Pluralistic: Don't Be Evil (22 Nov 2023)

Today’s links Don’t Be Evil: My new Locus Column. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2003, 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading Don’t Be Evil (permalink) My latest Locus Magazine column is “Don’t Be Evil,” a consideration of the forces that led to the Great Enshittening, the dizzying, rapid transformation of formerly useful services went from indispensable to unusable to actively harmful: While some services have fallen harder and/or faster, they’re all falling. When a whole cohort of services all turn sour in the same way, at the same time, it’s obvious that something is happening systemically. After all, these companies are still being led by the same people. The leaders who presided over a period in which these companies made good and useful services are also presiding over these services’ decay. What factors are leading to a pandemic of rapid-onset enshittification? Recall that enshittification is a three-stage process: first surpluses are allocated to users until they are locked in. Then they are withdrawn and given to business-customers until they are locked in. Then all the value is harvested for the company’s shareholders, leaving just enough residual value in the service to keep both end-users and business-customers glued to the platform. We can think of each step in that enshittification process as the outcome of an argument. At some product planning meeting, one person will propose doing something to materially worsen the service to the company’s advantage,…Pluralistic: Don't Be Evil (22 Nov 2023)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *