Real life maximalist manifesto

IRL > online

Real life is better than online. A simple proof: Real life is better online. People watch videos of other people doing things - in real life!

Everyone uses the Internet to some extent, but being “terminally online” is bad for your health. It’s also bad for other things as well, such as:

Being “terminally online” isn’t a badge of pride to be worn. It’s pretty shameful. When you’re in the terminal stage of cancer, you can’t really do much about it, but everyone recognizes it’s bad. Being in the terminal stage of being online (i.e. being always online and being warped by the onlineness) actually is something you can change, so it’s shameful if you don’t!

Technology has been warped

Technology was supposed to liberate us, which it has successfully done, but then we took technology and we put ourselves into a dystopian future. Some companies contributed more than others, but really, the “online communities” are made and maintained by the users themselves, not the service providers. It’s not Discord’s or TikTok’s fault (well, not entirely), but of the “content creators”, of the “influencers”, of those people who took the technology and made it into something worse.

Everyone on the Internet is a loser

“Internet people” are generally losers. Competing in the attention economy isn’t a noble or good thing. “Influencing” as a career is vapid and empty. Who are you influencing? What for? To influence someone used to imply an underlying purpose. Now you have influencers for hire, just like corporate lobbyists for government. These people direct flows of attention of consumers, of the Internet lower class, and live of the taxes on that attention. Give them not your attention! Instead, turn to more important things!

It’s not like the Matrix, but it kinda is

Things happen in the real world.

In the Internet world, many more things happen, of which almost none have any importance. It’s an overlay that you are willingly projecting on your own eyes by opening your phone or your computer. Sometimes it’s OK to step into that Matrix, but don’t think that the latest scam coin or the latest Youtuber drama or the latest Twitch boob flash are what’s actually happening in the world around you.

The real world is full of important problems

I’ve written about a subset of this before in The world doesn’t need another app.

In the domain of engineering, there’s a subset of software engineering. A lot of software engineering (and maybe even most) is bad. Not just in terms of worse performance, but worse outcomes, worse things to focus on, worse problems selected for solving.

The world really doesn’t need another app! There are big, important things to solve in the physical world! Software will certainly be a part of it. But software engineering in a predatory algorithm churner is just objectively bad, except for the owners of said algorithm churner. Of course the giant spider loves the sticky net it makes. It lives of it!

The real world is full of wonderful discoveries

Outside of solving problems through engineering, there’s just a lot of discoveries, hidden knowledge, precious gems of experience to be had.

From reading arcane books, to breathing in the clean air of the mountain tops or the heavy air of a slum, to spending a morning with your loved one in bed - these are real experiences that can be only made in real life.

From the grand scientific discoveries that you could make, to beautiful little personal Zen moments, the real world is full of these things.

Technology is good, actually

All this being said, the Internet is an excellent invention. Tapping into the enormous extended brain is extremely powerful. It’s like we summoned a god who does our bidding. Technology is good. But what is it good for? For the real world.