Since we strive to be one of the best privacy coins on the market, we take an interest in anything related to privacy. While browsing the Privacy subreddit on Reddit, we came across one exciting story — the story about the dark forest.
The theory goes — When we look out into space, all we see and hear is silence. It seems we may be the only ones here. After all, if there were any other forms of life in existence, would not they show themselves? Since they haven’t done so, we assume there is no one else out there.
But let’s think about that for a moment.
Picture a dark forest at night. It’s quiet. Nothing moves. This could lead a person to assume that the forest is without any life. But naturally, it is not. The dark forest is absolutely full of life. It is quiet because the night is the time when the predators come out. In order to survive, the animals stay silent.
So one question imposes — Is our universe an uninhabited forest or a dark one? If it is a dark forest, then it may be that only we humans are foolish enough to ping the heavens and announce our presence. The rest of the universe may know the real reason why the forest stays dark. And it could be a matter of time before our planet learns as well.
Following this analogy, the internet is also becoming a dark forest.
As a response to the ads, all-present tracking, trolling, and other predatory behaviors, we are running to the dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream.
The dark forests are all spaces where depressurized conversations are possible due to their non-indexed, non-optimized environments.
Podcasts are a great example. There, the meaning is not just expressed through language, but likewise through intonation and interaction.
Podcasts are environments where a wrong-sounding sentence can be followed with a correction. It is a more forgiving place for communication than the internet as a whole.
Dark forests such as newsletters and podcasts are continuing to gain popularity. Other dark forests are growing too — Slack channels, invite-only message boards, text groups, Snapchat, WeChat, and so on.
The internet has been turned in a battleground nowadays. The idealization of the ’90s web is gone. The web 2.0 utopia — where we all lived happily together ended. The public and semi-public areas we created to develop our identities further, cultivate communities, and gain knowledge were overtaken by malicious actors, which use them to gain the power of different kinds (monetary, political, social, or any other type).
This is the character of the mainstream web nowadays: a relentless struggle for power. As this competition grows in size and brutality, an increasing number of the people has rushed into their dark forests to avoid the quarrel.
This is an age where we simultaneously live in several different internets, whose numbers grow continually. The dark forests are expanding.
The dark forests thrive because they provide psychological and reputational protection. They enable us to be ourselves because we recognize who else is there. This a preferred option compared to the free market communication style of the mass media channels — with their high risks, high rewards, and limited moderation. Dark forests reduce the downsides of looking bad through a restricted audience. This is a trade increasingly more people are looking to make.
We hope you enjoyed this interesting perspective regarding privacy. And remember — if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out, we are here for you.