The Internet

After Neoliberalism

At the heart of the new age are novel configurations of fear, certainty, and power

The big reveal: Google and Facebook are marketing companies. That is how they make money. What is more extraordinary is how much the two companies have thus far dominated their markets. Zuboff reports that between 2012 and 2016 Google and Facebook together accounted for 90 percent of the growth in global advertising expenditures. But there is nothing much “unprecedented” about advertising.

Banana Bunch Challenge

Banana Bunch Challenge

The whale is based

The mistake was not the iconography: the flag of Kekistan, the pride flag, and the US flag, all of them woven into one. I knew I’d get flack for it from antifa, the helmet and shield, the spandex bodysuit, they laughed and took their videos and those mean girl Proud Boys called me a faggot and a freak. And so I marked off my own territory, and I spoke to them — I preached — of what I knew. As a faggot, as a freak! On my milk crates, during that gathering of Proud Boys and antifa. And then I tripped and fell. But that wasn’t a mistake either. I didn’t make any mistakes, not that day. Maybe not ever, in some sense, if here’s where it’s led.

Craven!

Bros on Instagram, elitism in book publishing

Only when we name our enemy can we confront it. Only when workers regard ourselves as a class can we access the great power that is available to us. The failures of an elitist, capitalist system have been amply demonstrated in these opening years of the 21st century. The time is now to organize ourselves toward something else.

My Instagram

We all die immediately of a Brazilian butt lift

Instagram people did not seem mean or clever. They were earnest and sincere. They drank green smoothies and went on hikes, sought personal bests, good health, peace of mind, and oneness with the universe. They believed every day was a beautiful day to be alive. Leaving Twitter for Instagram was like moving to Los Angeles, only cheaper.

The Feminist

The Feminist

A straight flush of stable-pair-bonding qualities

His friends, mostly female, told him he was refreshingly attentive and trustworthy for a boy. Meanwhile he is grateful for the knowledge that female was best used as an adjective, that sexism harms men too (though not nearly to the extent that it harms women), and that certain men pretend to be feminists just to get laid.

Friends of the Pod

Friends of the Pod

FAVORITE MURDER PODCASTS??

Maybe we were better off with loneliness. In that meme “How It Feels to Listen to Podcasts,” three laughing friends eat sundaes in a brightly colored ad while our IRL stand-in laughs along beside it, a bowl of ice cream slowly melting in his hand. Is that us?

On Tinder

On Tinder

The strength of my desire, previously unknown to me, feels overpowering. It also feels necessary, which means that it is dangerous.

As soon as I hang up, every movement feels curiously weighty. Things somehow mean more than they used to. I sit for a while, feeling the rug under my legs, then slowly wash my face and feel the water bead on my skin. I stare at the bones of my face in the mirror, and I look shadowed and unrecognizable. A liquid warmth spreads through my body. I complete the assignment.

Ghost World

Ghost World

Images have become not only animate, but incarnate.

Seemingly insincere, jokey phrases flip and become the nexus of an argument. Concomitance carries weight. A border of an image can be like the border of a nation-state; tension accumulates at an edge. For an image, the tension lies in the difference between the logics created within the picture plane and outside it. For nation-states, it is often the same—tension between colliding desires, incompatible ways of understanding, communicating, and seeing.

The New Reading Environment

The New Reading Environment

 Each this is not to say or in other words a dull sword wielded against willful misunderstanding

The irony of the op-ed’s depressing reemergence is that everything is an op-ed now. The op-edization of all writing should have rendered its traditional purveyors redundant. Why read a Times columnist when you can read the same opinion delivered with more style and energy almost anywhere else? But even as internet writers refine and defend and reiterate their opinions—an archipelago of converging takes—so-called traditional outlets have consolidated their influence.

Commercial Surveillance State

Commercial Surveillance State

Blame the marketers

The tactics of carefully targeted, data-driven manipulation—though innovative and destabilizing—are not entirely new. They predate the existence of Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook, and the contemporary notion of “fake news” itself. For decades, digital marketers—working in both commercial and political domains—have been perfecting models for using consumer data to identify and manipulate decision-making vulnerabilities.