Antisocial Network

This week I watched the 4chan documentary Antisocial Network. I thought it was good.

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend in the UK. It’s warm but stormy here.

This week I watched the 4chan documentary Antisocial Network.
I thought it was good.

Antisocial Network

I’m not one for TV of any kind, but after listening to the recent New Models interview the directors of The Antisocial Network on the paid subscriber feed, I watched it with Eve on Netflix the other night.

It’s a fantastic film. Charting the long and deep shadow that 4chan casts over western culture and the internet at large.

I spent far too much time on 4chan from about 2005-8ish and then got sucked back in during the OpChan protests. My views on the time I spent/this period of my life online are mixed. Especially as much later trolls tried to destroy someone very close to me’s reputation and life – which i’m not going to speak about at all – but its hard not hold a grudge.

But, all through the late 00’s/Early 10’s I used to semi-regularly go to chan meet ups in Central London. We all called each other by our alt/screen names in the London region IRC channel we in. The meet ups themselves were a menagerie of proper sorts of shut ins and weirdos – as you can imagine.

The documentary does a good job of capturing the energy of this early period of the site. The excitement around global protest etc materialising from cyberspace IRL, and explaining how it soured after the occupy movement. Biella’s book on this era is fantastic.

There’s a part of me that thinks the darkness of Gamergate and Qanon etc could have been avoided if ‘the left’ had done more to acknowledge Anon’s online activities during Occupy and the Student Movement (DSG tried). ‘The left can’t meme’ became a meme because the left withdrew from this arena as a site of struggle – despite inventing it.

I like how the film breaks the history in to different era’s and uses some stunning animated interludes to illustrate some of the metaphors around what was happening, and what was changing online. What was happening to people involved, and on the wider social platforms.

I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I say that the film towards the end makes the case that 4chans ‘Touch Grass‘ meme is probably its most important contribution to Internet culture in recent history.

If I was programming a film festival, I’d show the anti-social network.

As well as the 2020 documentary TWF no GF – which is fantastic but got lost in pandemic madness.

I think i’d also show 2012’s We are Legion

And probably the first Zeitgeist film. As it speaks to a time when the left was far more tolerant of conspiracy thinking and its influence on Occupy was considerable.

Anyways, watch the Antisocial network it’s really good.

As I mention further down in #reading I picked up Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Conquered the World by Matt Alt – who’s interviewed for the film. Whats remarkable is that so much of whats happening in/to our culture happened a decade ago in Japan. Alt’s book combined with Hiroki Azuma’s Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals gets you. 90% of the way there into/with understanding what the hell is going on.

Permanently Moved

Algorithmic Pressure

People I hang out with online all at once seem to have begun questioning the necessity of weekly creative production. 

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

Photo 365


Important PSA down by the river from local artist Stevexoh

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Writing my talk for Lisbon
  • Notes to a compnay
  • Sent a little voice note off to No Tags podcast
  • Still working on my ‘The most impossible object’ essay
  • Final E.C edit passes for Season 2
  • Learning about current state of AI powered ‘Little Computer People’ games – 3 calls with different teams.
  • Lunch with Ben Vickers in central

I’m still open for new projects. Get in touch if you think you can make use of my thoughts/skills!

Terminal Access

You must all know by now that attention is one of my favourite topics. The Time spent off newsletter had a great post on the subject it this week:

Then one day, years after I quit social media and stopped waking up to the news, reality shifted. The world became mostly good; People mostly good; I, too, mostly good. This is my reality now. No, I’m not trying to convince you of such reality, just like you can’t convince me otherwise. Because in my reality, in the world I pay attention to and experience with all my sensesβ€” sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch β€” the world is mostly good, people are mostly kind and wonderful, and I, too, like most people am good and wonderful most of the time.

ICYMI On the Blog

🟧 Default Apps 2024

My β€˜Default Apps’ as of Summer 2024

One D&D’s New Covers

The two images illustrate the fundamental split over what players think Dungeons & Dragons is for

Dipping the Stacks

Build Worlds – Part II – John French

The truth is that we are not trying to build real worlds, we are trying to build worlds that feel real.

The visionOS Experience

I’ve been taking notes and now have too many words about the design of visionOS:

We Have Always Lived with Fearmongers – by M L Clark

a death in March finally made its way to The New York Times obituaries, where it served as an unpleasant reminder of superstitious nonsense gripping our culture in a very real and disruptive way, just a few decades prior.
Bennett Braun was a psychiatrist who played a significant role in the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s

A Culture of Introspective Captivity – by P.E. Moskowitz

introspection can become somewhat of a trapβ€”a system by which you control yourself so that you do not disturb the peace of the world outside of you.

Sony Is Finally, FINALLY Changing Its Stupid Product Names – Aftermath

The main reason for Sony’s new naming convention is to expand recognition by adopting a more memorable and understandable name for customers”, which, look, I’m just a guy who writes on the internet, not a highly-paid corporate branding expert, but that seems like it should have been a priority…a long time ago?

The fact Sony is the company that invented the ‘Walkman’ and Playstation’, their product code naming in their modern consumer device range has always baffled me.


I finished Jonathan D Beer’s debut Warhammer Crime novel The King of the Spoil. Absolutely fantastic story. Full set up and open for a sequel and I love the borrowing of characters from other peoples novels. As I said last week. Not so much a β€˜who dun it’ but a β€˜Why dun it’, If you’re a fan of cyberpunk I think this might be a good gateway novel in the world of warhammer.

I read all of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by ‘Hooked‘ author Nir Eyal. Whilst the book opens with the irony that the guy who literally wrote the book on how to make your app more addictive is now writing a book about putting your phone down, I would have likes just a little more self reflection.

I finished reading James Hillman’s Force of Character. And I read How to Land: Finding Ground in an Unstable World by Ann Cooper Albright

Been a big week for books!

I started listening to Matt Alt’s Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern World after the directors of the new Netflix documentary on 4chan ‘The Antisocial Network’ name checked it as a major resource for their film SUPER interesting so far!

Tidal Memory Exo – Iglooghost

Iglooghost has a new album out. A world building exercise, sonic design fiction set in an alternate reality version of my hometown:

β€œTidal Memory Exo is an album I made while living in a rust-ridden flooded squat in a weird UK seaside town. The area has been in an endless storm, causing strange otherworldly primordial garbage to be washed to shore. It’s basically only populated by rogue junk-hoarding scrap weirdos right now. I’ve been trying to get involved in the music scene that’s bubbling up locally. There’s lots of weird new mutated genres and illegal radio stations popping up – completely isolated from the rest of the country because of this massive storm. They don’t really like me, but I sort of wormed my way in and finally got this album together. Tunes about oceanic scum, illegal teletext transmissions, & the prehistoric trilobite angels lurking in the sewers.”

I was waiting in Outernet on TCR on Wednesday sheltering from the rain. Reading a book about Outaku, listening to this album. Felt like some kind of weird parody of myself.

Remember Kids:

Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.

― Roy T. Bennett,Β The Light in the Heart

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