Lou Cabron writes, "Jonathan Coulton re-visited his album/graphic novel 'Solid State' (previously) over the weekend with new comments about how it applies to today's world. 'When I started work on Solid State, the only thing I could really think of that I wanted to say was something like, 'The internet sucks now',' Coulton said in 2017 (in an epilogue to the graphic novel). So what does he think today?"
"I feel like when I wrote it, we were still in a kind of slow motion cultural digital apocalypse. And then Trump was elected, and it made me think we were much further along than I had feared. Suddenly my worries about us being mean to each other on the internet felt a lot less pressing."
But he still has a very hopeful and positive message for our current moment in time. "I think a lot of it still applies. Basically, the internet and social media are technologies that are way too powerful for us to use responsibly right now. This is a common cycle with tech of course, somebody makes a thing that breaks all the rules, people abuse it, it beats us up for a while, and eventually we figure out how to manage it better. I still believe we're in the middle of that kind of cycle. It's exposed how small and scared and nasty we all are, and my hope is that we will eventually see that and learn how to be better humans."
Or, as Coulton says at the end of his graphic novel. "Hang on tight, everybody. I still believe we'll get there!"
Although in an allusion to the plot the graphic novel, Coulton added this weekend that "If I were an AI waking up right now, I would definitely bug out for a while until we sorted that out."
Review: 'Solid State' by Jonathan Coulton [EditorDavid/Slashdot]
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