The masses hitting the internet


Back in the mid-90s people on the newsgroups and message boards we would complain about people with AOL addresses. More recently, I think one reason Twitter is a problem today is that so many people are on the platform, and that means more stupid people are on the platform.

Another aspect I’ve noticed is the prominence of “Indian Twitter.” India is one of the top countries for the platform. Many of these people are quite dumb and inane…but most people are that way. The chart above shows how many people from India are on the internet. It strikes me that a bit of the “OMG AOL people are on the internet!” effect is going on. This too shall pass.

Note: In the last few years Bangladesh has apparently zoomed up the list of internet penetration due to various initiatives. The ranking surprised me, especially in light of the fact that Bangladesh sends very little traffic to this website even compared to Pakistan.

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13 Replies to “The masses hitting the internet”

  1. Indian Twitter does make it’s presence felt, often in annoying ways. Recently I saw either HBDchick or Jayman, I can’t recall which of the two, innocuously share a list of the 10 oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and the thread was soon filled with angry Indians complaining about why Benaras was not in the list. As far as I know, Benaras’s roots lie in the iron age, while the top cities in that list are from the neolithic or copper/bronze age.

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    1. There is no way to date Benaras or Kashi since it is continuously inhabited. Carbon dating cannot be used.

      It is believed by Hindus to be very very old. Much older than Rama for example.

      This is central to the dispute between Hindus and the post modernist marxist historians.

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    2. I never understand why being the most ancient civilization is a bragging point. It only shows Indians in bad light. I mean, Harappa and Mohenjodaro probably had better waste water drainage network than Delhi and Mumbai. Indians have gone backwards in 5000 years.

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      1. Scorpion Eater,

        I agree with you that having an ancient civilization, having ancient ancestors or Jatis is not a bragging point.

        The reason this matters to many is because traditionalists consider tens of thousands (perhaps over a million) of ancient books to have historical events mixed in with narrative stories, exaggeration and editing.

        For the Itihasas to make any sense there had to be an ancient civilization in greater SAARC circa 10 K years ago.

        Sadguru would say that many Puranic events date from 80 K years ago based on astrological evidence. {Many events in old literature have a detailed contemporary star chart.}

        Some events would have had to take place even further back than that for the star chart to have actually happened.

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  2. Will they ever come a time when the Chinese interact on the wider internet scene, the Jinping-ians vs Trumpers vs Insafiyans vs Bhakts.

    The Alt right-Truthers vs the Woke-Islamist vs the Middle Kingdom-ers (or whatever )
    The clash of titans. Popcorns will be readied.

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  3. The Bhakts certainly know how to do a Twitter pile-on, but to be honest, most of their arguments are virtually inadmissible in more erudite internet discourse. They are a perpetually aggrieved and conspiratorial group, and while you can act like that when you’re already in power, if you do that as the opposition you’ll just get ignored by anyone outside the choir.

    An ur-example of this is Malhotra. As a hype man and polemicist he is solid. In the early 2000s, he managed to near-singlehandedly to change the Indian view of “Indology” from apathy/deference to antipathy, and that’s good work. But as an academic himself, he is…not up to snuff.

    Part of this is natural because of modern Hindu nationalism’s roots as a broad mass-based political movement that got off the ground by circumventing institutional politics and literally taking its case to the streets. But if it’s going to go anywhere, the Hindu nationalists cannot keep acting like it’s 1990.

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    1. Is there anything in Hindu nationalist thought that is forward-thinking? That can help us solve the problems of the present and the future? I don’t see it, but maybe I’m missing something. These guys really need to come to terms with modernity. Right now, their entire ideology seems like pure reaction to me.

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  4. as implied above, language is the key issue. the chinese have their own language internet.

    the reason indian twitter is visible to americans is that much of it is in english or english-fluent.

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    1. When life gives you a lemon, make a lemonade.

      Too bad Indians were ruled by British, but at least we got the English language in exchange to harangue them on twitter.

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  5. We can extrapolate from this trend though that there is near 100% penetration among the English speaking Indians. So further Indian internet penetration will be among those who speak Hindi and regional languages.

    Are we at the peak of “Bobs and Vegene” bubble?

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  6. The truly depressing insight about India is that it’s more than fair share of morons on Twitter and other Western social media is that they are already come from its top decile. Widening your exposure beyond it’s Anglophone elite, by say setting your location on YouTube, and taking in the tastes of it’s upper half is an eye opening experience.

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