Orange text on yellow background: 'Why don't you just switch off your television set and go and do something less boring instead...?'

Warren Ellis responds to a post by Jay Springett on ‘surface flatness’ by reframing the problem as… not one we have to worry about. It’s good advice: so long as you can sustain an income by not having to interact with online walled gardens, why care what other people do.

(I’m saying this slightly hesitantly, as I often do hand-wringing about the amount of disinformation on mainstream social networks and chat apps, but there’s not much I personally can do about it)

If you treat all those internet platforms as television, then you can turn them off and go for a walk on the internet instead. Structured hypertext products are still walled gardens, they’re just themed gardens, like a physic garden. The thing about walled gardens is that most people like them. They’re easy.

Jay has a point about the big platforms generally deprecating a lot of hypertext functions, as they lead people out of the walled gardens. But people like walled gardens. Even if they’re full of toxic plants, stinking blooms and corpse flowers. And besides: you have no more hope of imposing a new way of doing things on the internet than of preventing the BBC from commissioning any new programme with Michael McIntyre in it.

Leave ’em to it. Network tv isn’t all of broadcast culture, just as the big platforms aren’t all of internet culture, and all that shit is still hyperlinked. Leave the platforms to it. Go for a walk and report your notes.

Source: Warren Ellis