“Social” Networking?

facebook-logo1 I like the idea of trying to out-compete capitalists, especially if that were ever to become a policy and practice of nation-states and world government. I also like open source software, which is a pretty impressive example of the viability of the project. But, with all due respect and solidarity, I find ZSocial, the putative Facebook competitor, to be a hugely quixotic endeavor.

It doesn’t take much looking at Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to notice that “social” is hardly the essence of those operations, even from the user’s side. Legitimate information trading is certainly there, but also obviously a far-distant second to the dominant motive on display. That motive is vanity, bragging, “personal advertising.”

As such, TCT suggests that “social networking” is but a symptom of very-late-capitalist culture. It will have no place in a future progressive-survivalist socialist world. It is not just a trick to advance the penetration and power of big business marketing, but also a pure waste of time and electricity.

How and why does Z miss this basic point?

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23 thoughts on ““Social” Networking?

  1. Bravo. The stupidity currently associated with Facebook is neither new nor unique to Facebook. Three hundred years ago, supper conversation at a country manor (or a city tavern) could have been lamented as just as vapid–nothing but personal advertising, bragging, shared brand-identification, and of course, a vast waste of time and money.

    Any new gadget we come up with will continue to allow us further expressions of empty hopelessness, until we find something better within ourselves. Similarly, combating Facebook’s current stupidities by regressing to campfire talk will only result in campfire versions of Facebook.

    As to your concluding question, Z is right on point by trying to channel a sense of alienation into a few bucks. Facebook did the same by rebelling against MySpace, which rebelled against high school, which rebelled against [snip].

  2. I have to disagree, if only partially.
    While it is true that certain modes of communication/organization only channel and focus bad trends that are already there, they also amplify them in a specific direction.

    In the case of Facebook, yes, it made it easier for the existing douchebag/ narcissism tendencies to flourish. However, the very layout, format, and structure of the technology encourages and amplifies it.

    Let’s see what are the things you can actually “do” on facebook:

    1) above all, you can “like” stuff. Does this not facilitate elevating the already existing pathology to seek identity through brand preferences to new, surreal heights? Does the opportunity to simply click “like” on something somebody else said or experience not facilitate making already superficial communication even more superficial? Doesn’t look so innoquous now, no? there is actually quite a bit of violence already inherent in the format.

    2) You can also post “status updates” – what could you possibly post in this specific limited interface that is not a) humble bragging b) what you had for lunch, or c) some necessarily short and therefore virtually guaranteed not to be thoughtful rant?

    3) You can “comment” – same thing, the interface basically requires short, shippy comments. It is certainly not suited for long, nuanced, thoughtful discussion.

    etc.

    Basically while it is true that the pathologies exist either way, every once in a while a new system comes along that really gives them a stimulus shot in the arm…

  3. of all 3, i think 1 is possibly the most destructive – when somebody just clicks “like” on what you said or did instead of making the minimal effort of engaging in a thoughtful co-reflection/articulation of the extent to which this may be a shared experience, what it could mean etc., then a fundamental substance of what human communication is is basically chopped off. I’ve done it too, while being perfectly aware of what’s happening – “eh, i don’t want to think about saying something thoughtful, but i want to indicate interest/acknowledgement, so imma just gonna click ‘like'”. This actually scares me a bit – it has its uses, but when it begins to crowd out empathetic communication, we’re too close to comfort to the Pavlov’s dogs…

  4. Heehee. All true. The same, though, could be said about language itself. For example, making love versus emitting various grunts and contortions that form the sound “Aii luv yuh-oo.” We’ve so thoroughly accepted language as our medium, now, that many of us have never understood what it means to communicate something with the entire body, or even to share a higher connection.

    And from there, collaborative groups around the campfire become “audiences” listening to “storytellers,” become books, become newspapers, become telephones, become Facebook.

    Facebook’s design, like that of all previous stages of simplification, lends itself to the terrors you described only if we use it that way. The ugly efficiencies of cramming tiny text into nooks between the braying pictures of the individuals and ads that sponsored the text do seem more pronounced, of course, but that may be because we’re only seeing one part of the transition.

    In an ideal world, Facebook-type technologies could be used as group calendars for people to optionally coordinate leisure schedules, or file upload space for pictures. We’re certainly very far from that, and right now, it’s being utilized so horribly that it seems impossible it could ever be a good type of technology–however, so is “the airplane” and “team sports.”

  5. The reason this one finds it important to defend the idea of online social repositories is that resistance to decay, at each stage, likely focused on the type of technology used in the change, rather than on the underlying emptiness that made each stage so horrible.

    Again, consider books. For people used to hearing stories from real people, complete with voices, gestures, improvisations, and a personal connection between teller and listener, the idea of having an elite caste of scribes recording stories on expensive sheets would seem a horrible, unearthly detachment. Trying to convince people that they were missing out on the human connection by reading books obviously did not work–and has left us where we are today, where most stories are told by corporate books and movies that are repetitive, terrible, and abjectly soulless.

    Yet the medium itself–bound printed matter–had, and has, a lot of promise, as long as we don’t lose ourselves wholly to it, or subvert our own meaning using it. As long as storytelling, with real characters and themes and settings and plots, can still be shared and appreciated personally and directly, then reading a book by yourself now and then is all right.

    Ergo railing against any particular gadget is unlikely to be successful. I’d like to see more addressing the less popular lack of substance, which is the affliction that (almost?) all our relationships now are suffering, on and off the internet.

    …because the neural-link cyberbrain networking system is going to be even worse, if we don’t change the underlying soulless nature of our interactions, first.

  6. RE: “In an ideal world, Facebook-type technologies could be used as group calendars…”

    Absolutely, and this goes so way beyond leisure. The whole goddamned industrial production can be organized through such a medium. “Hey guys, we need 30 extra volunteers to help with the seasonal increase in production at the shoe plant, please sign up for a 1 or 2 hour slot”. (And the same logic can apply even for activities that require some more stable hierarchy and authority. [E.g. “Listen, nuclear energy council, all of our plants are humming along nicely and do not require much attention beyond routine maintenance right now, but the Indians are struggling with bringing several new ones online, please assemble a working goup to take care of that. The usual procedures and reporting requirements apply”) Etc.

  7. I love the way you put the shoe plant. Even messy manual labor would be so fun in an ideal society, where everyone was a shareholder and got dividends as such.

    It’s interesting how capitalism itself makes labor unpleasant. What is really hard about labor, just like exercise, is not the labor itself–it’s the lifelong sense of futility; of being on a treadmill moving backward; of knowing that, at any moment, your permission to contribute could be barred.

    Investment bankers and megamillionaire movie producers “work” 80 hour weeks occasionally, but it’s nothing like actual work. At the same time, a nurse or a bricklayer, doing something much more worthwhile, has a miserable 40 hours. What we think of as “work,” and its resulting stresses, are not so much trouble because of the actual work involved, but because of the pedantic oversight, condescension, and minimal chance of commensurate reward.

    “Capitalism,” or at least “what we have now,” is not so much alienating labor from the fruits of labor–it’s an alienation of the joy of labor itself. Again, like exercise, labor that has a real purpose as part of a community of the planet is joyful. Tallying it up the way we do is what makes it soulless and miserable.

  8. Hmm, “future progressive-survivalist socialist world.” There are all sorts of big rams smacking into each other with that epic phrase. “Progressive” and “survivalist” don’t usually come within zip codes of each other, “Survivalists” being ready to kill you for your hoard of jam.
    Humans, as hunter-gatherers, during almost all of our existence, were of course practicing social cohesion for survival, but they also practiced infanticide and high rates of inter-personal violence (surely there’s some debate about that, but Dilworth is explicit about this).
    The current supersystem has led us to the horrors of our age, but if the Great Die-Off comes about in our time, I doubt it will have much of a “socialist” bent. More like a monstrous extension of more of the same, – irredeemable poverty leading to suffering and death.
    The latest Tomgram, or whatever it is called, is brutal confirmation: American corporations used to supply some minor percentage of the world’s weapons
    – now it is 78%. Just another trend pointing way, way away from “socialism.”
    Still, I enjoy thinking of the current tiny band of better-worlders roaming the Detroits of the future -

  9. Hmm, “future progressive-survivalist socialist world.” There are all sorts of big rams smacking into each other with that epic phrase. “Progressive” and “survivalist” don’t usually come within zip codes of each other, “Survivalists” being ready to kill you for your hoard of jam.
    Humans, as hunter-gatherers, during almost all of our existence, were of course practicing social cohesion for survival, but they also practiced infanticide and high rates of inter-personal violence (surely there’s some debate about that, but Dilworth is explicit about this).
    The current supersystem has led us to the horrors of our age, but if the Great Die-Off comes about in our time, I doubt it will have much of a “socialist” bent. More like a monstrous extension of more of the same, – irredeemable poverty leading to suffering and death.
    The latest Tomgram, or whatever it is called, is brutal confirmation: American corporations used to supply some minor percentage of the world’s weapons
    – now it is 78%. Just another trend pointing way, way away from “socialism.”
    Still, I enjoy thinking of the current tiny band of better-worlders roaming the Detroits of the future –
    though, I’m also wondering about these stupid captcha words I’m having to deal with – “homomorphism”? is that a TCT one? Should I put on my tinfoil hat for them, to ward off hidden manipulation from TPTB?

  10. Survivalists don’t own that word. In my view, if the left ever gets another crack at running things, it will need to appropriate it. I put “progressive” there because I oppose reactionary/personal survivalism, fool’s errand that it is. Did you catch that the gun nut mom in Newtown, CT fancied herself one of the latter? I’d laugh if it weren’t so nauseating.

    As for whether it (PSS) will happen on not, I’m hardly very optimistic, not least because of the massive power of the present order and its primary beneficiaries.

    I read Dilworth, but found his reliance on Social Darwinist just-so tales made his argument way too speculative for my liking. We barely understand the genetics of simple single-gene body traits and medical problems. We have zero real idea about how our complex and hugely social/learned repertoire relates back to evolution when it comes to complex things like intelligence and violence. Hell, we are only just now recognizing that “junk DNA” is not junk at all, but relies on environmental –not genetic — input to do whatever it does. When I hear the word “gene,” I reach for my revolver.

    I hate Captchas, too, but without them, this place would be buried in spam comments. The only alternative is to use one of the comment management suites, but, to my knowledge, those are all proprietary and hence tied in with overclass data-scraping and content-control efforts. And they also devour major bandwidth on the server.

  11. Yeah, Dilworth’s gene section 9you read him? I thought there were about five who every undertook the process) was abominable – “weak” genes, survival of the fittest, kind of eugenics code words embedded – along his hairy-chested male emphases he finds all throughout proto-history – but his view of the vicious cycles and theaccelerating threats to a future for humans is being echoed in various Big-Thinker types – Paul Ehrlich, Garret hardin, William Catton.
    I get what you say about “captchas” – n meaning at all, but I better not come across “homomorphism” again.

  12. Yeah, Dilworth’s gene section 9you read him? I thought there were about five who every undertook the process) was abominable – “weak” genes, survival of the fittest, kind of eugenics code words embedded – along his hairy-chested male emphases he finds all throughout proto-history – but his view of the vicious cycles and theaccelerating threats to a future for humans is being echoed in various Big-Thinker types – Paul Ehrlich, Garret Hardin, William Catton.
    I get what you say about “captchas” – n meaning at all, but I better not come across “homomorphism” again.
    If this goddam double post again, it’s some other non-meanign glitch – why would the world ever want to see a double post? It’s all inthe moment, extemporaneous, jazz-like, just once is all that shoudl ever be necessary, O Machine

  13. Martin, it is an elite-funded prediction to say, “the world is ending.” Elites have ever prophesied messages of doom, through the grim truth of Serpent Satan, Christ Redemptor, Big Crunch, or Harsh Environmental Truths, sending a message of hopelessness to those they wish to continue to rule.

    They also consistently send a message of how terrible the past was–there were always demons, titans, patriarchs, clergymen, or some other terrific bogeyman that we must be vigilant against, and cling to current elites for protection from.

    To take the easy modern example, we all know that Saddam Hussein was real, and that he was a bad person. However, we also know that he couldn’t destroy the world or even part of America, that he wasn’t nearly as powerful as it was claimed, that he never did quite as many bad things as it was claimed, and that the need to invade Iraq was a ruse.

    Similarly, bad things happened in the past, and bad things will happen in the future, but we need not be as despairing as they want us to be. We are strong, our planet is strong, and we are filled with life.

    If we had not invaded Iraq–if we had not been so afraid of Saddam the bogeyman–think of the resources that could have been spent elsewhere. Progressive internet America tends to know this, and to understand the resulting waste. However, the same people allow themselves to be frightened of temporal bogeymen of past and future, and the resultant waste is even higher.

  14. HA, I’m in complete opposition to what you said. Elites do not specialize in sending messages “of hopelessness to those they wish to continue to rule,” but instead send wave after wave of message of hope and change and folkish happy times. In our time,s the propaganda is in every cultural space, but dominated by the specious carrot of “education,” admirably dismissed by youngish educator John Marsh in “Class Dismissed.”
    What planet are you on? “The planet is strong, the people is strong, I see nothing.” That’s a great lesson plan, stringing the foolish notions of wonderfulness together.
    We can take what we have been privileged by circumstanceto get from this world, but if you want to deny social reality, the basic, observable, ineluctable burning facts of supersystemic decay, that’s tinfoilism, folk variety. What “good” could we have done with the money our government spent in Iraq – built some skateboard ramps so Teach for America could invade Gabon?

  15. They do say those things, Martin–Obama being an obvious user of the terms. There’s a division, however, between the things they loudly proclaim and the things they subtly, yet clearly, indicate as true.

    Take neocons as an easy example. We have the public papers of the Project for a New American Century, describing how a false-flag attack will be used to encourage an invasion of Iraq to control middle eastern oil supplies. At the same time, we have years of somber warnings about weapons of mass destruction and respect for human rights. We simultaneously get the formal declaration “We’re saving ourselves from Saddam Hussein,” while really knowing that we’re just carving up resources.

    At the same time as the DLC and the RNC talk about believing in America and Hoping and Changing and Moving Forward, they also operate in unanimous consent about the government being “broke,” the worldwide climate being shot to hell, natural resources running out, and things getting worse before they get better.

    Augustine, similarly, talked about the glories of Heaven and the salvation of Christ, while assuring everyone that the world was an awful, condemned place made only for suffering. This is what elites have always done–that’s why and how they’re elites.

    This one will go on more about this elsewhere, but here, let’s focus on your last question: what good could we have done with the Iraq money? We could’ve offered Saddam $10 million and a palace in Seattle to retire, asked their permission to build organic farms and massive solar energy fields across the Tigris and the Euphrates, opened up free meal centers and prenatal care clinics across the entire U.S., and had a few billion dollars left over. And that’s just in the first few years. Armies of vets could have a great time rebuilding bridges and wetlands here, and putting together houses and teaching yoga classes there.

    That all could happen. It could happen if we believed in it. To say it could never happen because it is unrealistic is to say not to vote for a “third party” candidate because it is impossible they’d ever be elected. The world can change, as soon as we decide it can. It is the resigned acceptance of even the sharpest critics of tyrants–the belief that their darkness is too great to be overcome–that ensures a bleak vision even if they are overthrown. And who wants to overthrow them only to achieve a bleak vision?

    How many full-time salaries for builders and growers would, oh, let’s just say $200 billion provide? If we built half as many tanks and airplanes, and used half as much fuel, how much energy would that free up? The assets are not only there–they’re overflowing to incredible levels, like our several billion minds and bodies, capable of indescribable things once released.

    You’ll find that skating on the other side of the fence of hope is even more grittily “realistic” than a dark worldview. High Arka does not predict the lala land of her vision, and may predict ahead darker times than you do~but this one does see the possibility of incredible advancement and widespread pleasure that could be so swiftly achieved if we believed.

  16. HA-
    Uh, no, the nice words you penned are simpy a denial of social reality, which is made up of institutional power, ruled by inertia, corruption, massive weight. I cut people no slack when it comes to “lala land” – it makes no sense to rhapsodize about what could be, when what hsa become (in which you allege puppeteers orchestrating lunatic shooter coordination) is what rules the social operations of humans. Why is social reality so uninhabitable for otherwise hard thinking folk?

  17. Martin, you are not wrong per se, but you make a major omission in suggesting, as far as I can see, that history unfolds in more or less deterministic pattern, which is demonstrably untrue. While humans cannot reengineer society at will because there are always limited options, all major historical changes have been the product of the agency of specific people, and specific decisions made at times where cumulative incremental change has reached inflection points.

    Thinking of modern times in particular, we have the resources (physical and organizational) for the first time in history to efficiently reengineer the entire planet for the better. The ability to do so boils down to a single question: who controls these enormous organizations and the power embedded in them. Right now, they are controlled by a few private hands, but it does not have to be that way.

    Clearly there are always many scenarios possible – we can make a further turn towards an ever expanding and bureaucratizing friendly fascist state, or who knows, maybe despair will reach levels sufficient to assert humane and democratic control over these sources of power.

    It can go either way, and just because the inertia points toward bleak and violent vuture doesn’t mean that this is the only, and assured, possibility.

    I grew up in the former Eastern blok, and when people were protesting on the streets in the late 1980s, the old communists shook their heads and marvelled how the young did not understand that the system they protested against was what was feeding them and producing everything they needed.

    Well, you can hear the exact same type of objections today when people protest the power of the corporations – “hey, your entire life depends on what corporations do, and they do it best”. Well, in both cases that was/is shortsited and only partially valid quip.

    In that sense, fighting just for the ability to envision an alternative is an actual very important step. Admittedly, all alternatives are foreclosed and unthincable in the propaganda space most people inhabit, but that doesn’t mean they do not exist. At the very least, sufficient undercurrent of dissatisfaction exists both in the middle and underclasses, and it can be channeled either towards scary fascism or towards progressive change.

    I do not like the word “hope”. What’s the point of hoping? Just try for the best life you can achieve, and fuck the conventional wisdom. You got to die sometime, might as well not worry too much about the final outcome. You’re going to die in the escape tunnel anyway. Might at least make sure you’re chipping away/digging in the right direction. Even if it’s just a pocketful of dirt per week, “Shawshank redemption” style.

  18. RE: High Arka / the nature of labor

    So true, so succinct. Some of my happier memories from childhood/teenagehood involve doing physical work on my grandfather’s village house and garden.

    Just a few years later as a college studens, I *resented/hated/despised* doing the *exact same type of work* for wage at a construction site, for the exact reasons outlined above: i had no stake in the outcome, and I had full awareness of the fact is that all that the managers cared for is squeezing as much work as possible.

    However, even construction was a blessing compared to working in an assembly/sweatshop type of situation. I once worked at a place that assembled and/or packaged small electronics components. Clean, pleasant, well lit rooms, where you basically sit for 8 hours, and fill boxes with stuff.

    This was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I was able to last on this job… *exactly one day* (sic!). I know it is pathetic to describe given that so many people spend their entire lives in this situation.

    Michael has recommended around here a good book that describes the predicament well (Braverman, 1974, “Labor and Monopoly Capital”), and of course Marx has pretty much gotten to the bottom of this…

    I am now comfortably middle class (god knows for how long), yet I don’t see the point of class – I would happily punctuate my bullshit office work with an occasional stint on the field pichking harvest or restoring land, or actually making something with my hands. Obviously, I would only be wanting to do that f I felt personal stake in the outcome, and not in order to enrich some douchebag.

    We can instantly (sic!) shorten the working day by 25% simply letting the currently unemployed and underemployed to contribute. (and at least by 50% if you factor the ration of global workforce vs. globally available jobs).

    And of course, we could shorten it even further by dispensing with bullshit and wasteful activities and production/services. Pet fucking grooming? Plastic thingies to insert in starbucks lids? The whole of sky mall catalogue?

  19. I’m going to hold fast against tghe incredible incremental view of historical change. You can ascribe it to the Great Men or Great Unheralded Men or Women theory of all, but I see that as a fallacy, or ahistoricism seeing all institutions tremble before that one fateful actor, when the proper, proportional view should be that it is always vast forces at play, moving in accordance with internal logic.
    Counter-examples to our awful stasis are always trotted out: abolitionism, identity rights, the French and Soviet revolutions, technology, and the one you know so intimately, the Fall of the Berlin Wall .
    None of these apply to the structural forces of the global corporate-state supersystem. We may have the “resources” to make everybody happy and ride unicorn bicycles, but that has not the slightest thing to do with the brutal facts of our institutional arrangements – accumulation, inequality, corruption, devastation. This is not conjecture, but reportage – every facet of social reality conforms to this, despite what the broken dreamers like Assange, Manning, Swartz, and the Occufailers vainly, erroneously, and fatally posited as a reformable, democratic global eltie regime.
    If you see it otherwise, that’s entirely your right, and may be a better way of coping with the predicaments – but TCT is quite open to all – no dour, petulant commenter-bashing from the proprietor plus acolytes, unlike all the other (okay, small sample size) leftie blogoramas.

  20. Eh, I don’t necessarily even disagree with you, the facts on the ground are plenty bleak and obvious, just suggesting that there are always forks in the trajectory, and it is of no use not to try to at least look for them and maybe try to nudge in one direction vs the other, that’s all. Things are never completely static, and being able to influence the events, (as our current, most poferful and organized elites ever, certainly can) – does not always necessarily mean that you can also control them.

    As for the eastern block regimes falling, I think the jury of history is still out to explain what exactly happened – while some of the variables definitely related to structural inadequacies, part of it was simply a decision by the communist eliets and the nomenklatura/managerial class to convert their political power into economic one. Moreover, some of the structural inadequacies themselves were the result of decisions, such as ditching democracy, and not worrying too much about the consumer goods sector etc.

  21. Martin, rhapsodizing about what could be–imagination–is the only way actions are consciously and deliberately taken. Before anything can be changed, it must be imagined to be possible. I imagine that I could solely complain on the internet, and I can put it into effect and see it coming true. It’s possible, and likely. I imagine that something better might happen, and it’s possible, but unlikely. If there’s any sort of first step out of all this, it will begin with imagination.

    Imagine a worldwide empire of criminal elites using a complicated system of fictional entities to pit various slaves against one another in a ceaseless parade of labor, destruction, and misery. Imagine that situation emerging from a beginning of simple bisexual cells combining DNA in order to make reproduction more efficient and/or sustainable.

    Is this because the world is inherently sinful, or because one out of many visions currently rules the day? Inertia would not have permitted the development of the social reality we find, so it seems clear that the world can be changed, and it can be done by conscious beings who use their imaginations and then put their hopes into effect. This would be the “agency” dear Marla refers to. If we have it, it’s possible, even if it’s ridiculously improbable. If you decide that improbability means impossibility, then you let that little spark of potential go out–and that is exactly what they want. That’s why realistic, pragmatic compromise with harsh realities is the choice of all educated first-worlders.

    Martin: “None of these apply to the structural forces of the global corporate-state supersystem.”

    So true, as the revolutions in question were generally managed by elites to serve a pressure-release function. Does that mean no change is ever possible? Only if we accept this tiny human slice of history, and the major events therein that we’re permitted to know about, as all that is possible. The vast leaps we have made have not been the few recent, carefully-scripted human arguments that have been decided in favor of an elite, but have occurred on a far greater scale.

    The resources do exist for an evolutionary leap. Perhaps one will happen a year, or ten thousand years from now, and perhaps it will be good. If we stop believing in impossible things like existing on land or dropping mammoths into pits, they’ll certainly never happen. Hope is something to keep alive not for yourself–because you’re right about its utility to those of us here–but for others, so that it’s not forgotten entirely if and when.

  22. Noble, sentiments, HA, but so is the phrase”Visualize Whirled Peas.”
    I’m not so sold on the redemptive powers of David Foster Wallace-style “imagination” – there are 5000 channels with nothing on but imaginative social decay- Breaking Bad, Buscemi’s latest, familial stupidity. This culture specializes in techno-fantasy – but that hasn’t made a single bumpersticker come to life.
    “Evolutionary Leap” – as in to “Idiocracy”?
    I just don’t get the “vast leaps” we are supposd to have done – an upright ape we were, an upright ape we are.

  23. Apes, yes. We’re also cellular, composed of matter, energy-using, temporally based, and surrounded by electromagnetism. Depending on the scale of things, there’s no difference between being nonexistent, an amoeba, or a telekinetic cyborg. We have, though, made vast leaps in the sense that we have more inherited toys and more freedom to explore the world/solar system/infinite reaches.

    Presume that we’re a band of upright apes living in a socialist paradise in an unspoiled garden, lifespan 100 years, all food organic, drum music every night and no crime. Four thousand years later, we’re losing our repressive, crappy, yet highly-lusted-after jobs under the reign of President Obama. But we are still here, and maybe in four thousand years, we’ll be living on a series of intergalactic pleasure barges, lifespan transferable and unlimited, experiencing sensations as far beyond the mp3 as the mp3 is beyond a rock bumping another rock.

    This one grants that the current perspective is in many (most?) aspects unpleasant, but certain parts of our lives have improved, and there exists every possibility for others to improve as well. Stay a hard-headed realist, and while you are one, remember that realism includes the possibility things could vastly improve.

    As they say, perhaps someday you’ll join us~

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