Preamble: Okay so I’m on my final four index cards, living in a place where they’re not as easy to come by (I’m probably going to need a plan for this very outdated tech!), which has made my life hellish. So excuse me while I dive in…
1. There’s this idea, hitting mainstream media last month, that an impending vibe shift is coming; I felt what it meant, but I didn’t know.
2. “A vibe is the feel of the least unsatisfying wrong resolution of a mystery,” writes Venkatesh Rao. I am a sucker for aphoristic explanations, so I’ll also highlight his punchier definition: “A vibe is an emotion pretending to be an explanation.”
3. The vibe shift piece itself created a vibe too, one of transition and movement and stress; but perhaps it was a misreading of things, as paul (from bible) writes, “Dean Kissick, K-HOLE, and everyone other washed millennial who reads them thinking they know what they’re talking about – they’ve all already missed the vibe shift. They didn’t see the angelicisim01 tweets that are now deleted. They don’t know what to make of the clone accounts. They don’t understand that the -cellectuals account isn’t a fan account, it’s post-angelic matter. They don’t know how to read the internet. And they don’t know what’s next.”
4. I obviously missed all of those things too, I even missed Dean Kissick and almost missed the article. I’m still making sense of what all of this might even mean while keeping both feet on the ground in the process. I like Libby Marrs & Tiger Dingsun’s piece and explanation: “In my view, failure to read the internet isn’t about being “unable to grasp the meaning”. Rather, it’s about imposing singularity (”the meaning”) on a story that structurally defies definition. There is no “one path for the internet”. The trouble is, the “one path” metaphor does make sense, intuitively.”
5. There are filter bubbles and all sorts of things like that, but I’ll close it off with an image I saw from Sonal Chokshi, who attributes it to David Gelernter (of Mirror Worlds fame) on stream browsers, which seems to click with Marrs’ and Dingsun’s point on reading the internet.
Postscript: I’m glad I didn’t study philosophy, my intuition is screaming that there is something interesting here, I just don’t consciously get any of it yet. Is a vibe shift any more than an amalgamation of trends, taking place in a set of increasingly expanding space and specific filter bubbles? Is this just a new term that doesn’t mean anything? Everyone finds their way into Web3—through NFTs, through Bitcoin, through Ethereum—and “vibes” and “lore” might’ve just been my doorway in.