psychoanalytic media A death drive the reading and Postal: social Going of

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of tools in the first lockdown proposed an especially black perspective into the future, the Movement for Dark Lives road uprising of the late spring felt like its joyous opposite—the next where programs were responding to and being structured by the activities on the ground, rather than those activities being organized by and shaped to the needs of the platforms. This was anything value our time and devotion, something that surpassed our compulsion to write, something that—for a moment, at least—the Twittering Unit couldn't swallow.

Not so it wasn't trying. As people in the streets toppled statues and struggled police, people on the platforms modified and refashioned the uprising from a road motion to a subject for the use and expression of the Twittering Machine. The thing that was occurring off-line needed to be accounted for, explained, evaluated, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and images of well stocked antiracist bookshelves seemed on Instagram. On Facebook, the typical pundits and pedants sprang up demanding details for every single motto and justifications for every single action. In these issue trolls and response people, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The social business doesn't just eat our time with endless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it takes our time by creating and promoting individuals who exist and then be explained to, people to whom the entire world has been created anew every morning, persons for whom every settled sociological, scientific, and political argument of modernity should be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time with their participation.

These individuals, using their just-asking issues and vapid start letters, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort. But Seymour's book implies anything worse about us, their Facebook and Facebook interlocutors: That we need to waste our time. That, but much we might protest, we find satisfaction in endless, circular argument. That people get some sort of happiness from tedious debates about "free speech" and "stop culture." That individuals find oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social media, that appears like number good crime. If time is an infinite reference, why don't you invest a couple of ages of it with a couple New York Times op-ed columnists, repairing each of American thought from first axioms? But political and financial and immunological crises heap on one another in series, around the back ground roar of ecological collapse. Time isn't infinite. Nothing people can afford to invest what is remaining of it dallying with the ridiculous and bland."

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