The bar keeps being lowered and the goal post keeps moving...

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The bar keeps being lowered and the goal post keeps moving...

Post by circuitbored » Sat Mar 23, 2024 4:00 pm

In this post social media takeover world it seems as if we're watching short videos and reading Ai generated articles more than ever. I can assure you that on here, none of the posts are generated by Ai, and that can easily be proven by occasional grammar and spelling errors you may identify that I frequently miss in my proofreading review. Nonetheless, I try to make my topics timeless and interesting, but sometimes you've also got to rant on current times, and this is one of those cases, without all the traditional writing fluff that Ai adds to opinion pieces.

I believe that we've sunken into an era where the bar on entertainment, humor, innovation, business, politics, and many other aspects of modern society has been lowered to reduce the distinction of talent over fluff... In many ways that might be good to level the playing field for up and coming talent, but in many ways it threatens the authenticity, efficacy, and stability of our future.

I myself am not the smartest person in the world of course, and possibly neither are you, but I could take some time to brag about how I have a career spanning over 24 years in IT, starting out as a developer then graduating into solutions architecture and project management on a lot of apps and sites you may have used -- including the one you're reading this opinion piece on, which usually averages over 50k views a month. I also work as a music composer and do all my own artwork, I've turned $100,000 (valued) real estate properties into $1m (valued) real estate properties, and I've also produced short films and won a few awards along the way... None of that matters once a new Social Media site like TikTok pops up and I've got to build a new account on it... I'm required to start from scratch, and also compete with millions of other users in a sea of undisclosed rules to grow my account from the ground up, and while building as someone who is not already a public celebrity for my prior work, I have to repeatedly assure everyone of my credibility without constantly mentioning my accomplishments somehow, because "bragging" and self promotion are frowned upon within many of these communities unless you pay money perhaps, to promote your personality/content as ads.

The above being said, for many years I've accomplished all of the things above and more with very little recognition and relative profit. I have rarely been invited to podcasts or interviews based on my areas of expertise, and I think a lot of the original ideas I express are now being crawled and paraphrased by the modern "tech machine" into words that others take credit for... Particularly by the select few born into wealth and opportunity, and IT leadership positions around the world, often as well -- while your posts often languish in low readership. The same is happening for whatever you post online. Modern IT is decimating our ability to achieve upward mobility under the guise of "social communities" we contribute to, especially due to the siege of Social Media upon public attention.

There are hacks and tricks that continually evolve on each social platform to grow, including a sh*t ton of disinformation and dead end roads often shown to us as user "growth hacking" and "success guru" content on each platform as "success tips". These success tips in my opinion are often made by paid actors to each platform to drive engagement and enthusiasm for increasingly complex (yet unpaid) grind work that reaps platforms tons of money for that free labor you provide in hopes of growing your brand or business. This is one way how the goal post keeps moving, to keep us grinding on things that don't truly pay nor credit us for our original (individual) ideas and innovation.

It's important to be humble, but humble doesn't earn a living for people who don't start out rich... It's a timeless tradition, and a fine line many of us walk daily, as we struggle to figure out why what we post works sometimes and does not work or resonate at other times, but modern IT, specifically Social Apps have pretty much obliterated the value and process of traditional practices in achieving success.

Increasingly on social media, the only things that resonate for us (in our posts) is only praise or publicity for others who are already popular or news worthy, and that's even lowering the bar and moving the goal post for our own personal upward mobility. I can't tell you how frustrating it is now to see the exact same celebrity news headlines, music, business topics, and political content as trending topics every time I log on to Twitter (X- also a terrible name for app SEO) and TikTok, which are also heavily "parroted" & paraphrased by most of the accounts considered prominent and popular on each platform. These trending topics are now combined with products for sale on each platform, sponsored ad content for businesses, highly repetitive pop & junk music clips, and confusing disinformation on how to fit into platform rules and succeed, which completely obliterates any ideal of having any fun like we used to before the platforms turned psychologically hostile and virtually unhelpful to anyone not born into vast amounts of wealth. This is yet another way the bar is being lowered -- Only people who are properly knowledgeable about how each individual social media platform works can succeed on each of them, that information is usually traded in secret (dealt out from the platform itself to partners), and inaccessible to most regardless of their achievement... It's literally trading secrets or cheating (buying popular accounts, creating controversy, or leveraging bots rather than prior achievement or developing skill) to succeed on social media.

If you look at the modern working world, as an example of "bar lowering"... traditional advice on resumes has told us that it's important to shorten our resume to key points... My belief is that that practice often hurts us (as more experienced people) more than helping. When an experienced employee shortens their resume, and excludes things they've done (removing older jobs and highlights to one page for example) there is less distinction between their resume and the resume of a less experienced employee. Many of us consider ageism playing into the process of hiring by an employer, despite there being laws against it as a practice, but in many cases age bias plays out in consideration for hiring regardless, because it's also linked to a higher pay rate for employees. We "shoot ourselves in the foot", undermining ourselves, and lower the bar on career potential through shortening our resumes and working to codify ageist practices of companies, and that's just one of the ways the goal post keeps moving for us in life as we age.

With the rapid expansion of tools and platforms driven by what is referred to as "Ai", we're finding that those tools have secretly been sampling human generated content from the past... Many tools are using our own reddit, Facebook, twitter, (etc.) posts to become universal sources of knowledge sold for a monthly fee. Surely there's got to be something deeply wrong legally with that, but the primary issue is that it allows many to just churn out puffy articles and opinion pieces like this , and even code for the websites that they're posted on with simple queries. This lowers the bar, because it eliminates the need for skill to do this kind of work... The playing field for information and opinion is being undermined by people who may not even be equipped to do interviews to describe how they achieved success once they gain notoriety. The prior is often why we'll increasingly find people who completely make up phony details about their accomplishments to cover up the fact that they use Ai tools to imitate skill.

One could say with the way the bar is being lowered, that eventually we'll have a lot of problems dealing with fraud and failed responsibility -- From musicians that get caught lip syncing to someone else's stolen songs, to Tech CEOs that lazily mine money out of their companies and do environmentally reckless and socially irresponsible interviews on major news channels, to even political leaders that get elected based solely on popularity and completely fictitious resumes (God forbid).

Really bad problems happen when we continually lower the bar on accomplishment, competence, intelligence, morality, and skill. We need to also build measurements and proper labels for things that are generated with cheat tools and inauthentic cheat codes, otherwise we'll all suffer in our skilled fields, and even as a consequence of being at the mercy of people who gain status by forging their credits, content, and fame.

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