A lot of stuff in internet comments is stuff that would absolutely never happen in real life. If you saw a hipster on a typewriter and a crowd of people bullying him in real life, it would be absolutely clear which behavior was worse. Plus, none of those people in real life would actually do any of the extreme things they write about in internet comments.
The whole thing makes me imagine a forum of the future. Maybe it's more like a physical forum or park in virtual reality. There's a story at the center and radiating out from it are avatars that have been left behind by commenters. The avatars would be run by an AI that has been briefed on what point the commenter wanted to make. Other users, using the forum live, could wander through the park and interact with the deposited avatars or one another. Bringing some elements of reality to the forum experience - i.e. making it look like you are in a public space and interacting with people, may also bring in some elements of civility that we enjoy in reality and not online.
Being out of range of immediate physical violence is probably a big factor, though. We have the "fighting words" doctrine for good reason.
This can be done on purpose, or it just happens because there's not enough shared context to connect how you read something to what the other person was trying to say.
(Also, while a picture still says 1000 words, I've never had less faith in the veracity of those words.)
I've tried to be earnest on social media, for reasons like this. You see a photo of a guy with a typewriter, try to paint it in a good light for yourself.
I'm not sure how I would have reacted, but I had a short phase in college where I dredged up an old typewriter from a friend's garage and used it to type love letters to girls. So maybe I could have related a bit better!
I'm not always great at it, but since then, I have started to try to interpret most things I read online as charitably as possible, especially when I choose to respond to someone.
As if by magic, once I did, I started seeing that the world was a more positive place than I had realized. So much of my perception of negativity was something I was creating in the process of interpretation. It wasn't in the data itself.
Giving people more of the benefit of the doubt does set me up to occasionally be suckered. I accept that as a worthwhile price to pay to give kindness towards the majority of other people who are acting in good faith.
Sort of like the value of money, society is what we believe it to be.
"Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."
You're only saying that to absolve yourself from understanding that people's criticism of whatever stupid or evil thing you're into is valid.
Now I'm reminded of Poe's Law...
PUA "gurus" sometimes suggest this as a flirting technique.
At first I was really worried about the negative comments, and tried to justify myself or make corrections. After 24 hours I was so numbed to it all, that I began to find the negative comments amusing.
One Reddit commenter called me a "Incompetent fuckbucket" and I enjoyed that phrase so much that I ended up screen capping it and using it in a couple of public talks.
This is deeply familiar to me and is amazing to see in action. I regularly reply to people on Reddit and HN who are crapping on a product I’ve made and witness both the person’s position on the product and the thread’s overall tone change almost instantly. For whatever reason, it works less well on Twitter.
It is hypothesized that there is a rough upper limit to the number of people our brains can naturally conceive of:
Of course, with effort, we can be mindful that in fact we are surrounded by millions of strangers, but it's not an instinctual emotional reaction. When in environment like sitting at home staring at a screen, it's easy to forget to do that cognitive work.
that said I really wonder how come our brain can be so destructively egotistical when behind a screen (or a car windshield)
Tribalism is a heck of a drug. Easy to get involved in, satisfies our primal instincts, and is frequently horribly destructive. I hope one day I can have enough discipline to not criticize every stranger on Twitter.
I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6412708 - Sept 2013 (378 comments)
I Am an Object of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9997902 - Aug 2015 (3 comments)
I've never mentioned this to anyone other than my wife (who used to work in that building) and she laughed her head off. Now that I write it, I feel like I might do this in the future. What do you think, would you buy such a thing for $20-$30 a piece? OTOH, I've gotta admit: I think most of the customers would be young women, so that would make me seem more of an object of ridicule / creep than this guy. Still ...
EDIT: OK, now that I've read my entry I feel like I have to admit something that makes the above proposition more insane or interesting, depending on your POV: I cannot write poetry, like not at all! My proposed strategy was to lean in to my NLP skills and get software help to find interesting ideas, rhymes, etc. Sort of auto poem creation with human tweaking.
Right location and nobody will blink.
The service you would be providing has been, in a way, so normalized over the past 5+ years in the digital form (people doing poems/paintings/various other art-related things on commission on public streams; entire successful companies built around a similar premise, just look at Cameo), that your proposition starts sounding more and more "normal" as the time goes.
And I don't care if the poetry is not good, as you claim you have no skills. Authenticity is what matters here. And you are being absolutely self-aware about your skills, which only adds to authenticity. Especially given the more minimalistic/industrial/lo-fi (not related to "lo-fi hiphop" type of stuff) direction that popular art has been moving in for the past few years.
Plus, I am willing to bet that after you do it for a month, even if you did it only for a few days each week, your poetry writing skill would shoot up massively. You use software to assist you? Even cooler, as long as there is still a significant human element in the process, and it ain't just some publicly available software doing 100% of the work for you (because at this point, I could use it myself; there is a reason people pay for concerts instead of listening to perfectly recorded and mastered music replayed on speakers at concert venues).
I will say this, though. Given it is a physical version of that successful digital approach i've mentioned, you got additional pros and cons. The pro is that the physical element makes it feel more "real", thus people are willing to pay more and more often. The con is that your success and viability, at least at first, will very very heavily depend on the location of choice where you are thinking of doing that.
You'd probably have a much easier time offering to write dirty jokes.. or juggling.
What people want on the streets is a spectacle... the louder and more garish the better.
Why not just allow them to set their price?
However one should be adventurous, especially where there's so little to lose. The subject of the OP is easy to ridicule because he looks conventionally nerdy/dweeby and has a flipping typewriter at a park. Just dress normally and be friendly and you'll just be a street artist doing calligraphy instead of caricatures, nothing to laugh at
Like I said, that isn't what was being ridiculed, nor why.
What was being ridiculed was a photo of him in the park with his typewriter, because the image was posted without context. Your story is in no way comparable, because in your case it's the idea of writing poetry that your girlfriend found derisible, not the idea of you sitting on a bench with pen and paper in hand.
This kind of context-free Reddit post often leads to cascading levels of verbal abuse. All that these kinds of post do, and all it is intended to do, is to incite a hail of abusive comments with a lot of self-righteous sanctimony thrown in.
This was the raison d'etre of now-banned subs like r/fatpeoplehate. People had their photos posted without their permission, for no other reason than for posters to abuse them for all their perceived personality failings (lack of willpower, laziness, entitlement) --- all on the basis of one photo, of a person they've never met.
It’s like the “nerds” that were treated so badly in the 80s for being into Starwars and dressing up in their favorite characters. Now Starwars is cool and dressing up garnishes respect based on how elaborate and how much work went into it.
I guess none of the above is surprising. It happens with everything. Inventors, entrepreneurs, and other people that are later respected as pioneers.
That sounds very much like a 'within the community' sort of thing.
Isn't it just that the internet's made it easier for groups with (varying degrees, of course, of) niche interests to congregate?
What's interesting to me is that we had some of the same sentiments that were expressed so negatively on reddit, but in a very positive light? Crazy how the anonymity and lack of context can easily influence folks to be so negative.
I mean the idea is a bit insane but the guy needed to eat and he’s a writer. I still think the idea of using a typewriter to become a writing busker was pretty clever in the end.
I wonder how he’s doing today.
Perhaps I would have upvoted some mean comments, or laughed at them, or maybe shared the link with a friend, hoping to invite more ridicule. I wish I could say I'd be some of the people defending it, or even better, someone who doesn't click on such posts.
Someone in stereotypical metalhead attire is unlikely to be called a hipster for it, neither is someone dressed in punk fashion, nor a goth or a jock, etc... well, they won't by a anyone with half a clue as to what the identifying features of these subcultures are.
The negativity comes from people assuming that hipsters think they're cool, but (according to their critics) they're not... it's kind of a rejection of a holier-than-thou attitude, but in fact the critic is engaging in the same snobbery by picking on the hipsters (or whatever subculture they're targeting).
The insult slingers are trying to act as a fashion police, as if there's something special about them that let's them see what's "really cool" that hipsters are blind to. But every sense of fashion is just as arbitrary and ridiculous as any other, and no one's so cool that they can't be looked down on and sneered at by someone else.
I blame this on the deification of schadenfreude in popular culture. The advent of reality TV, and the prurient interest in other people's pain exemplified by the afternoon talk shows that predated it, gives us all not only the opportunity, but the permission and encouragement to feel like we're superior to others because of some dehumanizing glimpse into an uncontextualized portion of their private lives.
What a different world we might have if society cultivated a sense of humility, a 'hey, none of us are perfect and we're all out here struggling and I wish us all the best' mentality.
But then, fostering divisions and appealing to our baser, more ignoble instincts is more beneficial, both in terms of profit and also 'divide and conquer' social control.
It could even be a matter of principles. Anything produced at scale, especially clothing, exploits cheap labor. That's something these people may want to avoid. It's also bad for the environment to buy cheaper items that will likely fail quickly, and if old clothes are still usable then why waste resources on new ones?
The holier-than-thou attitude that the other commenter mentioned is still what I believe is the reason for hipster hate. And it's not always unwarranted. If someone becomes a hipster because they want to feel superior, then that certainly does make them annoying.
The hipster is just tip of the collective idea iceberg.
I wish more people were aware of the value of anonymity.
Exposing yourself to the world comes with its pros and cons.
Attaining celebrity status may make you rich, but at what cost?
Maybe many will turn into paying fans, what about the stalkers, the bullies? What about the mentally disturbed with a knife?
For me, though, I use my real name everywhere because I don't want to be able to hide behind an anonymous identity, and the reason for that is that it's easier to be like the jerks that were mean to this writer when you're anonymous.
Not being anonymous means that I think more carefully about what I am going to say and try, in every instance, to be nice, even if I disagree.
If you look at 4chan vs Facebook/Twitter, you'll see different behaviours.
4chan is extremly politically incorrect but it's also the only place where you can find what people actually think, without filters.
Facebook and Twitter are a collection of echo-chambers of people saying all similar things because they're afraid of being judged by their side or society at large.
I still try to be nice when I'm anonymous but, more importantly, I'm comfortable sharing what I think only when I'm anonymous.
I don't want to link my political views to my name, I don't want my well paying employer to know I'm not as woke as them.
To be honest, what I do does not work for the vast majority of people, and even though I do it, it does make me nervous.
But one big reason I still do it is that the current culture thinks I am a terrible person anyway, so they are not going to think worse of me.
I have already been the target of collective vitriol once, when I spoke against one particular Open Source project rewriting in Rust.
So I have already weathered such a storm, which means I can do it again if I become someone's new target of the week.
Can everyone do that? I don't think so. So yeah, you are absolutely 100% correct.
(Side note: that experience with Rust has pushed me away from Rust, period. I don't want to be part of a community that does that. I know the Rust maintainers don't like that culture either, so I don't blame them. But it still exists, so Rust doesn't seem like a community that would want me in it.)
"I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: 'try being rich first'. See if that doesn't cover most of it".
-- Bill Murray
“Hipster”, “ironic” and “pretentious” seem all to be very slippery words that are really just a judgements of how “normal” or not something is. It smacks of assimilate or die. Which are typically a projection of how little that person values their own life and how easily shaken they are by someone not make if their same choices. It’s no real wonder to me that a hyper-competitive culture would bring about this sort of behavior though.
It was a soothing experience, and I kept that key around for a very long time.
They (not the Sheik some other random people from the internet) had looked up my address in the Upper East side from DNS records and sent me an email along the lines of 'I know where you live and I'm going to come over and kill you'.. I dunno something like that. I had a small kid at the time. Freaked me the f out.
Anyway, I did nothing. Nothing happened. I also got threatened by the fancy lawyer of a rich Sheik. Did nothing to take the content down. Again nothing.
Lesson I take from this is to not let threats get to you too much, that the internet's bark can be worse than it's bite. Except, of course, for the poor souls for whom this is not true. YMMV I guess.
Oh, that must be the mayor of NY?
One of my favourite articles on the internet
I'd quibble on the final part though: they do it not to make themselves feel better (that is simply not possible), but to justify feeling bad about themselves and not wanting to admit it. It's quite narcissistic.
I don't know where you have been for over the past 5 years, but not only did some of those not disappear, they had a massive resurgence (in the US/Canada, at least).
"Emo rap" has been all the hotness over the past 5 years, just look at artists like Lil Uzi Vert or Frank Ocean. Skrillex, one of the most successful producers and artists of our time, went back to his original emo rock band and recorded a single with them to a wide applause. Goth-related discussions have seen continuous increase in numbers on social media.
>Most of the people who would have fallen in one of the aforementioned groups a decade ago are now non-binary, gender fluid, etc.
I don't see how those things are mutually exclusive. Plenty of non-binary/genderfluid/etc. people would count themselves as a part of those groups, just like cis/straight people would.
I will give it to you with scene and hipsters disappearing, but "hipster" as a term has been used almost always with negative connotations (as others in this thread have pointed out already the specifics of why people scoffed at "hipsters" as used the term as an insult). Even at the peak of popularity of that term, I don't recall almost anyone using it to refer to themselves, though this point is entirely subjective and anecdotal on my end.
The point you were trying to make would have been indeed interesting to look into, if the reality matched a bit closer with what you were claiming was happening to those emo/goth/etc. groups.
They definitely almost disappeared, but had a small resurgence, not massive.
>"Emo rap" has been all the hotness over the past 5 years, just look at artists like Lil Uzi Vert or Frank Ocean. Skrillex,
This is hilariously wrong, nowhere near reality. Frank Ocean doesn't have a single reference to "emo" anything on his Wikipedia page. Skrillex is solidly EDM/dubstep, not emo.
>Skrillex, one of the most successful producers and artists of our time, went back to his original emo rock band and recorded a single with them to a wide applause.
That barely made a blip, not even 3 million listens on YouTube and Soundcloud.
>I don't see how those things are mutually exclusive. Plenty of non-binary/genderfluid/etc. people would count themselves as a part of those groups, just like cis/straight people would.
The entire non-binary wave didn't really come about until the outlets of being emo/scene/goth ran out. Being non-binary in 2018 was the same as being emo/goth/scene in 2008.
>The point you were trying to make would have been indeed interesting to look into, if the reality matched a bit closer with what you were claiming was happening to those emo/goth/etc. groups.
It has matched reality, almost to the T. Frank Ocean being emo is not reality.
Having a name for something can be powerful.
> Scene, hipster, emo, goth, etc. all but disappeared.
Have you not noticed what's replaced these? We have hundreds of subcultures: weebs, dank memers, bronies, demoscene, lifehackers, outside, Bitcoin, competitive Pokémon… What you're seeing is a change in who you're bullying, not a change in reality.
Not at all. People/children still bully each other, always have, always will. Now they can easily bully each other through social media, relentlessly.
>Have you not noticed what's replaced these? We have hundreds of subcultures: weebs, dank memers, bronies, demoscene, lifehackers, outside, Bitcoin, competitive Pokémon… What you're seeing is a change in who you're bullying, not a change in reality.
You may have missed the "etc." part of my original post. Weebs, bronies, Pokemon/gamers, etc. were all alive and well during the scene/emo/etc. times, they weren't "replaced", they live concurrently.
Something else is going on, but it's definitely not "bullying is no longer socially-acceptable". It hasn't been "socially-acceptable" for decades at this point.
Scenes require supporting media. In the age of print and broadcast, access to media was comparably limited. Consequently, the number of scenes was comparably limited. The "something" that happened was the general public learning how the internet could be used to easily publish media for as many scenes as people could think of. It's now feasible for individuals to globally publish media regardless of how many other people are interested in it.
If anything, it's the complete reverse. Scenes were more localized and had many different variations and unique cultures.
> The "something" that happened was the general public learning how the internet could be used to easily publish media for as many scenes as people could think of.
Which lead to a great consolidation, something we see in other areas as well. Regional cultures become less and less stark as national TV/news came about.
>It's now feasible for individuals to globally publish media regardless of how many other people are interested in it.
Which means the other scenes die out, and a predominant one appears. That's why you see flags and pronouns all across Twitter, but nothing much else. It's also why American culture is being exported globally, destroying unique cultures in its wake.
Large groups have broken into smaller groups because people are less required to be a part of a large group to be accepted.
I'd say the opposite: disparate groups have ceased to exist as they got consolidated into the larger group. You see this more often across all cultures as the information age has come around.
Most of those are not new... "egirls", fuckbois, etc. were all around back then as well. These groups are somewhat non-related, since many of the listed groups are not mutually exclusive. You can have a fuckboi influencer, vsco egirls, etc.