by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
It’s all over but the screaming folks.
It was inevitable, by the way. Infinite exponential growth is impossible. Everyone knows that who bothers to stay awake in math class. But far-more important then the “infinite growth” lie with these companies is the dope dealing and consuming behavior that they not only permit and provoke they rely on it to remain in business.
The drug in question is legal — at least when produced in your body. It’s called dopamine and these firms all calibrate their “algorithms” to give you just enough of a hit through psychological manipulation that you want to come back for more.
Unfortunately the “echo chamber” problem is unsolvable with these media, since it’s inherently necessary to their mission: To get you to seek just one more hit like the crack addict crawling around on the carpet looking for the tiny piece of crack he dropped an hour ago.
Never seen someone do that? You’re lying. You see people do it every single day with their face buried in the screen.
The amount of wasted resource — time employers pay for but get nothing from as employees do this sort of thing on company time — is enormous. And the worst part of it isn’t even that aimed at consenting adults — it’s the outrageous scam of aiming it at kids, which our government permits by allowing those under 18 to be addicted by these vultures and then screwed out of adolescent experiences that are utterly critical to success come adulthood.
There’s nothing wrong with a healthy ego; in fact it’s necessary to overall psychological health. But these sites and apps don’t promote that; instead, they promote gross inferiority complexes since someone will always have more and the number of young, cute “things” parading around in ridiculous opulence will never disappear. Nobody pays attention to the fact that someone will always have more and yet no matter how well you’re doing you can’t win that game — or break even.
The number of suicides among young people directly traceable to these apps and sites is uncountable. And no, “if you need help call someone” campaigns are not only ineffective they’re counter-productive. The issue is simply that these platforms have to wave “superior to you” in your face to survive.
This may be the year we finally reach revulsion. Facebook has certainly been trying hard to push people over that knife-edge into the abyss. Oh sure, they’ll deny it but the facts say something different. Coupled with our nation’s utter refusal to indict anyone or any large firm for anything irrespective of how ridiculous or even felonious (witness the millions of people Wells Fargo screwed without a single person going to jail) there’s no reason at all for Zuckerpig to believe he won’t get away with selling your private messages. So he did, although he maintains he didn’t “sell” them. Uh huh. “Selling something” doesn’t require that the exchange be denominated in dollars; if you blow me in exchange for my fixing the brakes on your car you certainly sold sex!
The revulsion trends are always interesting to watch since they tend to play out slowly — then all at once. The tipping point with the “millennial” generation all seemed to mostly come at one time, but now their kids are entering middle and high school, and there’s an interesting change taking place: They have seen the destruction that their parents have brought not only upon themselves but upon their kids too, and they’ve borne the brunt of it.
Frankly a fair percentage of the people in this cohort deserve to be locked out in the cold when the crap hits the fan, and it will. There are plenty who say it won’t, or worse, know it will but believe they’ll be out of office before it does. Trump is in the latter group; he’s said so himself. When you think about the utter insanity of such a position — to knowingly promote policies that you know will kill a third of the country but you do it because you think you’ll be out of office before it all goes down the toilet — you have to marvel at the audacity and narcissism involved.