What happened to the internet? Back in the late 90's and early 2000's I remember having intelligent, meaningful conversations on the internet. I learned a lot of useful, evidence based information, and when I passed it on, it was appreciated. But slowly, the nature of most interactions degraded and became frustrating. Now I occasionally visit forums that I used to appreciate as a gathering place of experts, and I no longer want to mingle. Some of my favorite forums are inactive or gone. Seems like people ask stupid questions that don't seem important, and people who have no expertise give advice that totally contradicts experts with credible evidence, and misinformation multiplies. I got tired of contradicting people who became popular because they were empathic, advocated a popular myth or spoke with authority while they made stuff up. Seems like most groups got taken over by one or two 'experts' who defend their space against anyone who corrects them with new evidence and it becomes an echo chamber/ fanclub. Posting links to scientific papers that contradict such advice were met with derision denigrating science in favor of new age bullshit or personal experience. I got banned from a site for posting science articles that contradicted what the sites guru was advocating! Where did all the smart people go? It seems the internet is like TV- a great concept but the bar continued to lower until there is most crap. So what do you think were the reasons for this change in the quality of internet interactions? I'm mulling around increased advertising, the internet is now easier for ignorant people to participate, society/humanity is going to hell, it's no longer nice to be more intelligent than other people, Russian trolls, or the general trend for people to be more divisive. Opinions? Or do you think the internet has better quality information than it did before and I'm just cynical?
What happened to the internet?
It became popular
You have made a most astute observation.
I sadly agree with your thesis.
Cynical observation? I would say realistic.
Even this small island of, for the most part, less delusional people is sprayed with the occasional salty non-sense of theists that splash upon our cliff walls with their corrosive anti-science/anti intellect brine, unaware that they are but an annoyance to those standing on the cliffs, above the oceans of delusional faith based currents we look sadly down and watch their stupidity erode knows foundational truth with superstition that contradict reality.
The first users of the internet were professors and graduate students at universities, researchers at Bell Labs, DARPA etc. The average IQ of an internet user was probably about 120 in 1990. As everyone got access to the internet, the entire Bell curve can now participate, and the average IQ is close to 100.
I've thought the exact same thing from conversations with people I've had on here, and other forums. I know this is a dating site that turned more into an agnostic/atheist hangout, but you would think that a group of people so proud of critical thinking would apply that to all aspects of logic and areas of their lives.
I think in the early internet age, we were still conditioned to interacting face to face, so the hatred and insults just were not as natural due to the format of the conversation.
I think tv does really program people, and the internet makes it easy to live in an echo chamber. Google doesn't force you to read articles making counter points to your top 10 searches.
As far as you're two questions proposed at the end people/interactions are shitty and becoming shittier, or the internet has better info - can't it be both? IMO - this is the next step in human evolution. Right now our brains can't process the data into full encompassing truths (not merely accurate personal perceptions). We have got to step up as a species and everyone be a garbage collector and start using this super computer we're born with, otherwise bad, maybe catastrophic decisions may be made.
Porn and gambling.
@CrazyQuilter I'm not sure. I just know that some pornsites and tons of gambling sites fund lots of internet content. You could try 'Ecosia' as a search engine and sites like 'Ello' which is a social media site. Linked in is usually a good way for professionals. My university expects all academic staff have Linked in accounts.
@CrazyQuilter I appreciate that, unfortunately those people often pay for the contact we prefer.