noticing the general decline in edginess/Internet culture EVERYWHERE after 2015
2013: aaron’s suicide, and google shuts down google reader [making everything more ephemeral and effectively killing RSS/blogs]. that’s like, a double kill on aaron, given that he invented RSS
death of bexley  coincides wtih thiel fellowship decline [when strachman/gibson left for 1517 fund in 2015 ] coincides with 4chan's decline [4chan became unimodal after trump] coincides with reduction in true edginess (prior to trump-level edginess, which wasn't really true edginess) COINCIDES with Michael O Church getting banned COINCIDES with SF decline AND QUORA DECLINE COINCIDES WITH FORMATION OF WALLED GARDENS COINCIDES WITH AUTOADMIT’S BOX FINALLY GETTING PREGGERS THEN ADDERALL AND NO LONGER EDGELORDING IN 2014-2015 [AUTOADMIT DECLINES AFTER]
Coursera was great in 2013-2014, when I remember the days when we still dreamed of making courses in ANYTHING easily accessible, fun, and quizzable (like https://www.mooc-list.com/course/intermediate-organic-chemistry-part-1-coursera ) or https://www.mooc-list.com/course/programmed-cell-death-coursera . It seemed like it would become the future of online learning, and possibly replace college. And then, it started to monetize in 2015, threw away its old courses, and made many of the self-quizzes inaccessible.
EVERTHING DECLINES AFTER 2015-2016. THE TRUE PEAK YEARS EVERYTWHERE were 2007-2014. whether they were caltech/MIT, SF, 4chan, Quora, Thiel, vassar, tyler alterman, reddit, blogging [though true decline of LJ/xanga started earlier], EVERYTHING
[quora and reddit both started pushing to monetize in 2015 -> that's when reddit started banning all the controversial subreddits]
2015 was when walled gardens began forming over the internet, when tindr replaced okcupid when superficial pictures began dominating over text..
=> all the interesting people found it harder to google each other [google also seemed to really decline after 2013 - its decline only accelerating circa 2016 when thiel endorsed trump]. death of RSS, growth of tindr over okcupid, increased use of images => ALL contributed to google’s decay
also 4chan kind of exhausted all the ways yuo could be shocking to everyone in the world by 2016, and from then on out, like, it's hard to be any more shocking to that, reducing the reward/novelty function from edginess
[also some of the most interersting ppl got bipolar medication those years]
one could hope that the release of ALL THE TENSIONS upon reopenings (2021) mark the first start of the 21st century economy (as thiel said) but i sadly fear that rising us-china tensions will make it much harder to be creative/weird/edgy/discoverable => wrecking all our creative juices and ensuring that the “golden years” never happen again
WORTH READING: https://www.google.com/books/edition/It_Came_from_Something_Awful/u31zDwAAQBAJ?hl=en