This One Trick Will Revolutionize Your Use of Social Media: Block fuckwits.

On social media, the advantage is that a large userbase and participation. The disadvantage: it's 99.9999% crap.

What's working for me is to filter ruthlessly. If someone is disruptive, ideological, insane, or crazy-making, I'll block them without thought (I used to agonize over that, I don't any more).

High signal is rare, but odds of missing out by blocking idiots are low.

@dredmorbius While this is not exactly what you posted about, I'm finding that way too much stuff is simply not worth reading. It seems somehow that Mastodon is particularly bad in this respect, I wonder whether it's because it seems to encourage Twitter-like "discussions" (I'm being extremely generous with that word). One example that comes to mind is a toot where someone posted "coffee" - literally, that was the toot.

A lot of it arrives at my stream because other users simply hit like on those and tbh I don't know how to solve it. FOMO is probably part of the problem, but more and more it seems the resulting signal/noise ratio and aggravation is hardly worth it, and maybe I need to just get over it and start pruning my contacts list more aggressively.

@jec Yes, this is very much what I'm getting at.

There are some Mastodon tools you can use, more on that in a follow-up.

On the concept itself, earlier writings:

Cheap Rejection as a Feature

Builds the idea that cheap and fast no-gregats information rejection is a feature in an information-rich world:

[M]ental models are not simply modeling devices, but information rejection tools. Borrowing from Clay Shirkey’s “It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure”, the world is a surprisingly information-rich space, and humans (or any other information-processing system, biological or otherwise) simply aren’t equipped to deal with more than a minuscule fraction of it. We aim for a useful fraction. It paints an incomplete, but useful picture.

Even a bad model has utility if it rejects information cheaply.


Refutation of Metcalfe's Law revisited: network effects meet Sturgeon's Law

On bullshit, S/N, craft, respect, and originality

@jec I've covered my Mastodon tips before but:

Use lists. Have a "high-priority" or "high-signal" list that's just a small number (10--20) of profiles who post consistently interesting stuff, at low-to-moderate volume. Extend that with another 1--2 lists of moderate to lower interest profiles. Prune and reorganise aggressively.

Disable boosts if necessary. You can limit boosts for a profile. If their posts are interesting but boosts aren't, then dump the boosts.

Lists can also be limited. You can restrict what replies are shown: non, list members, or any followed user.

Unfollow / unlist noisy profiles: Often it's only a small set of profiles which generate a lot of traffic. Their good stuff will tend to get boosted by others, or turn up otherwise. Drama and outrage lose me really fast. Vagueness takes a few seconds longer.

FOMO is overrated. Someone came up with an alternate term that's something like "fear of losing attention" or "fear of lost focus", which is a good counter.

Time-box your usage. Allocating 20--30 minutes at the end of your day is far better than doomscrolling social media first thing in the morning. (Though this is hard to do.)

@dredmorbius > Use lists.
> (...)
> Disable boosts if necessary.
> (...)
> Lists can also be limited.
> (...)

I'm using Friendica, which its aim is more about supporting several protocols to server as kind of a central hub, so I'm not 100% it supports every AP feature - but I'll check.

> Unfollow / unlist noisy profiles: Often it's only a small set of profiles which generate a lot of traffic. Their good stuff will tend to get boosted by others, or turn up otherwise.

Yes! I realized that as well and it has helped a lot.

@jec Right, the featureset there is one that Mastodon and/or (my daily driver) offer.

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