The Brazilianization of the Internet, by Drew Austin, April 12, 2024

Talking to no one is the near future of social media, the digital equivalent of warming your hands over an oil drum bonfire in an abandoned city

As we retreat from the toxic, cluttered social media clearnet to the newsletter-and-messaging cozyweb, this is closer to the real future of the internet: Each of us armoring our digital selves with a carefully constructed array of filters to let in the good and keep out the bad

Clearnet here is actually dark forest theory, where the open or “clear” internet bombards us with things we don’t want. Whether that’s spam, irrelevance, ads, or active toxic responses from other humans.

humans themselves will have a harder time competing for attention and access. In a landscape that feels increasingly noisy and polluted, this challenge is heightened even further, as the stabilizing elements steadily retreat from it, creating a vicious cycle where the spam and fury become ever more concentrated.

Here’s where the title of the article came from:

Another 2021 essay, The Brazilianization of the World by Alex Hochuli, describes how “the fate of being modern but not modern enough now seems to be shared by large parts of the world: WhatsApp and favelas, e-commerce and open sewers.”

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