Podcast: Youtube is the new Town Square

"... the book, once the primary means of knowledge transfer, has now been displaced by video..."

Podcast: Youtube is the new Town Square

Contact StJohn Piano on Tela:

This article contains the transcript of Episode 2 of the Tela Network Podcast, which you can watch here:

Alternate link: Rumble

Welcome to the Tela Network Podcast. My name is StJohn Piano, and I am a Blockchain Researcher at Tela Network.

The topic of this short episode is "Youtube is the new Town Square".

We are no longer a literary culture.

We are now a video culture.

We still read books. But, in general, we watch someone first, and read their book, or blog, afterwards.

The book, once the primary means of knowledge transfer, has now been displaced by video.

Image generated at imagine.art: Model = Imagine v4, Prompt = "A man in a cosy library filled with books, sitting down on an armchair, seen from the side, watching a video on his smartphone."

I can think of several reasons why this has occurred.

1. We once had a high-trust society, in which religion imposed an ideal of good moral conduct, which included honesty that went beyond one's own self-interest.

This is no longer the case. Most people are not particularly religious, and are not willing to take the risk of such honesty. This means that, in general, it is harder to trust a book.

So: We first watch the person speak, we take account of their body language, their voice, their physical appearance and health, and from this we can use our age-old instincts to read the person, and to come to a decision about whether we can trust them to speak the truth.

2. The enormous over-production of text and content.

More content is produced today than anyone could possibly consume.

Post-AI, this will get even worse.

To orient ourselves in an era of information overload, we choose speakers who align with our values and desires, and rely on them to guide us through the overwhelming complexity of today's world.

3. Video is more entertaining and demands less from the watcher.

More effort is required to read a book than to watch a video. People choose the low-effort pathway.

4. People can listen to videos while performing repetitive chores.

This is a more positive point. Many tasks require your hands, but not your mind. A watchlist with saved videos on interesting topics makes completing these tasks more pleasant.

I am sure that there are more reasons, but I'll stop there.

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Now, what are some of the consequences of this shift from books to video ?

Well, broadcasting a video, such as this one, is now the equivalent of speaking in the town square.

You have some points to make, about some topic that you think is important, and you say your piece to the public.

Obviously, some people won't like what you have to say, and you will receive negative feedback, some of which will be silly, insulting, and unfair.

Nonetheless, as the world changes, and as new things emerge, we have to discuss them, in order to figure out the best way forward, and the right actions to take.

When I say that Youtube is the new town square, I don't just mean Youtube. I mean all video publishing platforms, such as Rumble or TikTok.

Obviously, a high risk of politically motivated deplatforming prevents people discussing difficult subjects.

So, I think that video publishing platforms should move steadily towards having a proper legal system, and be treated more and more as the public utilities that they in fact are, rather than as a private company.

Guarantees of fair treatment will allow creators and speakers to discuss problems more directly and productively.

And boy, do we have problems coming up fast.

If you have any comments, corrections, or questions, you can contact me on Tela. My contact link will be in the description below.

I hope you found this interesting and insightful. Thank you for listening.

Take care, and good luck.

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