Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2018/ Anti Archipelagos

No Archipelago

Scott Alexander has proposed a thought experiment of the Archipelago, which is a world in which we splinter off into bubble communities with shared moral values. It seems like a compelling idea.

I have been thinking about ways that we could have decentralized social media, and it has definitely been influenced by that concept. My dream was to have different hubs where people could gather with collective norms, and to limit communication across those hubs to "trusted individuals" (which is its own can of worms).

This idea is stupid, because I did not read Alexander's piece closely enough. He writes that the archipelago should be govered by a world government that enforces certain global laws, including:

The third thing he does is prevent memetic contamination. If one community wants to avoid all media that objectifies women, then no other community is allowed to broadcast women-objectifying media at it.

Recently I listened to an episode of The Conversation on the topic of revenge porn. One of the guests had an ex-boyfriend who posted pictures of her online. He opened up anonymous social media accounts, befriended the woman's friends and family, and then published the photos on his feed.

This raises a number of issues:

Revenge porn is one example of such violations. There must be many others. I think this means my hopes of having a decentralized social network are broken.

But I think that Alexander's thought experiment is broken too, because it seems that he really wants to see that thought experiment become reality.