You’re Not Going Anywhere

Here is our kingdom, the best of monarchies, the best republic. Here is our garden, our happiness.

— Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees

First of all: you’re not going anywhere. After sixteen years in the belly of the beast, you should know better. “Hellsite”. You love it. The notification drip-feed is as load-bearing a part of you as your striatum.

Second of all: it is not going anywhere. “But he fired all the SREs! The servers will surely collapse without Kubernetes minder #768!”. Cope, I tell you. Twitter can’t die.

Third, and finally: you don’t want a decentralized Twitter. This dumb fad where people say, oh, it’s too important to be run by one person, it must be a decentralized protocol, an ecosystem. All lies. You don’t mean it, you say it to signal certain values.

“I’ll go to Mastodon!”

Liar. Try it. It’s like the Twilight Zone, you open the door and there’s just a black void outside.

You won’t go to Mastodon, because it’s no fun and it reeks. It’s no fun because it’s decentralized: it is an archipelago of little fiefdoms, each run by some unfortunate person, where everyone self segregates into their neurotic little silos. Its central innovation is the callout tweets—my apologies, “toots”—are 500 characters instead of 280.

You love Twitter because it is the latter-day Babylonian captivity: people from every distant corner of the world are gathered inside its walls, xenofeminist hackers and Habsburg irredentists and Chinese neolegalist poets are elbow to elbow, we are pressed together and undergo a phase transition. If it had a motto, it would be “Raphèl mai amècche zabì almi”.

You love it because it’s centralized, because it is the one place, an island and not an archipelago. And you love it because it’s fun: it’s a global party and as the Earth turns people crash on the couch and wake up again and it goes on. And there is nowhere else in the world that is like it.

You can’t leave Twitter because Twitter is not a website: it is the World State of Dante’s De Monarchia. It is the center of the universe, the axis of rotation. Everything flows to it, and radiates out from it. The world will be Twitter before Twitter is dead.