Netflix: The Social Dilemma

Watching this now. Interesting…

A lot of smart services don’t allow you to really opt out… leading to unwanted notifications and information.

I would though still like to be able to opt in to some services.

Big discussion on hackernews just now:

The thing that really got me was just before the closing credits: “When we were making the like button, our entire motivation was, ‘Can we spread positivity and love in the world?’ The idea that, fast-forward to today, and teens would be getting depressed when thy don’t have enough likes, or it could be leading to political polarization was nowhere on our radar”.

I feel this is incredibly applicable to Safe Network, those unintended side effects, the unknown unknowns; it’s funny cause I try to make a point when I talk about Safe to people right in the middle of my maximum enthusiasm to try and say ‘maybe it will be terrible’. And that always confuses people but really, we don’t know, and maybe it will be terrible.


Though, it wasn’t the original vision of the web that has caused these problems or the web itself but the companies that consolidated data and power for capital and continue to leverage that for more of the same. They just exist on the internet but they all either trap you in their ecosystem or rely on providing you a “free” service in exchange for your data and metrics to sell to advertisers.
I’m hoping that the first apps on Safe (hopefully of quality and setting an example) and the PtD reward mechanism will help push us away from the ad-based models that have been the poison in the well. It is who we are sold to so they can sell to us and that transaction has corrupted everyone. I don’t think media should be corporate or privately funded anyways but the advertisers are definitely in the passenger seat of that mess. So getting away from that and getting value directly from any content creator to the consumer should be helpful, imo.

Secondly though I believe there needs to be an effort to end tribalism. I don’t know exactly how that is done but ignoring opposing opinions and finding your echo chamber is one of the internets biggest seductive qualities that has massively negative effects on societies and our own personal growth.


Inverting all assumptions is useful.

If there is enough flexibility at the base level then users can adapt. I wonder more often problems arise from providers who know what they want. So, one button doesn’t cut it over time, where you want nuanced feedback.

Yet another driver for something that is generic, flexible and unassuming. To be expected that a large network catering for the world’s population over time, will stress every assumption to breaking point.

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Another method that might be useful is to take the politician (or anyone) you think as the worst kind of person and ask: “How is she / he going to use the technology we are making, to further his / hearse own ends?”

You could this do with phenomena instead of persons as well. Like for example “How would Safe Network further mass surveillance?” I could see this happening by making truly anonymous video / photo posting possible, combined with pay the provider.

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How does allowing anonymous posting further mass surveillance?

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Still, the solution to most all problems and especially those relative to politics, is distributing power - and providing tools to the people which ensure privacy; security; and freedom, is a key part of that.

Some inversions just prove the point but it’s a useful double check.

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Well, I could see people starting to film all kinds of things they think is somehow “juicy” and posting them online with lesser fear of getting caught. Combined with anonymous money it would lower the bar for many kinds of voyeurism.

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I don’t see this as mass surveillance though, just to clarify. In the same way there is mass surveillance on the web i.e. all internet traffic being sucked up and snooped upon at a population level.

i’d say this is more a case of people might lower their guard on targeted surveillance.

I agree we need to do the inversion on PtP though. As much as I’m attracted to many aspects of it, I fear that is might actually end up amplifying sensationalism and clickbait to the detriment of reasoned discourse.


Yes, that’s more exact way to put it.

My point was more to try to play devils advocate here instead of proving this spesific point. We could also ask “How could Safe Network be used to increase the power inequality in the World?” Now I don’t have any quick examples for this, but I think it might be good exercise for thought.

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I agree there will be unintended side effects, but they are as likely to be good as bad, and I think we can draw encouragement from Facebook and the old internet.

What screwed the internet, and Facebook which were both benign and very useful for years, was the shift to profit, particularly profit based on attention stealing (advertising).

The design of Safe is a response to precisely those problems, so I don’t worry that it will turn out badly. I can’t rule it out, but this is how we learn.


I think this is the real risk to the SAFE project generally. We may not want to impose morality on others but that is not the same as having no morality baked in. We are going to throw the baby out with the bath water at this rate in our effort to ditch Surveillance Capitalism and we are going to make a new Silk Road (and whatever we personally feel about drugs and porn we can probably all agree that we don’t want to facilitate slave trafficing, Jihadis and hit men) . A previous thread used the provision of roads as an analogy. The suggestion was that we shouldn’t care what the traffic is on our roads. But we all want roads to be safe (no highway men) and we want the basic measures to be assured (so a Kilogram is a Kilogram)…

I don’t know what point you’re trying to make there… the air we breathe; the roads we use; etc, are shared resource. For all the error that is big thud and blunder wanting to control money with a move to cashless, the reality is that shared resources are not a good route to encouraging moral behaviour.

Some people have stupid morality… and wish to impose on others what they know is best. It is because of that kind of problem that a more robust solution is needed.

Also, one man’s [Slave trafficing, Jihadis and hit men] is another man’s Government!..

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These points bring to mind Clay Shirky: “It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure”.

Hopefully we can find a way to separate the filtering from the profit motive so we can have both a rich information ecosystem and avoid damaging consumption patterns. I feel a lot of the success of Safe will hinge on how the network might open new business models that enable positive filtering rather than addictive filtering. The current business model (backed by the addictive filtering) is a problem.


Can you talk more about this in the Brainstorm how to end online tribalism/echo chambers thread? I’m unaware of this problem or terminology at least.

This dude talks about some of the problems brought up by Social Dilemma, that dont get the needed attention and other problems that are overexaggerate nearing scaremongering in it.


Don’t have time to watch that right now, am curious though and will, comments seem to suggest the point is something like, censorship is the problem, not the structure of the thing, and we don’t need regulation?

In any case you remind me I wanted to post this: point here is - regulation won’t work, we need free and open source software, to change how people think of software, copyright, etc. It is a really good watch.


Can you tell me of a business or organization that DOESN’T try to manipulate human behavior patterns? Isn’t that the MO of marketing, advertising and politics? That is the manipulate the populace into doing exactly what you want, or at least to influence them in that direction. Even Maidsafe attempts to do this. Everyone has an agenda of some kind.

The problem isn’t that GAFAM have agendas. The problem is that they falsely pretend NOT to have agendas and lie about it and to confound the issue obfuscate it with algorithms no human being can possibly understand. Why not just be honest and admit that you’re willing to sell data, or advertising potential, to the highest bidder and conflate that by manipulating communication streams based on revenue potentials? “If your stream makes us more money we’ll give you a big ass megaphone! But if you cost us advertisers we’ll throw you in solitary!” That’s more or less the gist of corporate social media these days.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Evil secret societies