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Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.


The Cynictrain Manifesto

It has now been fourteen years since the Cluetrain Manifesto. I have updated it to reflect contemporary reality and society.

  1. Markets are conversations in much the same way as the school bully picking on the disabled queer kid is friendship.
  2. Markets consist of human beings. Smelly, horrible human beings who we want to fuck over.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. Conversations with social media marketers sound like people attempting to sound human. That’s right: social media marketers are humans that fail the Turing Test.
  4. One of the problems with the market is that people make stupid decisions based on a lack of information. This is not like Twitter at all.
  5. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. But NSA wiretapping subverts hyperlinks, so we’ve got that covered.
  6. There are no secrets anymore. This is why Chelsea Manning is behind bars.
  7. The community of discourse is the market. And if a particular community of discourse doesn’t like being the market, we’ll fucking well make them into a market.
  8. We’re all down with conversation and social and community. Until we make enough money that we can delete your wedding photos, get Google stock and fuck off to a private island.
  9. Markets are conversations. And if you don’t like a market actor, you just make a video game inciting people to beat the shit out of her or put up a web page claiming that he’s a rapist. That’s just conversation.
  10. Reddit is the future of journalism, so long as it doesn’t veer off the topics of Ron Paul, Bitcoin, how men are the true oppressed class in society and cats.
  11. We are immune to advertising. Advertising played no part in why we queued up for hours to buy a new iPhone.
  12. Our immunity to advertising is why Facebook, Google and a dozen other analytics and tracking companies want to know everything we do.
  13. The government want to participate in the conversation. And by “participate in the conversation”, they mean “blow your limbs off with a predator drone”.
  14. The people who invented a service to drive rich people around San Francisco in a Mercedes should be the people who decide on global transport policy.
  15. Transparency improves everything. The gay men in Russia that have been lured to their death by thugs stalking them on dating websites agree, we’re sure.
  16. The death of children in Syria is depressing. Here’s a cat picture for you to look at instead.
  17. Silicon Valley is a meritocracy: that’s why we have hired only people that are just like us.
  18. We’re not sexist. You are just not a culture fit, darling.
  19. We believe everyone should get a liberal education. But that’s expensive, so everyone gets to take internet correspondence courses instead.
  20. We’ve created a generation of smart, creative people to run your companies. But that’s expensive so just outsource everything to China.
  21. Social media is putting the people back in control. And the people are always right.
  22. We want you to focus on being creative at work. This is why we created open plan offices: to annoy the shit out of you.
  23. We are creating a new marketplace. But JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs will find a way to fuck this one up too.
  24. Social media enables customers to hear the same blustering horseshit that companies used to tell us over the phone. But now it’s on the Internet.
  25. Who needs investigative journalism? Hashtags are a perfectly servicable alternative.
  26. Anything longer than a tweet is “tl;dr”.
  27. Social media is democratic and all about the common man. This is why we have “summits” that cost thousands of dollars to attend to talk about it.
  28. Technology is all about empowerment if you know your JavaScript from your C++. Otherwise, it is fucking annoying.
  29. The government ought to be like Wikipedia. We say this having never gotten into a proper full-on argument on Wikipedia.
  30. The new growth market in our industry is casual game apps. We’ve built numerous companies on pinching the pocket money of particularly stupid kids. At least apps don’t contain sugar.
  31. Social media is letting us see the world in a different way: through the incessant oversharing of restaurant meals and poncy cappucinos of our hipster friends.
  32. Our conversation is still privileged and exclusive. We have no interest in changing that.
  33. We are going to disrupt everything. Then we’ll be bought by Yahoo! and then we’ll sunset all your shit.
  34. We are disruptors. So were the 9/11 hijackers.
  35. We are waking up. We are watching. We are storing it all in a giant data centre in Utah for governments and corporations to poke through.