Adam Greenfield composed a thread this morning on Mastodon in which he referenced Ivan Illich’s call for conviviality. This was also referenced in a post by Audrey Watters which was shared a few minutes later in my timeline by Aaron Davis.
Such synchronicity is, of course, entirely random but meshed well with my state of mind this morning. I find it interesting that Audrey thinks it’s ridiculous to think that Mastodon is “what’s next” and instead looks to email. For what it’s worth, I see the Fediverse as being a lot like email, actually.
Given that she’s got a brain and experience several times the size of mine, I’d love it if she wrote more about this…
It’s easy to look at the world right now and focus on the shit… The Republican takeover of the House. The economy. The way my body feels after running 6.85 miles on Sunday morning and then sitting in the car for 2+ hours on the drive home. The implosion of Twitter. The ridiculousness of suggesting Mastodon is “what’s next.” And so on. I mean, I have lots of thoughts on all of these, particularly the Twitter and Mastodon brouhaha. I read an email newsletter that referenced a Twitter thread in which Alexis Madrigal argued that Twitter, at least in its original manifestation, was for “word people.” I quite like that framework, and it’s helpful in showcasing how Facebook and now TikTok really would rather the ascendant influencers be picture people. TV people, even. It’s time to pull out ‘Tools for Conviviality’, perhaps, for a re-read, because I’m loathe to make the argument that email is, in fact, where we find technological conviviality these days. But that’s the direction I’m considering taking the argument. If I were to write about it and think about it more, that is.