Phaedeaux

Unlike social scientists, I tend to like it when terms lose their precise meaning and begin to speak to a larger zeitgeist, a complex of related phenomena, a shared sense of something driving historical change that resists being dissected and contained into sterile lists of component parts. (I often think of those aggressively undialectical analyses as the “There are four ways that computers affect society…” school of social science papers. Really? Only four?) I like the term “vibes,” for instance, because it both describes and exemplifies this drift: how terms like “algorithm” or “Web3” or “influencer” or “vibe” itself stop referring to strictly specific things and become vibes — a way to evoke the structure of feeling around particular developments where technology and society intersect.

tinyletter.com/reallifemag