Parametric TikTok

This is a quick ramble about Parametric TikTok — a pattern shaped by the recommendation algorithm where creators make viral formats and bombard them w/ variation, not unlike processes seen w/ GANs and style transfer.

My favorite instance of this is Little Durag1, who created a viral dance set to Metro Station2 (lol) and proceeded to feed it input sourced from comments.

“Dance at 10% with 100% emotion.” “0% dance, 0% emotion, 100% far away.” “100% dance and 100% sadness.” “10% emotion, 100% dance.” “100% right arm, 10% left arm.”

What’s interesting is the feedback loop between how parametric the whole thing is and the TikTok algorithm — itself a parametrically weighted system.

The “killer feature” on TikTok is the algorithm — the sauce determining what appears in For You, the primary surface. It’s noticeably better than anything similar, like Instagram Discover.

Apps are mediums of their own. What is appropriate for one platform may feel out of place on another. The context shapes the content.

Parametric TikTok is truly native to the platform.

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The social dilemma… feels good man.

It’s been a big month for films about the internet (lol) with the release of both Feels Good Man, the story of Pepe the Frog, and The Social Dilemma, an overview of ethical shortcomings in social media platforms.

These are two very different films, and I wouldn’t have connected them if not for the happenstantial timing. But, there is some overlap between them. First some impressions of each individually. Spoiler alert.

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Simple Sites

I want my sites to be focused and simple. Just a bunch of plain text files, some images. I want to turn those files into a site and update them without having to deal with a server, or apis, or build processes. I want it to be a calm thing. I want to share my site peer-to-peer and not depend on a centralized hosting platform. I want it to be easily archivable.

Earlier this year I began working on Enoki, inspired by a few of my favorite tools. It creates static sites with js, using files and folders instead of a database.

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Dropout

I’ve been on the internet since I was seven or eight. Got my own machine when I was around ten, a hand-me-down. That’s also around when I stopped going to school. We lived in a small town of around 2500. With a connection the browser was truly my window to the world.

The internet felt really big then.

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