Nicolas Carr: Absence of Like

InsightaaS: In the most recent post from his Rough Type blog, Internet/IT philosopher Nicolas Carr discusses why “choice is not between Like and Dislike but rather between Like and Absence of Like,” with the effect that “by presenting a clean binary choice…the Like button serves the overarching goal of bringing human communication and machine communication into closer harmony.”


“We have already suggested, in an earlier installment of The Realtime Chronicles, that “that our new transcendentalism is one in which individual human operatives, acting in physical isolation as nodes on a network, achieve the unity of an efficient cybernetic system through the optimized exchange of parsimonious messages over a universal realtime bus.”…

“There has long been, among a certain set of fussy Internet intellectuals, a sense of dissatisfaction with, if not outright hostility toward, Facebook’s decision to offer the masses a “Like” button for purposes of automated affiliation signaling without also offering a “Dislike” button for purposes of automated dis-affiliation signaling…The pro-Dislike crowd, in addition to being on the wrong side of history, don’t really understand the nature and functioning of the Like button. They believe it offers no choice, that it is a unitary decision mechanism, a switch forever stuck in the On position. Nothing could be further from the truth…”

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