Wednesday, September 16, 2015

You won't believe what George Clooney and Brad Pitt are doing in this picture.

 No, sorry, no picture. This is what is known in the trade as clickbait.

But wait! Don't leave! I am here to help you. I am going to teach you an anti clickbait game to save you from disasters like this in the future. It is also a game designed to save the Internet itself.

Hey, there's some more clickbait for you:

The game that will save the Internet!

(no, don't try and click that, you're already here).

But before all that let me explain a little about clickbait. Clickbait is a classic con. Yes, your beloved Internet is a giant con game. One of the key elements that makes cons successful and that identifies them is that they involve their victims in the responsibility for what happens. Your hunger for a shady, but easy, buck, for instance money deceptively spirited out of Nigeria, is what causes you to be ripped off. You are not just robbed, but you are left sharing guilt in your own robbing and are less equipped to find, seek, or get justice for what happened.

And so it is with clickbait. If you click on a juicy bit, like "You won't believe what George Clooney and Brad Pitt are doing in this picture" you find every single time that it is not all that interesting, not as interesting as it seemed like it might be. When you see through to your tiny bit of attention being heartlessly mined by a con artist for one one-hundredth of a cent in ad revenue, you also have to face the soullessness of your own interest. You have to face that you clicked out of your own free will. What was it that you actually expected to see? What would have made it worth it?

There is nothing that deep down would have made it worth it.

Okay, I'll break my no pictures rule.

 Here is the George Clooney and Brad Pitt picture I originally promised:
Brad Pitt removes a dangerous splinter from George Clooney's neck!

I do not make a hundredth of a cent off of your visit to this blog. I am only here out of love. Well, and a little bit out of hate, but not hate of you. So I hope you will forgive me for the clickbait, which is your fault too, but I am not blaming you because I am here to help.

And thus to the game that will save the Internet.

Whenever you see something on the Internet that is not specifically what you were looking for, something leading, something that seems to promise, something that urges you to click, just stop. I am asking for only a single second here. In that second devise the answer to what you will find.

If you're an animal lover this will melt your heart.

No, don't click that!


A kitten is being swept away in a flood and a Labrador deftly scoops it out of the water by the scruff of its neck. A turtle carries a flamingo on its back over rough ground. A hippo nurses a baby chicken. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Simply believe whatever you made up and go, click free, on your merry way. If you can't come up with something, no matter how silly, if it's all too much for a second of your imagination to conceive, that's okay. It's probably not true clickbait in that case anyway, and you can click on it if you like.

And that's the game. It's good for your imagination. It's good for you. And it's good for the Internet. All the Internet's succulent looking fruit that is hollow or rotten inside will then fall to the ground. There it will break down and compost. And from that rich loam a fertile, new, beautiful Internet will



Are you still there?

Oh, fine, I give up,


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