Robot’s Useless Reviews – The Internet

Instagram desperately wants to sell me a pair of pants. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d say Instagram is a pants store. Oh sure, they show me pictures of people riding bikes in far flung locales too, but when they’re not doing that, they’re pitching me a pair of pants.

Let’s be honest. The Internet is a newspaper for people with no focus, no patience and no attention span, The longer you interact with the Internet, the less focused, patient and able to pay attention you are. By design. It’s like one of those alien body snatcher movies where you invite the giant brain-eating monster into your home, give it a glass of iced tea, and then tell it all your most intimate secrets. That’s the Internet.

It’s a great way to get news fast, but since all the news is terrifyingly terrible, wouldn’t it be better if it got delivered by a kid on a bike, flung up on your stoop, and then left there to soak up the morning rain? Think of all the awful things we wouldn’t have to know about if the Internet didn’t tell us about it.

There are so many pants, and all of them are ideal for travel, office or just hanging out.

The Cycling Independent modeled itself after a community weekly newspaper, because the medium is the message, and the message is we’re all together in this bike riding thing. The Internet’s message seems to be that everyone is faster and fitter than I am. They live in nicer places. They’re better looking. BUT, and this is the crucial part, if I acquire the right products, I can belong. It is a cruel irony that TCI’s words are delivered to you via Internet.

Some days I wish we were an alien monster that could take on the guise of your grandmother, bake you some delicious cookies, and then devour your brain.

My friends at Giro and at Competitive Cyclist (god bless them) have planted cookies (such a cute name for what is, essentially a tracking device) on my laptop so that every site I visit is plastered with ads for two models of mountain bike shoe that neither of them has in my size. I’m not mad at them. This is how you do business in the Internet-age. You tag your customer like some endangered bird, monitor its whereabouts, and make sure it returns home safely, to barf its hard-earned worms and bugs into your waiting mouth. Commerce!!

I have been made aware that you want your pants to be soft, and the pants on offer are among the softest. Many magazines recommend these pants. They have so many pockets. Really clever pockets. Turns out I’ve been using the wrong pockets all along. These new pants have the best pockets ever. Life hack!

I don’t know what all the pants companies are paying to get their pants in front of me, but the competition is fierce. It seems like they’ve carved out significant parts of their budgets to win my business. Perhaps I am an influencer and no one told me.

If so, and since you have now read right to the end of this review, let me suggest we both go out and ride a goddamned bike instead.

Join the conversation
  1. khal spencer says

    Influencers are overrated people who peddle their supposed expertise to those who don’t have a life much like a cheap streetwalker sells nookie on the seedy side of Downtown to those who can’t get a date. Then there is my neighbor, who advertisers as a “life coach” (??) presumably to those who don’t know how to figure out the meat aisle from the pasta aisle. Seems to me the Internet has created a whole raft of monsters, bullshitters, and con artists. Oh, and too many varieties of pants.

  2. DaveinME says

    Emlyn and Kahl – you both nailed it. Influencers and life coaches are just bullshit artists. Nothing more.

    Remember back in the early days of the net everyone would yell about how great it would be to have immediate access to all the information out there? It’s handy, but goddamn it’s created a huge pool of just plain stupid people.

    1. khal spencer says

      My dissertation adviser used to say “90% of the literature is bullshit”. That was 35 years ago. Now the bullshit has proliferated to the point where that number is around 99.5%

    2. Emlyn Lewis says

      One of the great things the Internet has done is democratize the means of communication. The downside of that is that the filters we used to have for dumb ideas, inarticulacy, and outright lies, are mostly gone now. Thus the proliferation you mention. Maybe I’m no one to judge.

  3. TominAlbany says

    Khal, Did you ask your adviser how much of the 95% they contributed to?


    Yes. The internet is a vast wasteland just like its predecessor – The Television – “Now in living colour!”

    Let’s face it. We’re all subject to the allure of the ‘shiny object’ in the corner from time to time. We just need to remember that not all that glitters is gold.

    And remember, the weekly world news, and the enquirer existed long before Al Gore invented the interwebs!!

    1. khal spencer says

      My advisor was referring to the professional literature. So he was not adverse to being an iconoclast.

  4. ransom says

    My hope lies significantly in distinguishing The Internet from Social Media. It seems to me that TCI itself might like to be part of what I hope would be a popular movement to remember that Facebook is not the Internet.
    Thank you for being part of the good stuff on the Internet. It has made a huge amount of useful stuff available, but it’s going to take the world time to figure out how to move from “finding” to “filtering.” Did we lose critical thinking skills, or did it just used to be less *obviously* misguided to believe sources if the typography was reasonable? I’m twitching from all the flashing lights, but the only way out is forward.

  5. scottg says

    The Internet is like 3 card monte, lots of chatter, while someone figures out how to steal (legally),
    some money. Note that 3 card monte people are honest crooks, they’re on higher moral plane
    than 40% portion of the internet. (source Gizmodo click bait poll)

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More