Jesus Christ invited Liz to be part of his network of friends at Tribe, another social networking site similar to Friendster. This seems like an obvious strategy for online evangelists, but it reminds me of all the fictional friendsters I’ve been acquiring recently. When I first saw Sean Connery, Conan the Barbarian and Professor Snape and even Heidegger had Friendster profiles I thought it was just people fooling around, bending the system. Cool, I figured, and added Conan as my friend for old times’ sakes. Once added, I was amazed to find that my social network had expanded exponentially. Friendster only lets you see your friends and their friends and their friends again, up to four degrees, I think, so there are always lots of members of Friendster who aren’t visible to you. With Conan as my friend, I could suddenly see twice as many members in Norway, for instance: friends of Conan’s friends’ friends, you see. I even found one of my students from last year at the Friendster site after having become friends with Conan.

At The Tribe they do the “we have shared interests” thing more explicitly, by allowing people to join tribes. Unfortunately, since anyone can start a tribe, most tribes only have one member, so the point kind of self-destructs. I think I prefer the way Friendster users have hacked their system: after all, any friend of Conan the Barbarian’s is a friend of m…uh…well, you get my point 😉

3 thoughts on “friends and tribes

  1. Liz

    I suspect that in the context, the “Jesus Christ” character is playing a similar role. Particularly since JC wrote a testimonial about me right after I joined.

  2. Jill

    Though having Jesus for a friend seems a little more symbolic than having Conan as a mate, don’t you think? Mind you, a quick look at the testimonials his friends have left him suggests there’s as much irreverance there as in the testimonials to Professor Snape… 🙂

  3. shammy

    vey nice i love it

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]