Stay niche

The quality of a social network tends to decline as it grows to encompass a larger portion of the general public. This is because the network starts to reflect the “median” of the human condition, which is typically of average quality. The median represents the orthodox, mundane, and conventional aspects of society.

In contrast, progress occurs among the outliers. Humanity could not have been progressing towards betterment without the at-that-point-in-time fringe-heterodox thinking normally associated with creativity.

This explains why social media was captivating in its early years but has become increasingly restrictive and of average quality over time, largely due to censorship.

The core problem here is the monolithic nature of these social networks, not their size per se. The solution is decentralization, 1 making it impossible for there to be a large monolithic network thus discouraging any form of universal group-think, for there will be no such universal group.

It is time we humans (i.e., each of us individuals) let go of the idea of “humanity” (i.e., as a “group”); decentralized social networks today have a fantastic opportunity to play their technological role in it.

Decentralized networks to look forward to

See also


Until we get there federation might be an acceptable compromise, as the UK House of Lords recommended in its report

Social media services offer citizens unparalleled opportunities to share their opinions with others. However, this market is dominated by a small number of very powerful companies. Rather than allowing these platforms to monopolise the digital public square, there should be a range of interlinked services between which users can freely choose and move. The Digital Markets Unit should make structural interventions to increase competition, including mandating interoperability.

It is worth keeping in mind, however, that when it comes to Mastodon (federated alternative to Twitter / X) - federation blocklists adopted by instance admins – and enforced unilaterally on their users – beats the spirit of it all, because many popular instances that adopt IdPol-fested policies end up clustering, and blocking other (non-IdPol adopting) instances en masse. See for a list of servers. The problem here is that moderation and censorship is still done by centralized parties (ie. instance admins) rather than voluntarily by the individual people themselves. Any centralized and unilateral enforcing of speech online is likely to become corrupt no matter the intention. Mastodon instances are also more likely to suffer from activist pressure than Twitter.

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  • Haskell
    Join FP Slack to chat with other Haskellers (the Slack also has rooms for other FP languages). If you prefer a forum-like format, post to StackOverflow #haskell, which has been quite helpful in my experience. Read r/haskell for news. Be wary of other communities.* If you are interested in hacking on my open source projects, join this room on Matrix (it is a part of Awesome-list-of-Haskell-mentors). See Haskell Planetarium for recent Haskell news & discussions.

    In particular, you want to avoid the non-niche ones invaded by woke activist moderators.

  • Cynical non-pioneers

    Here are some examples of cynicism exhibited by non-enthusiastic “outsiders” (non-niche population) in tech:

  • Censorship

    Censorship in social media, academic, professional organizations and various other fields became increasingly prevalent as Wokeism began taking a foothold.

  • COVID-19

    Diathesis-stress processes [a latent vulnerability to experience anxiety, fear, and a more general lowered threshold for emotional lability] are almost certainly a likely driver of pandemic behavioral response among a subset of the population,* which in turn disproportionately influences media coverage and policy decisions.

    ’tis not surprising that this originated on “a subset of the population”; see Stay niche.