Motto : "It's perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it's not okay to be a website with a reddit account." - DFWITRi
To explain the title : the tradition online seems to be that whenever you do something you suspect unethical, just call it "an experiment" and that's that, get out of jail free card. Same principle at work as in "no offense, but go fuck your mother!" : you're a special snowflake of mystical powers, magically protected from any evil by verbal amulets!
My own position has nothing to do with all that, I am simply an asshole : inasmuch as reddit hasn't been made by me or my friends nor is it owned by me or my friends it is ultra legem et extra curia, an outlaw thing, marked for death and without a future. Just like it's no crime to kill, maim or rob one without a WoT account, it's no crime to abuse reddit any way you please. Inasmuch as it exists, its only covenant is with the laws of nature, and whatever it may get and manages to keep by the nude application thereof is the whole extent of its "rights". Other than that we have no "presumed" or "implicit" agreement nor will we ever, and so I don't care what it thinks the world should be like or how it wants to be interacted with.
I paid someone to dump Trilema articles into Reddit. The account used is hereii, the entire exercise took about two days (10-12th) and cost me something around a Bitcent. That sounds a lot worse than it actually was, it only took a day because of my insistence on using a single account for the sake of "experiments" - this allows reddit to whittle away some time because it simply doesn't permit any account to submit links too frequently. Hardly any sort of defense, and definitely an annoyance to the legitimate users, whoever they may be, but anyway, the day consisted of about an hour and a half of data entry work, for which four bux is amply generous pay.
The intern in charge was instructed to simply go through the redditlist.com list of largest subreddits and insert whatever Trilema article fits best. In the end 27 articles were inserted, none faring better than 4 votes, most receiving 0 votes. The practical results (so far, from reflogs via Awstats) :
|de.reddit.com||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|de.reddit.com/r/linux||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|es.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|i.reddit.com/r/linux||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|i.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|i.reddit.com/r/sex||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|np.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/22civx/mpex_owner_gettin...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|np.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|np.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/||12||0 %||12||0 %|
|np.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|ro.reddit.com/r/romania||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com||5||0 %||10||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/all/new/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina/comments/2g00cw/views_from_ar...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/lgbt||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2g3p6w/ubuntu_is_a_worse...||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|ud.reddit.com/r/Romania/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|us.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com||259||0.5 %||305||0.6 %|
|www.reddit.com/domain/trilema.com/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/me/m/argentinahub/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/new/||20||0 %||25||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/all/new/||1||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/all/new||6||0 %||6||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina||16||0 %||16||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina/||19||0 %||19||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina/comments/2g00cw/views_from_arg...||11||0 %||11||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/argentina/new/||20||0 %||20||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/2cg4on/clash_of_clans_hakke...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/17zq8j/because_most_peo...||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1bxj8u/mircea_popescus_...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1vnmb4/romanian_bitcoin...||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/20sg7l/mp_was_approache...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/business/||10||0 %||10||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/business/comments/2g3mw1/the_psychology_...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/cringe+cringepics+tumblrinaction+conspir...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Economics||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/economics||5||0 %||5||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Economics/||8||0 %||8||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists||156||0.3 %||156||0.3 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists/||68||0.1 %||68||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists/controversial/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists/top||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/firstworldanarchists/top/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/investing||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/investing/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/2g4mp1/the_best_inves...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/rising/||7||0 %||7||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/lgbt/||14||0 %||14||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/lgbt||8||0 %||8||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/lgbt/comments/2g75sd/the_typologies_of_h...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/lgbt/new/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Linux||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux||44||0 %||44||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/||59||0.1 %||59||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2g3p6w/ubuntu_is_a_worse_...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2g3p6w/ubuntu_is_a_worse_...||64||0.1 %||64||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux.compact||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/.compact||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux+debian+gnu+elementaryos+debian+hac...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Linux/new||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/new/||28||0 %||28||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/new||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/linux/search||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math||11||0 %||11||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math/||17||0 %||17||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/2g46o9/its_not_the_sauce_i...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/2g46o9/its_not_the_sauce_i...||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math/new||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/math/new/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/mod/about/modqueue||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/mod/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/philosophy||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/||6||0 %||6||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/psychology||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/psychology/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/psychology/.compact||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/psychology/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/psychology/top/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/||108||0.2 %||108||0.2 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/QuitYourBullshit||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit||70||0.1 %||70||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/controversial/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/QuitYourBullshit/new||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/new/||19||0 %||19||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/new/.compact||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/top/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/romania/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/romania||53||0.1 %||53||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania/||66||0.1 %||66||0.1 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania||8||0 %||8||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania/comments/2fg7vj/sa_explicam_clar...||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania/comments/2fg7vj/sa_explicam_clar...||28||0 %||28||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania/new||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/Romania/new/||27||0 %||27||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/romania/new||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/scientology/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/seduction/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/sex||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/sex/||5||0 %||5||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/sex/new/||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/socialskills/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/socialskills||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade/||15||0 %||15||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade||4||0 %||4||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade/comments/2g7bil/pics_how_...||2||0 %||2||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/somethingimade/new/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/VoiceActing/comments/2ar1u9/how_i_learne...||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/2g3fv3/september_9_2014...||10||0 %||10||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/search||6||0 %||6||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/toolbar/inner||10||0 %||10||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/top/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/user/Madeline_Darling||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/user/TrollHarderer/||3||0 %||3||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/user/TrollHarderer||4||0 %||4||0 %|
|www.reddit.com/user/Whitestep/m/argentinahub/new/||1||0 %||1||0 %|
|zz.reddit.com/r/linux/new||1||0 %||1||0 %|
Leaving aside the dubious "oh, look at that, 3% of your traffic for the month right there!" as not all that many writers find themselves in a similarly fortunate position even if plenty would love nothing more, and further leaving aside the otherwise very legitimate "look at that robo-crap, 156 visits 156 hits, seriously ?", what's left is that the bare bones, minimum effort cost per click is 0.01 / 1`437 = 0.00000695 BTC, also known as 700 satoshi. At current prices, about a third of a cent, give or take. So : if you are paying more than that "for traffic" you are being gypped.
Much more importantly, in my own mind, is the question of quality. You could, of course, proceed on the lines of "Trilema is poorly written, uninteresting drivel, whereas Reddit is a collection of intelligent, inquisitive, well spoken gentlemen with an eye to quality and value, which explains why 156 hits for 156 visits". Just as well you could proceed on the lines of "Trilema is one of the very few things writen in English today worth being read, whereas Reddit is a collection of mutually-satisfying, limited and clueless sods, which explains why 156 hits for 156 visits". I am persuaded of the latter approach, you're free to pick and choose for yourself.
The point remains that there exist customers whose custom no one wants. They will gather together somewhere, like all mammals ever do. Just by the simple fact of aggregation they do not achieve notability, nor is the headcount a valid reason to consider any position. Democracy, much like socialism, much like any other utopia, makes for excellent books and movies about history, but for appalling actual history and even worse living conditions. Let's just consider it buried alongside communism and move on.
**** BEGIN LOGGING AT Fri Aug 8 20:35:09 2014
mircea_popescu O, you're the guy with the reddit accts ?
mircea_popescu Aha. Hey.
Anon What is it you had in mind? Because it sounds more like a flood than any kind of influence / promotion. Not that I care much either way, just changes the requirements.
mircea_popescu I couldn't give less of a shit about visits from the mentally retarded kids on reddit. But let me ask you this, how familiar are you with the math behind WoTs ?
Anon Apparently not at all because I don't even recognise that acronym.
mircea_popescu WoT, web of trust.
Anon Ah okay, I've never dealt with them before. A client took legal action against them before. They gave up pretty much instantly and removed what the client wasn't happy with.iii
mircea_popescu Ok, let me fill you in here. Bitcoin is huge. It's not huge because it happened to be, but because the intellectual elite of planet Earth has pretty much gathered around it. One of the major tech underpinnings of this hugeness is an old ideea, the web of trust. Its practical functioning is described here : trilema.com/what-the-wot-is-for-how-it-works-and-how-to-use-it/
Anon But for the automated parts, i've never played with it.
mircea_popescu Some of the more important practical effects are discussed here : trilema.com/gpg-contracts/
Anon It's gonna take awhile to digest this. brb.
mircea_popescu I'll be around.
Anon You like writing eh.
mircea_popescu I have a lot to say :D
Anon Lol yeah, it's an unusual writing style. It's like a mix of technical , story telling and stretched analogies. I'm sure you get a lot of hardcore readers who follow along, but from a technical standpoint it's somewhat of a nightmare lol.
mircea_popescu I r sorry.
Anon ;) so whats the TLDR of what you wanna do?
mircea_popescu The idea being that any current "social media" website is a defective implementation of the WoT, what I intend to do is prove this point. Because the sort of idiots involved won't figure it on their own, and the assholes a la zuck and conde nast have about as much interest in the matter as your random bank cares about getting off shitty buggy ms software.
Anon And what do you get out of proving this, aside from an interesting story with your name in it?
mircea_popescu Pretty much that. Also, the lulz of discovering that average redditor can't distinguish average redditor from well written markov chain. This will put an end to all socialistoid crap, about how "the group" is the solution. In computer times, the group can't even exist.iv I want the average redditor to understand that when he interacts with a screen name, he is not interracting with a person.
Anon Surely the argument would still be that the budget and resources required to do such a thing would leave it outside the realm of the average person and therefore not such a strong argument against that WoT. And to do it on the scale you mentioned in the email would mean using some rather questionable tactics and therefore hard to use as proof without implicating yourself.
mircea_popescu I have no problem implicating myself.
[The discussion continues in technical and practical terms, and is of no further interest in this context.]
**** ENDING LOGGING AT Fri Aug 8 22:04:36 2014
I hope you get it, but in the end it makes absolutely no difference whether you get it or don't. The world is changing regardless.
PS. A day late, but Oglaf delivers.———
- Short for Demented Fucktards Who Imagine Themselves Relevant. Because that's what it is - and no, that "everyone does it" is no defense. For one thing "nobody" can never be "everyone", nor will a collection no matter how vast of nobodies ever amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. For the other thing who the fuck cares what everybody does!
There's a fundamental difference between attributing a ridiculous absurdity to Oscar Wilde and attributing some self serving burgeois platitude in your FAQ to "Confucius" ; and while I am sure this difference is not lost on the corporate structure of Conde Nast, I am also not particularly surprised they'd pretend to be unaware. Their job as they imagine it would be to get the endless hordes of clueless fuckwits that actually don't make that difference to believe themselves "part of" a "community", one which does things, one which in the grand scheme of things matters. To keep them content in that belief no matter how false it may be. To help the ruminants chew their cud placidly.
But let's not cop out and blame "capitalism" or "corporatism". They're not doing this deliberately, or out of a commitment to evil. They're doing this because it's the thing to do, the path of the least resistance, the cheapest approach. They're doing this out of a commitment to cut costs and cut corners, the same thing that brought us not just the Ford Pinto and the BP spill, but cars and gasoline in the first place.
There's nothing wrong with the suits at Conde Nast herding the cattle, they're just doing their job, poorly, as best they can. The problem are the cattle in question, the millions of herbivores that technical progress has placed into housing for no reason and dressed up for no good cause. You ever saw one of those unfortunate, sad, crazed pet dogs old women keep on a short leash and dress in cozies ? That's most of the Internet population - there's absolutely no dog-relevant reason for the dog to wear a flannel, and there's absolutely no reason for your average "in a transitional phase right now" soft "sciences" major to own a computer - yet here we are, and for the same reasons in both cases. Someone with the ability to spend a lot of money they didn't earn and with a lot of free time they can't in any way employ decides to force the dog into the cozy and the fucktard into housing.
The cattle in question, poodles in the hands of a bored old Jewish woman, they're the problem, but honestly you can't really say it's their fault. After all, they're doing exactly the cheapest thing that'll allow them to survive, just like Nature intended. You don't see earthworms writing poems, although they arguably carry the calamus with them, you don't see snakes painting on the endless dunes of the desert, and yet they could. Sure they could, but they don't absolutely need to, and so they won't. Why wonder then that when confronted with the correct solution and the easy solution cattleboy and cattlegirl take the easy ? Sure, it's the attribute of humanity to favour the correct over the easy, but then again they're not human, not in any meaningful sense.
So there you go, full circle. Cui castigat ? [↩]
- Feel free to use it yourself, the password is the same as the username.
For that matter : feel free to contribute your own accounts in the comment section or on irc, that way others will be encouraged to contribute theirs and soon enough you'll have quite the "SEO" army at your disposal, if that's the sort of thing you wish to spend your time with. [↩]
- I have nfi. [↩]
- Chew on this for a minute, there's a lot more here than readily meets the eye. [↩]