The internet has disintermediated institutions shaping individual interactions

The internet makes it incredibly easy to interact directly with any individual in the world. This ability is pretty great! I can interact on Twitter with people I deeply respect from around the world. People can let down their hair and show their true selves instead of always holding up their institutional avatar masks. Anybody can start a blog or podcast or publish a book or teach a class without going through institutional gatekeepers. I think the great things about people being able to directly interact with fans, followers, customers, and peers instantly and all the time have been well established so I won’t go into it much here.

From Problematic 5 — The Media is Dead, Long Live the Media about journalists: In order to advance their careers they need to get social media followers, in order to get those followers, they need to become a personality, and in order to do that they need to say outrageous things in other words People perceive the need to become a personality in order to have a career and in order to become a personality People are using institutions as platforms.

The internet disintermediation of institutions has enabled individuals to take the place of institutions. Instead of going to the New York Times for news, you go to your favorite reporter. Instead of reading Nature, you follow your favorite scientist. Because Culturally we expect modern organizations to become a monopoly, individuals replacing institutions has the consequence of ramping the competition between individuals to red-hot levels. This competition is an effect of the hierarchical system of group selection that used to provide slack to balance out the competition. Institutions are the second level of a group selection evolutionary system.


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