The Internet’s Inevitable Enshittification

How platforms decay, as explained by Cory Doctorow to NPR. Finally a name for what we may not consciously recognize but deep down know is going on.

… I think Facebook’s a good example. Facebook went through the whole lifecycle of platform decay. They started off by offering a really good deal to their end users. They said, “Hey, leave MySpace, come to Facebook. It’s just like MySpace, except we only show you the things that you asked to see, and we’ll never spy on you.”

And then once those users were locked in — because once you’re in a place with all of your friends, it’s really hard to leave — they started to take away some of that good stuff they gave them, and they handed it to advertisers and publishers.

To the advertisers, they said, “We were lying when we said we weren’t going to spy on these guys. We’re totally spying on them. Here’s all the data you need to target them for ads that we’re not going to charge you much money for.”

And to the publishers, they said, “We are also lying when we said we’d only show them the stuff they asked to see.”

And then once the publishers and the advertisers were locked in, well, they took away those surpluses. The ads got more expensive. Publishers had to put more and more of their content — not just to get recommended, but even to be shown to the people who subscribed them. And that’s the final stage, the stage where there’s just only the residual value left on the platform that the platform owner thinks will keep the users and the business customers they bring in stuck to the platform. And that’s when we’re at the beginning of the end.

Further reading.

Something Cringey

I recently re-watched The Beatles Anthology with recent convert, Renfield Jr.  Great series, but I had a hard time making it through this video featuring the hirsute-era Beatles mooning over and frolicking with their significant others.  I’m not sure why anyone thought this would be entertaining, but maybe the point was narcissism rather than entertainment.

Mars Junction?

You couldn’t make up the Winklevi; they are so much better than satire.

I enjoy a train wreck as much as the next surly old geezer, but I have not yet sampled the Aoelan cadences of Mars Junction.

NecronomiCon

“The weird is a way to connect with the world around us and make sense of it.”

So they say at the H.P. Lovecraft festival, held recently in Providence, R.I. There were film screenings, readings, academic presentations, concerts, live podcasts, walking tours of Lovecraft’s Providence, gaming, hardly any cosplay, and a Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast.

Story here.

I like this crowd.

Mike Love Raps…


…with predictable results. Even the girls can’t save this sad abomination; I couldn’t make it past one minute. According to this guy, the song was conceived as a duo with Bart Simpson for an upcoming Simpsons movie, but the producers declined, feeling that “Bart, after all, has some standards to uphold.” Indeed. Instead, it landed on Baywatch. I might have saved this one for Loathsome Thursday, but this stands in its own category of awfulness. I hesitated to post it at all.

Come To Butthead

First half of season 4 coming January 21st. All episodes, you may ask? I don’t know, I might very well answer.

Bull Island Soda Pop Festival

If you enjoy failed-rock-festival porn, check this out.  Apparently things got so dark that even the reigning Dark Lords of rawk and Satan’s representatives on earth, Black Sabbath, felt compelled to cancel.