It has come to my attention that Mastodon, and/or OSocial, and/or the Fediverse, are no longer what they once were. They're being flooded by Normals. Or People who Don't Speak my Language. または私のアルファベットを使用しない人。

It's becoming like ... birdland.

Or worse: Facebook.

So, here's a thought for you: Facebook was once literally Harvard.

And whatever you think of FB or Harvard, it most certainly isn't any more. Which is a thought you might want to keep in mind. Because change.


Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha, has tracked life metrics since 1989, including daily outbound emails. The data are noisy, but averaged by month, works out to about 50 per day, with a mode (most frequent value) of 20-25. /Inbound/ email ranges about 300.

ReCode's Walt Mossberg reports about 350 emails/day.

The NYTimes comment moderation team handle 800 comments/day, each.

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@dredmorbius I was listening to a #podcast (You Are Not So Smart; "Fallacy Fallacy" episode) about arguing & internet discourse & one of the the things that struck me was how there's a pervasive belief that we write less/are less literate because of the internet, where the reality is we collectively write way more in total and on a daily basis than we (collectively) used to.

@frankiesaxx That'd be interesting to get a real look at. I suspect we're exposed to far more causual writing now than in quite some time.

As of 1800, only about 25% of Europe's population was literate, and earlier than that rates may have been as low as 5% in rural areas. The culture of letter-writing itself had to be developed, and use of postal mail was a fairly newish tradition in the 19th century, for the general population. Books gave specific guidance on style.


@frankiesaxx Thanks, listening.

Woah: Typical person, after high school / college: 3-10 written documents for the entire rest of their life, prior to the Internet.

I'm ... trying to think of how much I've written.

@dredmorbius Haha I know! But it was specialized labor. Amazing to think.

@frankiesaxx I'd like to know what "typical person", and distribution of writing was.

In clerical / office work, you'd see a /lot/ of writing, probably several memos, reports, and later email, per week. Easily 100+ documents/year.

Outside that, quite likely less.

@dredmorbius Yeah. I would guess you would see it specialized. It would be interesting to see that broken down.

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