his way to tell him it was happening. You can't expect people to check their account preferences daily on the odd chance they've been opted into sharing their bowel movements publically. Also, what about those of us who are 70 year olds? No sympathy?

Here is the story of this column:
Once upon a time, Charlie Brooker got a job writing a regular column for the Guardian, forcing him to have to say some insightful thing with a degree of regularity. When you're forced to write something on a timely basis, sometimes you come up with good stuff and sometimes the stuff is less good. Either way, into print it goes. So long as a single column isn't too bad and the average quality is good enough, you continue to get paid, and you get to feel generally like it's a net positive that you exist in the world.

Sometimes something you write may get posted to a website. You don't get to determine what -- often it'll be one of your better pieces, but not always. Then a bunch of people get to judge you based on one thing you wrote.

We know absolutely from past experience that Charlie Brooker is one of the good ones. This isn't one of his better columns, but it's really not all that bad. There is no need for everyone to pile on him, I'm sure he'll realize on his own what its quality level was after a day or two.

One more thing, because it's crawled up into my head and laid its eggs in my brain:

Ahhhh, first world problems...

God I hate it when people misapply this meme. Yes we know there is real suffering in the world, but that doesn't excuse websites having shitty privacy policies. Wrong comes in a thousand forms and flavors and some of it is worse than others, but it's still wrong.
posted by JHarris at 3:30 AM on January 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


@hincandenza: Unless his point was asymmetric sharing

I took it that way. Sharing's great as long as it's voluntary. I was brought up with a family who were obsessive about sharing:

Me: "Can I have an apple?"
Parent: "Yes ..." (I get apple) "... but you must share it."
Me: (after grumpily eating the quarter-apple I end up with after everyone including the dog have had their share) "Could I get another apple?"
Parent: "No, we don't want any more."

It has rather left me with a "f*ck off, get your own" attitude to sharing when it's initiated by someone else regarding something I'm eating.
posted by raygirvan at 3:41 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


God I hate it when people misapply this meme. Yes we know there is real suffering in the world, but that doesn't excuse websites having shitty privacy policies. Wrong comes in a thousand forms and flavors and some of it is worse than others, but it's still wrong.

Um, I only said "first world problems" because of the wording in the post:

"Charlie Brooker on Sharing and WHY THE WORLD IS DOOMED".

But if you want to get all bent out of shape about it, feel free.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:43 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Charlie's profile photo on the Guardian site. It makes him look like a sarcastic turtle.
posted by panboi at 3:45 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This could have been a great article about an interesting topic. It wasn't.
posted by melt away at 3:46 AM on January 30, 2012


its like he doesnt even realize that things always get better
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:50 AM on January 30, 2012


I think this is the first time I've seen a news service publish the words "blow job."
posted by Houstonian at 4:06 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Google, gain a few fractions of a penny for doing it.

Heh.

A Google ad-words story for ya all.

I am on the board of a non-profit in addition to being the 100% worker bee. (501c3 - Category 99 and shipped over 1/2 a ream of paper to the IRS to get approval.)

Google Adword are "free" to 501c3's that meet their criteria.

You get $1 a click to "spend" - 1000 a month.

So I put up an "ad" for what I'm seeking - the "competitors" were offering $.75 a click thru. My $.075 ad - no click throughs. Raised it to $1 (the max ) 50+ click thrus. Next day - 5. Why?

Every actual paying customer raised theirs to $1.25

Google can write off their donation to "my" 501c3 at their cost of production. But "my" participation has boosted their income.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:14 AM on January 30, 2012


"Or I guess you could just, you know, buy the music."

Umm, OK.

Half the people in this comment thread didn't read the article.
posted by hudders at 4:19 AM on January 30, 2012


hudders--my assumption is that if you purchase music you like in mp3 form and listen to it, you won't have to rely on spotify for your music fix, and have it tell everbody your curreny song.

i did read the article...but maybe i am wrong about how spotify works?
posted by The ____ of Justice at 4:48 AM on January 30, 2012


current not curreny dammit
posted by The ____ of Justice at 4:49 AM on January 30, 2012


Horseshit. Because there was another very, very popular music-playing device around that time. IT WAS CALLED THE BOOMBOX.

And people bought the boombox *knowing* that it would allow them to share music with other people. Whereas, to reiterate Brooker's point, if they had bought a walkman for the purposes of private listening and said walkman had then shared their listening habits with their friends then they might be a bit miffed.

I'd have thought that Brooker's point - that opt-out information sharing sucks whereas opt-in information sharing is fine - would be fairly uncontroversial. Perhaps not.
posted by MUD at 4:53 AM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


status update:fistynuts didn't read the article on metafilter/post 345236256
status update: fistynuts posted this comment "LOL" on metafilter/post 345236256

When the information becomes irrelevant we'll just tune it out. Thas what the advertisers are struggling with ... the signal noise ratio necessary to pay for content production is so low that noboody pays any attention

The 95% continue to try to hear the music through the white noise, but have no money to spend on the stuff being advertised at them while the 4% circumvent the advertising(because they are time poor by buying the peer reviewed content), but are the only ones who could/would actually buy whatever it is thats being advertised, and the 1% are on their yachts and don't make and consumer decisinos themselves

The "Metro" (londons free commuter paper) has now crossed the point where it is not woth looking for the "articles" amonst the adverts

Meanwhile there is the very confusing issue of Ryanair who seem to succeed while making it as hard as possible to use there service ... except that they are cheap ... and this is the model the rest of the system is trying to adopt.

Can we take it as given that I'm not going to buy any extras/crap and you can stop wasting my time?
posted by fistynuts at 4:55 AM on January 30, 2012


MUD: "I'd have thought that Brooker's point - that opt-out information sharing sucks whereas opt-in information sharing is fine - would be fairly uncontroversial. Perhaps not."

You're assuming people have read the article. A classic mistake.
posted by minifigs at 4:55 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


status update:fistynuts fixed the myriad typos in the comment using "edit"
posted by fistynuts at 4:57 AM on January 30, 2012


I was on a train beside a guy who was reading a porn novel. He definitely didn't want to share.
posted by b33j at 5:00 AM on January 30, 2012


The world doesn't stop working for you simply because you haven't signed up for social media.

Not completely anyway. Yet.
posted by DU at 5:17 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for Facebook to roll out it's achievement program, that is sure to be a hit let me tell you!

Status update (Jan 30): Vindaloo is in a relationship!
Facebook Achievement unlocked! Gain newtitle "Taken"

Status update (Feb 14): Vindaloo is no longer in a relationship!
Facebook Achievement unlocked! Gain newtitle "Dumped"

Status update (Feb 28): Vindaloo is in longer in a relationship!
Facebook Achievement unlocked! Gain newtitle "The Rebounder"

Facebook Achievements allows you to easily compare your progress through life with those of others! How long before you can attain the rare title of "Mogul"?
posted by Vindaloo at 5:26 AM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


so much modern time: I amuse myself by asking, "What would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say?"

What the Dowager Countess of Grantham would say.

also, nice eponysterical there.
posted by tzikeh at 5:45 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


As people get acclimated, one day it becomes mandatory, a condition of membership.

Yeah, no. Nice try.


As much as I love my PS3, I think it's worth looking at Sony's decision to remove the option to run other OSs on the machine you'd bought and paid for. Sure, you didn't need to upgrade to the firmware that would strip you of the option (which I never used, honestly, and didn't care all that much about), as long as you didn't mind losing the ability to play any of your games online ever again. A lot of people were pissed off at that, but Sony doesn't seem to be suffering, even though they forced a pretty massive change, not on a webservice, but a piece of hardware people had actually bought and believed they owned. If Sony can do this shit and thrive, it's not impossible for Facebook, Google+, and all the rest to do it. They'll just likely be less tone deaf than Sony in the handing of it, which will naturally be some sort of roll out of 'new features' to 'enhance' the experience.

At some point, people will probably look back on our desperate attempts to maintain the last shreds of our privacy and wonder why we bothered. As cool and exciting as that might seem to some people, I'm still freaked out and unsettled by search terms I've used once popping up at me from my spam folder. Price of the future and all, but I can't say I'm thrilled to live in it.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:55 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rokurokubi.
posted by Nomyte


That's not so much next to you and over your shoulder as next to you, around your neck a couple times, then over your shoulder. Still, keeps you warm in the winter months, I suppose.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:56 AM on January 30, 2012


Can't remember where I came across it (hell, someone might have shared it on the blue), but there was a video a few months back I think where Zuckerberg was discussing the future of facebook, and it was all about this kind of 'seamless sharing', or some phrase like that. It just sounds annoying to me, in the sense that people will annoy by spamming my newsfeed with all sorts of crap.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:59 AM on January 30, 2012


Nthing others here. Maybe my opinion would be more colored if I was familiar with Brooking before reading this, but...you realize that this is a humor column, right? Whatever point he has to make is secondary to trying to get some larfs.

You're all like "MYUNH!" and I'm all like, "LOL."

I share his frustration with so many apps wanting to share to facebook/twitter what you're reading/what you're watching etc., and that that's the default option. I don't want errebody I know I'm watching Beavis and Butthead reruns and get the wisecracks that would come with it. This point he's making seems like it'd be an (as MUD said) uncontroversial point that easily lends itself to a humorous rant.

What really slays me is that several facebook apps have asked me for permission TO POST ON MY WALL, AS ME. Of course I hit "cancel" when that happens but I'm super-annoyed they'd even ask.
posted by mreleganza at 6:08 AM on January 30, 2012


Brooker*
posted by mreleganza at 6:09 AM on January 30, 2012


I am tired of all the gyrating hips these days! Even the Lawrence Welk program is filthy with gyrating hips anymore!
posted by Mister_A at 6:09 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real problem is all the datamining going on behind the scenes. Especially with Google's new privacy policy and crap like that. It really kind of is "Something" is reading over your shoulder, but in this case it's some AI.

It's not something just tech nerds are whining about -- in fact people who aren't tech savvy seem to be even more worried because 1) They don't understand exactly how it works and 2) Don't understand how to use privacy enhancing tools.
posted by delmoi at 6:20 AM on January 30, 2012


Doesn't he realize that you don't have to participate in Spotify or Facebook or Twitter?

oh, poor you, don't you realize that sometimes people don't see in black and white? They may like whole sections of what Spotify or Facebook or Twitter enable them to do, while simultaneously detesting frictionless datamining.

Yes, they contain multitudes.
posted by fightorflight at 6:25 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


>How does someone sitting beside me read over my shoulder?
Like this

This is also a good time to link to LastFM's chart of the songs that listeners manually remove from their playlist lest others see they are listening to them. The one night stands of popular music.
posted by rongorongo at 6:27 AM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Horseshit. Because there was another very, very popular music-playing device around that time. IT WAS CALLED THE BOOMBOX.

And it was nowhere near as popular as the Walkman in the UK.
posted by mippy at 6:29 AM on January 30, 2012


This is also a good time to link to LastFM's chart of the songs that listeners manually remove from their playlist lest others see they are listening to them. The one night stands of popular music.
That's funny. Btw, are there any music recommendation sites that just let you manually enter songs? It seems like most of them only work if either use their service to listen to music or, like, scan your system? I'd rather not do that.
posted by delmoi at 6:33 AM on January 30, 2012


Isn't he missing the point?

Turning on sharing by default, isn't primarily a feature designed for us as end users.

It's designed to constantly advertise the product we use to our circle of friends, so more people get to know about and sign up to the service.

I see it similar to the two types of kindles you can buy, one with advertising and one without.

Except we don't get to see the adverts, it's our friends we are forcing it on.

It seems slightly underhanded to me, I'm used to advertise their product, but I don't get a cut if someone in my circle joins them.

I'd rather prefer the honest approach that say Dropbox has, if I introduce a friend, I get more storage space.

I joined Netflix recently, one of the first things I did was turn off it's auto facebook syncing.
posted by ben30 at 6:39 AM on January 30, 2012


That's not so much next to you and over your shoulder as next to you, around your neck a couple times, then over your shoulder. Still, keeps you warm in the winter months, I suppose.

That's what she said.
posted by Nomyte at 6:41 AM on January 30, 2012


Sorry, correction: auto facebook syncing advertising
posted by ben30 at 6:43 AM on January 30, 2012


Take Netflix, there is nothing, except for potential outcry, to stop them from trying to link to my twitter so they can tweet "Watching Greatest American Hero in Neflix!" every time I watch an episode of greatest American hero.

Actually, it's the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act that prevents Netflix from sharing information about your viewing habits through social networking sites, although Netflix and Facebook are currently trying to change this law.
posted by KatlaDragon at 7:01 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obligatory link to his tv mini-series.
posted by devnull at 7:15 AM on January 30, 2012


It's hard to read with all these people on my lawn reading over my shoulder. I sure wish they would get off it.
posted by cirrostratus at 7:16 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Classic response to an article that is correctly criticising some aspects and Stuff We Like. Lots of wagons being circled, a few attempts at downplaying the problem, but no-one actually disputing the main point.

Sometimes it seems like you people actually want to be fucked in the face by the meat hoarding capitalists who want to determine exactly what you tell the world for their own commercial gain.
posted by howfar at 7:24 AM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pinback, I guess I'm just used to information security such that I'm not one of the ones affected by 'ignorance, apathy, or resignation.'

That, and I've always been wary of exactly how much of my info I put out there. I've always been a little paranoid, tried to be a little bit more hidden, and the idea that there are people actively linking the disparate pieces of my online life together for whatever reason, is entirely unsurprising.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:24 AM on January 30, 2012


aspects of
posted by howfar at 7:26 AM on January 30, 2012


Back in my day, if you wanted to gain a full and proper appreciation of the greatness of my taste in music you had to make a pilgrimage to my house and gaze upon my collection of tapes, records and CDs (but not for too long, because it's like staring at the sun).
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:40 AM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "That, and today there are mobile phones which will play music through brash, tinny speakers for everyone else on the bus to hear. "

As a city, DC has a lot of weird/draconian laws on the books, but I am eternally grateful for the one that makes this sort of thing illegal, and punishable by a massive fine and/or jailtime.

Whenever I go to another city or country, and encounter people blasting their music on the bus or the train, I take time to appreciate that this is something that I have literally never had to deal with at home. Metrobus is by no means glamorous, but our No Food/No Drink/No Music/No Littering quartet of rules are surprisingly well-enforced, and make our little transit system a whole lot more tolerable, even though most people don't realize how much worse things would be without those rules.

Oh, and if someone wants to lean over my shoulder and skim my magazine or newspaper, I tilt the paper up to give them a better view, or offer them another section from my paper. Why should I care? It's not affecting me in any way, and I'm helping to make someone else's day a tiny bit nicer.

I share my music on Spotify/Facebook, because I actually enjoy sharing and talking about music with like-minded friends, and know that they can ignore the Spotify stuff on Facebook if they choose to. I read the Post, but have their Social Reader thing disabled, because I find it creepy and invasive. If I want to share something, I do it manually. There are legitimate complaints to be had about privacy practices in the Facebook ecosystem, but this isn't one of them. How did this become an issue again?
posted by schmod at 7:46 AM on January 30, 2012


iotic: anyone hoarding food would be seen as a freak, but it's somehow expected that people will want more money than they reasonably need to live their lives

Food goes bad a lot faster than money does.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:51 AM on January 30, 2012


There are legitimate complaints to be had about privacy practices in the Facebook ecosystem, but this isn't one of them

I think it's entirely legitimate. A concerted attempt by corporations to further commidify our personal experience is cause for concern. Yes, you can turn it off, but that's not the point of the article, which is complaining about the effect of default sharing on a societal, rather than personal, level. Just because you can avoid the personal degradations of consumerism doesn't make them any less real for those who can't or won't, and doesn't make the societal effects any less unpleasant.
posted by howfar at 8:06 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Food goes bad a lot faster than money does.

Tell THAT to Weimar Germany!
posted by mippy at 8:09 AM on January 30, 2012


In other news, local kids told to get off lawn.
posted by sotonohito at 8:15 AM on January 30, 2012


No Food/No Drink/No Music/No Littering quartet of rules are surprisingly well-enforced

Oh my God, REALLY? That's BRILLIANT! I am green with envy. [/public transport commuter]
posted by alasdair at 8:53 AM on January 30, 2012


Never mind weeping over the size of their bonuses: we should be dropping to our knees and giving them blowjobs, tearfully imploring them to remain seated each time we come up for air.

Genius.
posted by interrupt at 9:00 AM on January 30, 2012


Food goes bad a lot faster than money does.

Tell THAT to Weimar Germany!


Yeah, or Zimbabwe.

Also, honey takes a long time to go off. Does that mean it makes sense to uh, save loads of honey?
posted by iotic at 9:04 AM on January 30, 2012


In my experience, if someone is trying to read over my shoulder, the smart odds are that this person is trying to start a conversation. A conversation that will lead to an invitation for me to come up and see some etchings.

This is always the subtext of privacy conversations for me. This, and my mother's lifelong habit of telling complete stranger or people who she knows to be hostile to me intimate, embarrassing details of my personal life which only a mother would know but that are, 99% of the time, stories she has entirely fabricated in a bizarre attempt to make herself look good.

Not that I haven't spent many a long dinner with cypher punks and lawyers and so forth going on and on about the real issues. wow! Cypher punk is now a quaint term. Victorian fans indeed.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2012


Take Netflix, there is nothing, except for potential outcry, to stop them from trying to link to my twitter so they can tweet "Watching Greatest American Hero in Neflix!" every time I watch an episode of greatest American hero. Sure, it will start out optional, with a hard to find way to disable it. Maybe offer some incentives, 1$ off a month to fill your twitter with messages from Netflix. As people get acclimated, one day it becomes mandatory, a condition of membership. What service do I jump to then.

There's nothing keeping them from doing that with Twitter except for the fact that they're already doing it with Facebook.

So, yeah. FYI, don't link them. Worlds Theory 101.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:38 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Whatever point he has to make is secondary to trying to get some larfs."

Not like, say, the subtle yet incisive social commentary of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.

(Because you can't see him gurning at you to make sure you've gotten the joke…)
posted by Pinback at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2012


Sony doesn't seem to be suffering

Sony has years of staff in Public Relations reading the book Propaganda to convince people to keep buying.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:10 PM on January 30, 2012


Thread about oversharing, meet other thread about sharing your wanna-destroy-America tweet with Homeland Security and the FBI.
posted by jfuller at 5:11 PM on January 30, 2012


Really don't understand the hate. He makes some great points, and he's self deprecating enough I don't see how he can be accused of being overly serious. It's a little over the top, yes, and chooses some unusual analogies/angles of argument (the point about Walkmans being one that fails), but nevermind just the oversharing, it's the lack of privacy that automated sharing portends that is really disturbing. His linking of Wall Street type greed with the social network oversaturation of the 99% is kind of brilliant - let them eat cake and all that, or this case tell everyone about the cake everyone is eating. Not that rich people don't twitter but it's definitely to their advantage if the "common folk" are occupied with trivialities and don't pay too much attention to extreme disparities between them.
posted by blue shadows at 10:20 PM on January 30, 2012


Following up to my comment about Netflix working to drive changes in the law to allow the ability to share user video rental information through social networking sites, a Senate Judiciary hearing was held on the proposed changes yesterday that reportedly did not go well for Netflix.
posted by KatlaDragon at 2:43 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


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