Facebook’s Meme Explosion: Why Are There So Many Memes on Facebook?

It’s easy to disregard memes as the scourge of your news feed — which used to be populated with nothing but narcissistic diary entries — but they have a much richer history than that.

Memes are iterative visual jokes developed by a community. Confined to the internet, where the tools to remix and republish are in the hands of every user, they should technically see more innovation as distribution increases. As we’ve seen with the explosion of memes of Facebook, this is no longer the case.

Memes, which rise and fall democratically, are often jokingly referred to in economic terms.…   [continue reading]

Life is Chronological, But Social Media Can’t Be

In March 2016, Twitter made the switch away from a purely chronological timeline to one partially ordered by algorithms. By looking at Twitter’s origins — a simple way to update groups of people — the switch away from ordering information chronologically is more interesting than it first seems, and represents the state of the internet and the way we use it in 2017.

The origins of Twitter

When it started, Twitter (or twttr as it was then called) was just an SMS service linked to a website.

Famously influential tech critic Om Malik wrote the world’s first blog post on Twitter a few months after it launched.…   [continue reading]

The Internet Should be a Communist Utopia. It’s Not, Because of the Filter Bubble

When you talk about the filter bubble, you’re talking about something quite specific. It’s the heavily curated ecosystem of the internet. A set of rules that filter all of the world’s information and organize it into what algorithms expect you to want to see — algorithms that suggest your next video on YouTube, or show you an article on Facebook.

At first, it can seem like a user friendly way to prioritize and curate the internet according to a set of personalized boundaries. You only see relevant content, and it brings order to the sprawling, chaotic internet.

In the era where fake news and propaganda virally populates Facebook — the world’s biggest news aggregation platform — it’s gone from being a user-friendly convenience to a threat to how we perceive the world around us.…   [continue reading]

Living Through Lenses

I’ve worn glasses since I was four years old. I’ve watched TV from birth.

Some of my fondest memories come from getting up before the sunrise to watch the gradually improving sequence of cartoons that were broadcast from 5am onwards. The Tweenies, The Hoobs, Arthur. All watched from the carpet, 2 feet away from the screen.

Having older parents, I was late getting new technology. So, the first computer we had in the house was a square clunky Windows laptop my dad got given for remote work. I remember, on the days where he was out on a sales call and I was home sick from school, trying to find my way around the labyrinthine internet on a connection that was only fast enough to transmit emails at the speed of physical mail.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Podcast #8: Movie Lucky Dip, AAA Games

‘Tis the season (finale) at Secret Cave. This is the last episode of the year before we take a break from arguing, posturing and bullshitting for a couple of months. We went into this episode with no agenda, and, for once, it shows.

Enjoy over an hour of disconnected chat on classic and obscure movies, indie games, and the biggest releases of the past decade.

As always, we’ll be announcing episodes on Twitter, and streaming them on Twitch.

Subscribe on iTunes to get future episodes downloaded automatically.

…But for now, listen to this week’s episode:

📻 in this episode, we discuss:

  • Thoughts on All The President’s Men
  • How All The President’s Men creates paranoia
  • Parallels between All The President’s Men and Dr.
…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Podcast #5: Radiohead, Final Fantasy, Filter Bubble

It’s all kicking off in the fifth episode of the Secret Cave podcast. Lee and I have arguments about turn-based combat, the best Radiohead album, Final Fantasy’s finest era, and Rasta samples in the Predator movies.

In this episode, we mainly cover Radiohead, Final Fantasy and the hidden algorithms behind how we’re shown the world. As always, we’ll be announcing episodes on Twitter, and streaming them on Twitch.

Subscribe on iTunes to get future episodes downloaded automatically.

…But for now, listen to this week’s episode:

📻 in this episode, we discuss:

  • Thoughts on Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool
  • How your listening environment affects music
  • On True Love Waits
  • Does a high production value affect emotional reaction?
…   [continue reading]

Why the Internet is an Echo Chamber of Your Own Head

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

We’re inside the filter bubble.

All the content you see on sites like Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and Google (news, music, images, movies, search results) is controlled by algorithms.

Over two thirds of content discovery happens online in the land of the algorithms…

These algorithms use a (rudimentary) form of machine learning to profile your tastes into crude categories, crunch the data and show you what they expect you to like. If it’s anything like the profiling in Google Analytics, you’ve been pegged as things like ‘Movie freak’ and ‘Technophile’ by countless lines of code in the past.…   [continue reading]