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curiosity corner: many worlds, Reddit, and a wholesome book

an internet corner in which I jot down random thoughts, recommend things I find interesting, and go on a bunch of weird tangents

https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-many-worlds-theory-of-hugh-everett-split-the-universe

After reading that in the middle of the night I wrote this before falling asleep:

The universe never intended to develop consciousness per se, but it was inevitable. We’re its baby steps, little sparks of self awareness in infinite spacetime. Consciousness was born from evolution (citations still needed of course), and on a much grander cosmic scale, it is still evolving. 

Perhaps one day it’ll evolve to its final state, a universal self awareness: the cosmos recognizing itself and in it every life form and non life form space time has ever contained. But until then we are little sparks, tendrils, shoots, a baby universe beginning to feel. We are the universe just starting to experience itself.

In the meantime, be nice to each other.

We Are The Nerds – The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet’s Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin 

I spend far too much of my life on Reddit. 1% of that is a “”professional”” (BIG quotes there) account where I mostly just post my drawings. The other 99% I spend on my personal account, where, and I didn’t set out with this intent but it has sort of morphed into that, it is my mission to inject Reddit with as much positivity and diversity as possible. Of course, I’m not naive. I don’t pretend that I alone can make any tangible difference. But I still try to post what I think is uplifting, meaningful news articles and memes every day.

I have a love hate relationship with the site. I love it for its “anyone starts equal” formula. On Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your content spreads as far as how many followers and friends you have. Your status is your power. 

On Reddit, you can post something for a million people to see even if you just signed up. I love it for its niche communities where people can gather with their passions for anything and can find the other 50 people on the planet who share that passion. 

I hate it for its storied history (and present) of a large alt right community, its racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and at times highly controversial and illegal content full of violence, death, and revenge porn. I’ve marvelled at the culture of subreddits and the number of similarities they share with cults and how false information can propagate at unbelievable speeds, usually bolstered by groupthink and the power of echo chambers.

Either way, Reddit is as diverse as its community at the end of the day. Although not quite at the center of everyone’s consciousness (like Facebook), the force it exerts on modern internet culture is undeniable. The book goes far deeper into it.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Delightfully, wonderfully, warmly wholesome. This book is for you and everyone you love in your life.