It’s hard to care about other people’s feelings online

Northern Italy In The Grip Of Covid-19 Coronavirus

Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

The internet is so big. Yesterday I saw a javelina running in Tuscon, AZ, set to “Running Up That Hill”; today, I saw merch for SARS-CoV-2, the name for the virus that causes COVID-19 — what we’ve all been referring to, humorously or not, as “the coronavirus.” It’s really only possible to keep up with what’s going on online in your particular corner of the web, though I do think it’s fractal and that local dynamics are the same as the system-wide ones.

Over the last five or six years, I’ve seen a shift in the weather patterns of my particular corner of online. I don’t identify as an accelerationist, but it does feel like things are speeding up, maybe because the web’s distribution mechanisms have become centralized and gotten slicker….

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