It is almost a year since I encouraged a son to leave home. By removing his key, his room, and his internet connection. Son still is angry. But there is a reason. I wanted him to avoid this fate. NEET, for the non commonwealth people, is “Not in employment, education or training”. And we are not made to be eyeballs marketable by social media.
I am a NEET living in my parents’ basement. In my online persona I pretend that I am ironically pretending to be a NEET living in my parents’ basement, but I am one in actual fact. I believe we are living in the cyberpunk dystopia and it’s way less metal than everyone thought it would be.
We imagined ourselves as samurai sword VR pirate pioneers, but it turns out we’re pointless argument vegetables growing in walled gardens, harvested for the benefit of robots that serve us ads. Corporations are organisms, not city-states; they signal to each other via markets; they build interfaces into human social protocols through brand identities; they occupy slots in our Dunbar rings.
The internet is an ocean that we invent as we explore it. The deeper we dive, the more we become cryptozoologists, or crypto-ichthyologists, or even crypto-theologists. In the murky darkness of virtual places, there could be dragons, shoggoths, leviathans; invisible creatures that will prey on us, devour us, or colonize us. Certainly, I have heard voices on the web who say we will discover or build a god when we reach the cyber-ocean floor. That god will save us by authoring an age of post-scarcity economics. It will commodify us, allowing us to be fungible with capital. Amen.
The Gig Economy, Zero HP Lovekraft
This is, of course, fantasy, though a dark one. It builds on Lovekraft, takes Stross to where Charilie is afraid to look, and understans that the social media giants are not a benign leviathan. Read the whole thing.