Ben has crafted an incredibly thoughtful, powerful, and quotable article on just about everything, but particularly life online and how people in the web community might be able to go about improving it.
On blogging for connection as opposed to crafting a personal brand:
That's not what I'm doing. I'm putting myself out there for connection: as one human looking for like-minded humans. That's what the promise of the internet and social media always was for me. It's not a way to sell; it's a way to build community. We have an incredible network that links the majority of people on the planet together so they can learn from each other. Using that to make a buck, while certainly possible, seems like squandering its potential. We all have to make a buck, or most of us do. But there's so much more.
There's a gaping chasm between "here's what I'm thinking about" and "I! Am! A! Thought! Leader!", and I don't want to intentionally be in the second camp.
On Locard's exchange principle and the epigraph from Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower:
That's the promise of the internet for me: every contact leaves a trace. All that you touch, you change. The internet is people, the internet is community, the internet is change itself.
On conservative ideologies and the sinister side of information control:
Our little forum was on one of the 1,000 most popular sites on the internet, after all. I still quietly think some organization wanted to seed a particular ideology through internet communities, although I have no way to prove it.
All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. Every contact leaves a trace.
What if someone intentionally designs the contact and the trace?
On the dangers of overly reactive or entrenched censorship development from a desire to reduce disinformation:
Words are dangerous: they can change the world. There will always be people who want to change the world for the worse. And there will always be people who want to prevent us from hearing other peoples' words because they would change the world for the better.
On the colonialist nature of design-thinking; specifically how a group of people (likely with privilege) try to go about building a solution to a problem they don't have by attempting to engage with that community that does:
The idea inherently diminishes their own agency and intelligence, but more than that, it strip mines the communities you're helping of value.
And I'm dismayed by the exclusionary discourse on platforms like Clubhouse that are implicitly set up as safe spaces for the oppressive mainstream.