A book review for a change

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Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation by Andrew Marantz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The vocabulary of a country is just as important as the mythology behind its founding. But unlike the mythology, the vocabulary is ever changing. In 2016, the USA saw the biggest shift in its vocabulary since its inception. Technology and the free speech principles of the internet warped the way we talk to each other, ourselves and about our ideologies.

In 2016 I merely observed the change happening, but I didn’t have the vocabulary to express what I was seeing until later. This book explains how the companies we call social media had set the stage for freedom, free speech and all the hornet nests that come with no regulation, no maturity to see the inherent practicalities of boundaries, and the live and let live mentality of the early 2000s.

The effects of this are Pepe, the rise of white nationalism and a national discussion about whether being anti-immigration is the same thing as being a racist. Our timelines and feeds have been fed a string of shitposts that we don’t even remember what thoughts and ideas were scandalous just a decade ago.

The world has changed. It is in crisis as our vocabulary shifts. It is up to us to determine which direction we will take.



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