Towards a Cozier Internet
The number one priority of Google is keeping your attention on Google. This is not a controversial position, it’s not a conspiracy theory. The priority of the systems that relate to that create an intention towards things like a search engine, or gmail or whatever, are all just functions in the name of keeping your attention on Google. They want you looking at them so they can make sure your attention is where they can monetise it, through advertisers.
This command of attention is prime: even just being a trustworthy source of search information is secondary to the command of attention in the name of making money. I’ve talked about the form advertising takes, in that its job is not to sell you products, but to sell advertising to the people who buy advertising, and anything you do is incidental to that goal. This drive towards the retention of attention and serving the needs of advertisers is so all-consuming that Google literally does not care if people paying for their services use them for exploitative harm, like how in 2022, an advertiser made a malware fake version of widespread software package OBS. Google would happily put this above searches for OBS proper, because they paid for it.
Simply put: Google’s not great.
Neither is Twitter, a service I’ve been using pretty much constantly for nine years. In June, I’ll get a notification about my ten years on the site, even though based on the way the API is behaving, the last post I made to it was February 22, and that was something a blog software was handling. It was, for the latter part of its presence in my life, doing a very bad job of what I wanted it to do. What I wanted Twitter to do was give me an audience who I could direct to things I thought were cool; instead, it mostly became about screaming, and demanding why you weren’t also screaming.Continue Reading →