Match Trap (why nonsense podcasts are bad)

So I’ve been reading The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen. One of the main topics or observed developments he discusses is Matching. From dating to home buying to religion. Like becomes like like. People find their people.

The downside of this, expedited by technology, is segregation. Segregation by social class, wealth and ultimately race. It’s all very good (not the segregation! the observations) and you should go read it. It’s easy at maybe 200-300 pages.

So I’m thinking about matching and I start thinking about all those monkeys on typewriters. This is not matching, this random noise. Out of hand I reject the underlying implication of the monkey/typewriter scenario because of my creationist priors. Order does not come from chaos. Monkeys do not have the creative impulse like us, those who were breathed into life by our God.

So I’ve got a matching problem. It’s hard to remember things. I can’t quite match what I have with what I need but what I do have is A LOT. A lot of information.

So no monkeys, just to be clear again, it’s people who generate large sums of this information. I’m about at the following cap on twitter, 5000 people for a small time rando like me. That’s not people who care about my banal garbage, no that’s the people whose banal garbage I sign up for.

So this is my dilemma, (I’m not even talking about twitter just the number of information channels there is really clear): Every day I make a puzzle.

The puzzle has a thousand pieces. Each piece comes from another discrete puzzle of a thousand pieces. Each piece fits with every other piece if you try hard enough.

This sounds like noise and noise will drive you crazy.

But

There’s something else here. There’s matching. That unguided creative impulse, a shade from madness.

The information mosaic is oppressive. But like those hour long improv comedy podcasts that eventually yield a single good nugget of laughter, rare is the beauty and more beautiful for it.

But is it worth it? Could a machine even sort it? Do I enjoy the chaos?

Incomplete and superfluous is what these creations are. What springs from the depths our own specially, personally curated hive minds.

All these fragments come pouring out late at night and my problem, I can’t even remember. Isn’t that my problem.

What would be there that matters, is lost. Our manufactured chaos is not so different after all.

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