I worry that I’m not comprehensive enough in my self-appointed position as chronicler of contemporary cyberpunkness. Vice’s Motherboard covers my beat more thoroughly than I do, and people are constantly tweeting interesting tidbits that I wish I’d noticed first, or introducing angles that I wish I’d come up with.

For example, here’s something fascinating that I probably won’t end up writing about: “Venezuelans mine Bitcoin with free electricity and then use the profits to order food from Amazon Prime Pantry.” See also, the woes of an Uber driver when the company won’t tell him what he did wrong: “Welcome to the future where you report to an AI robot that mechanically repeats non-sense commands at you.” Customer service hell, but your job depends on it!

There’s just so much. I can’t address it all. So am I really serving you? I never claimed that it was, but Exolymph is not a complete, one-stop shop for techno-dystopia news.

Maybe that’s actually the point. We’ve switched from a world of limited and tightly distributed information to a world where you’re deluged with #content. The chokepoint is choosing what to focus on, rather than accessing interesting material in the first place.

Yes, I talk about this all the time — it never ceases to boggle my mind. Perhaps because I grew up right on the cusp of the change.

The internet isn’t an on-rails shooter like newspapers — it’s an open-world exploration game created in real-time by the players. To belabor that metaphor, what’s important is an open-world environment is figuring out which intriguing places to visit.


Header photo by Masato OHTA.

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