…Olson is a lynchpin of YouTube’s burgeoning video essay genre, creating longform lecture performances on the intersection of pop culture and philosophy. No material is beneath his contemplation, which is thorough, to say the least: Like an enthusiastic professor, Olson deconstructs anything, from 50 Shades of Grey and Detective Pikachu to the conspiracies of flat-Earth truthers, with charitable nerdiness, electrified by sincerity. Over the past six years, he’s steadily grown his audience to some 640,000 subscribers.
Alphabet [YouTube and Google’s parent company] is absolutely doing what they can to undermine social services and civil infrastructure, but they’re not trying to destabilize the very mechanism by which individuals interact with the economy.
My ideal environment from which to do my stuff is a fantasy. It couldn’t exist in reality. I can’t say: I want a healthy network effect, I want good moderation tools, I want it to be frictionless for my viewers, and I also want it to keep up with changes in technology, and I don’t want to have to spend hundreds of hours implementing that myself. I want to be able to focus on my stuff, which is writing; which is making videos I don’t want to worry about hosting, and I want it all to be free of Big Tech, and I want it to be free of the decision making of some nebulous assholes.
I think there’s possibilities for the existence of a decorporatized version of the internet. It’s not going to come out of cryptocurrency, because that space is built off of financial incentives. The crypto space has a dire lack of imagination.