Negotiating the Dark Side of Social Media

An enigma: the shambling, self-propagating golem [let’s not kid ourselves – it’s much more Frankenstein than Jetsons] of mass/social communications systems maximally self-propagates and recursively reproduces itself through precisely the dissonant turbulence that we are now obligated to engage as both an existential threat and aperture of opportunity. How, in other words, to bootstrap, loop and abstract this problem back into itself? In this sense it is a process of defining (within margins of error or intelligibility) the underlying symmetries and applying them to themselves – i.e. what information and communications technological systems always and already do.

At this level, the control plane becomes one of definition. The ways in which this beast is defined (as metaphorical “feature engineering”) becomes the battlefield because it is here that this aggregate abstracts and regenerates itself in gestalt. Identifying the bootstrap(s) allows one to apply it to itself and if along the way we unveil that heterogeneous Democracy is a much more accurate functional approximation to both reality and maximal human freedom as self-determination within any such massively multithreaded multiplayer game of Civilisation, then all the better.

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