Thu 11 April 2013

Filed under Politics

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I Quit Reddit

I started to create a post about why I finally quit Reddit. Now, it's just an opinion piece with no examples or facts. I never used many factors of community, I just clicked the funny pictures. I applied myself to a few short arguments, but most people who talk in threads aren't remarkable for their constructive thought.

I've been amused at how NSFW links are always called out by their special tags. The reddit version of 4chan's "newfag/oldfag" debate. The SRS stuff, the Men's Rights

It's fun, sometimes, to see all the mad shouting voices, the novelty accounts, the insider jokes and the indescribable range of people and humors which find a strange semi-democratic popularity. All through a handy filter. Almost no one there is doing anything useful, and the majority of questions which I saw are answered in thousands of blogs via a short Google Search.

Still people go there and do ... stuff ... whatever that may be. I perused a good half of the list at MetaReddit, and I was astonished by what I had seen, and what I hadn't previously seen. I looked at every place which previously captured my interest in any way, but ultimately it looked almost exactly as expected.

The problem with reddit is the hivemind mentality which gradually takes hold. I eventually realized that what made me so uncomfortable was a sense of conformance which gradually crept over me while I read. An argument often enough read certainly makes one changes one's mind - no matter the reason or motive to the contrary. I secretly began to wonder how many people struggled against the feeling of slow brain washing. All of the subtextual worldview communicated in each thread, each comment, each picture. None of these are building anything. None of them are doing anything. They're just casually, distractedly trolling for attention and rewarding others for the same behavior.

There are a thousand idiots there, well, maybe a million or two. There are ignorant posts which are frequently up-voted. It's like the perfect place for reaction to anything, but in particular low-wit atheists and poorly thought out political meme's. There are lots of smart people, but they don't post much of the time. r/atheism is apparently a big draw for some people but it's the intellectual equivalent of the Roman Colosseum. If you don't want to watch straw-men and idiots getting pilloried, you'll get bored.

Reddit reminds me of stero-typical movie-hero tropes. The ones with a whipped up mob of idiots bashing on the bad guy, or the hero, who is being taken to the gallows. Some citizens somberly view the scene with grim dignity. Reddit is filled with people in both groups. The situation reminds me of union workers whose lines I once crossed. They accused me of being a "job stealing child molester", and they said "we're going to fuck your daughter"[sic]. In the end, there is nothing of thought or purpose to this, it's the blind attempt to insult someone about whom you know nothing at all. In short, it's pretty boring.

The only people to debate are the flaming idiots. It's just a bunch of people who find boredom together better than boredom alone. Like a version of Piano Man without the music, lyrics or subtext of joyful misery. I take this to mean that if I go on, I will be a complete loser. It's the Social Internet, a half-a-billion people talking, and eventually it feels like we're all idiots.

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