In November, I'll be leading an online writing workshop called Friends as Force Multiplier, hosted by semi-enigmatic consultancy Other Internet. FaFM will focus on understanding, navigating, and leveraging internet communities — from empathy to economics and back.
I don't have any teaching credentials to tout, none of the usual trappings of expertise, and that's a big part of the point. A person's public internet presence can act as "proof of insight," albeit in a Rorschach blot kinda way, thus bypassing the need for institutional rubber-stamping.
If you sign up for Friends as Force Multiplier, it'll be because you read something that I wrote, or multiple somethings, and decided that I seem solid. Why else, right? I don't have the standing to issue a certificate that anyone would care about.
What I'm offering is a particular map for the territory, and myself as guide. FaFM will explore my favorite territory — the huge, messy, multilayered, and ever-shifting Venn diagram of online subcultures. (Complex systems are like four-dimensional matryoshka dolls, I swear!)
I compiled a reading list for workshop participants, and Other Internet okay'd sharing it publicly. The following links are a crash course in virtual applied human nature — or human nature applied virtually, if you prefer 😉 Length ranges widely.
- "Popping the Publishing Bubble" by Ben Thompson
- "The Voters Decide" by Ben Thompson
- "Social Status: Down the Rabbit Hole" by Kevin Simler
- "The Economics of Social Status" by Kevin Simler
- "Playing to Win" by Alice Maz
- "Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution" by David Chapman
- "Subcultures aren't dead" by @allgebrah (Twitter user)
- "On the construction of beacons" by Benjamin Ross Hoffman
- "Norms of Membership for Voluntary Groups" by Sarah Constantin
- "It's okay that your startup doesn't have a communications strategy." by Ashley Mayer
- Gwern on hacker mindset
- Venkatesh Rao on "retirement pyramids"
- "Small b blogging" by Tom Critchlow
- Tom Critchlow and Brendan Schlagel's short series about networked communities: 1, 2, 3
- "How to make friends over the internet" by Alexey Guzey
- "Status as a Service" by Eugene Wei
- "Splain it to Me" by Alice Maz
- "The Melancholy of Subculture Society" by Gwern
- "Friction" by Ben Thompson
- "Aggregation Theory" by Ben Thompson
- "Goodbye Gatekeepers" by Ben Thompson
- "The Cyberpunk Sensibility" by Sonya Mann
- "Weird Work" by Tom Critchlow
- "Blogpunk" by Tom Critchlow
- "Staying Classy" by Scott Alexander
- "Right Is the New Left" by Scott Alexander
- "Social Status Follow-up Thoughts" by Kevin Simler
- "Crony Beliefs" by Kevin Simler