It's numbers all the way down...OR IS IT
October 27, 2012 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Benjamin Grosser's latest project is Facebook Demetricator, a browser application that aims to confront our "collective obsession with metrics" by hiding all of the numbers embedded in Facebook's interface— friends, likes, shares, comments, and even timestamps.

Mr Grosser is an artist and composer studying the "cultural, social, and political effects of software". For Facebook Demetricator, he was awarded a 2012-13 Terminal Award, granted annually to four artists to help in the creation of new internet based artworks.

If you've already fully accepted your dependence on Facebook's heady metrics, you might be interested in Mr Grosser's Reload the Love!. It's a userscript that artificially inflates Facebook notification icons whenever they're at zero.
posted by brieche (6 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Seriously though, this looks wonderful. I am going to try this.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:35 PM on October 27, 2012

The pranking possibilities are endless.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:43 PM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

No time stamps? This is how that whole singularity business gets started, isn't it? Weaning us human beings off of time dependence.

Well you won't get me! Reload the Love, here I come!
posted by Slackermagee at 2:15 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

This would be a much more interesting project if Facebook wasn't randomly hiding your content from an unpredictable number of your friends these days. Still, I love the idea behind it. I've always hated the "keeping score" aspect of Facebook user behavior. It's just that lately I've been paying more attention to the numbers because fewer than a tenth of my friends ever see some posts and it's the only way I can tell which ones.

Yes, "THE ONLY WINNING MOVE IS NOT TO PLAY" does come to mind...often.
posted by trackofalljades at 7:05 AM on October 28, 2012

Might be more interesting to change them instead of hiding them.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:49 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Interesting. Don't most people do this in their heads when they see numbers? Like look at "23 seconds ago" and think "very very recently", or see "823 friends" and think "a whole lot of friends"?

But just the fact that the numbers are there makes whatever it is seem more important - right? Otherwise, politicians wouldn't risk getting the numbers wrong each time they bust out poll numbers or whatever in a debate. "67%" is more authoritative than "most" or even "2/3".

Especially since Facebook isn't really a way to blog, but just a way to keep in contact with people you know or like, I really like the idea of this.
posted by subdee at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

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