Journalist's Hypocrisy

The Hypocrisy of the Internet Journalist. Quinn Norton says, I’m selling you out as hard as I can, and I’m sorry. medium

It’s been hard to make a living as a journalist in the 21st century, but it’s gotten easier over the last few years, as we’ve settled on the world’s newest and most lucrative business model: invasive surveillance.

What I’d do next is: create a world for you to inhabit that doesn’t reflect your taste, but over time, creates it. I could slowly massage the ad messages you see, and in many cases, even the content, and predictably and reliably remake your worldview.

In 1894, Tolstoy suggested that those who could not surrender their hypocrisies should own them, admit them to the world. This seems like a good idea, so here goes.

Your internet experience isn’t the main result of algorithms built on surveillance data; you are. Humans are beautifully plastic, endlessly adaptable, and over time advertisers can use that fact to make you into whatever they were hired to make you be.


Quinn's point here isn't that this model is possible, but that it is universal. This is what has become of the fourth estate. Her advice, know it and step away, occasionally.

For example, I like the feeling I get when I know what is going on around the world. But I feel even better when I take a 'news break' for a few weeks or months. This has been true for longer than the internet.

Hawking and others suggest we Beware the Machines without realizing that we have already created the superintellegence and have given it control of our lives. We watch it happens but are powerless to stop it.

Life is tenacious but not necessarily fun for those living it. Major evolutionary transitions occur When Replicators Unite cooperating to form a new, more complex life form. Think military-industrial complex.

We owe it to those future superorganisms to give them the wisdom of the best of us.