Alternatives and the inevitable


I just read a few blog posts by someone who used to work for Google. In one blog post, he spoke about how much he enjoyed his work at Google. In a few other blog posts, he spoke about his dissatisfaction with the current state of the internet, and more specifically with the state of internet search tools.

Whenever I go looking for alternative social networks, forums, or chat services, I find post after post lamenting the death of IRC, BBS, and personal websites written by people who, in other posts, make ungrimaced reference to their use of Slack, Reddit, and Facebook. Or in FOSSy pride they'll mention Mastodon—perhaps the bleakest of options.

Major media outlets, staffed by skilled technologists and insightful journalists, will use Twitter to share their articles about the ways in which today's social media is ruining our lives.

Everyone seems to know things are bad, especially those of us with the skills and interest to do something about it. But we aren't doing something about it.

I wonder about when that's been the case in the past; about what it finally took for people to change things. Or if they even did.

Perhaps what we have now is the result of centuries of everyone resigning to hating everything until it disappears, or until the hate turns to love when a new awful threatens the security of the old.