07.23.14

Internets make you feel crummy

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund at 1:02 pm by George Smith

Proven by science quote of day (no link):

“Austrian researchers … found people feel crummy any time they’re on Facebook for too long, no matter what kind of stuff pops up.”

I wouldn’t leave all the glory to Facebook. Much of the 2014 web makes you feel crummy.

I started publishing on the net, an e-mail newsletter in 1990 or so. A bit later I started posting to a university site, NIU’s Critical Criminology Department server, when most people were still using the first browsers, even image-less, like Lynx. So it’s a legitimate observation.

Part of the feeling crummy phenomenon is the complete corporate takeover of all aspects of the web. This has given everyone an environment in which Google search is a winner-take-all proposition with only the illusion of millions of choices. The practical reality is that only the top half of the screen in the first page of results matters.

Much of everything else has devolved into pushes to buy things and ubiquitous, inescapable advertising. Most big newspaper sites are now like bad television, news magazines and the Los Angeles Times being a very good working examples.

The actual news text furnished by journalists makes up a minor part of what is sent to visitors/readers. The rest of the bandwidth is reserved for squirting even more HD advertising and idiotic video on whatever’s trending at you.

This brings us to viral content, a feel good buzzterm which really means manipulative trolling, much of it to make you subconsciously feel bad or inferior for not doing something or appreciating the wild and amusing miracles of the day. This, obviously, so the viral sites can net millions of users, what might be thought of as internet plankton, to lure venture capitalists into giving them millions in cash money while they attempt to come up with a way to monetize it more, the latter usually be selling still more HD advertising or by the not-so-subtle pushing of corporate services and products.

From the AP:

US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has a hot stock tip for you: stop throwing so much money at anything that calls itself a social network.

Specifically, the Fed thinks the “valuation metrics” for “smaller firms in the social media” sector “appear substantially stretched.” And it’s not hard to see why.

Yo, an app that only lets you send messages that say “yo,” just received $1 million in funding. Cynk, a nonexistent social network for buying friends online, somehow – fraudulently – got a $6 billion valuation despite having no assets and no revenue.

And now NBA star Carmelo Anthony is pivoting to a second career as a venture capitalist with his own seed fund. As he told the Wall Street Journal, he has “long been interested in technology.”

You should feel crummy after being exposed to the internet every day for hours. It just shows you haven’t gone insane.


I’ve commented before on how parasitic web engineering is for the average user. In my experience, most of the code delivered to you has only one purpose. It’s to tie up your machine while it squeezes whatever it can from your web presence and private data.

A good working example is SoundCloud. And you can do a little experiment to see what I mean.

Travel out to the link I posted a day or so ago (or if you don’t want to listen to Dick Destiny’s tune, choose another to your liking).

Set the tune to play and bring up the Task Manager on your PC. When I do this, using the latest edition of Mozilla-Firefox, I immediately see that Soundcloud starts executing so much code on the client side that it hogs most of the processing power. Mind you, this is only to stream MP3 audio, the actual file of which was only between four and five megabytes.

Now minimize the window.

Voila. The processor immediately drops back to a normal rate. So most of the activity SoundCloud sends to you has nothing to do with vending audio at all, it’s all on the video and miscellaneous end, junk parasitic code that torques the engine of your machine.

Browser extensions like NoScript and NotScript, the latter which I use, also illustrate the predatory nature of the web. When you start using them and look at what they’re blocking, you’re given a nice course in what the corporate web is doing to you.

In other words, you’re being worked over by grasping corporate web design, none of it for your benefit.


And from the Department of Speaking of Which

My hosting provider runs a script that can’t be turned off, one to collect web statistics for the benefit of, ahem, my alleged small business. It polls clients every few seconds.

Perhaps you have noticed it.

I have nothing to do with it and don’t use any statistics it provides. If you use a no-script extension on your browser, you’ll see it. Block it.

It will not affect the usability of the blog.

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