The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Category: Social Software

A Simpler Time

“…Actually, the only facebook posts I can stomach are from the Amish–sad, but true.” -dano414


“Hell is Other People is an experiment in anti-social media. Using FourSquare, this site will track your “friends” and calculate optimally distanced locations for avoiding them.”

What’s the Opposite of Distracting?

“Spending time trying to distract other engineers is a lot worse than spending time figuring out how to sell an extra pair of sneakers. Somebody might use the sneakers.” – Drew Crawford

No, There is No Pony. Never Was.

Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to […]

Their Success Means Destroying Your Memories

It’s good. Though I think Anil overestimates the social value of Facebook, Twitter, etc. But, on the flip side, you won’t know I said this because I don’t have a presence on those places – and I want to be the kind of person that does. Blah.

Just Stop Being an Unpaid Documentary Filmmaker

“The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you’re detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people. Your experience of something, even if similar to the experience of many others, is unique and cannot be reproduced within […]

Your Friends Have Awesome Lives and You’re Behind a Laptop.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry.” – researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University

That Presumptuous Bastard

Fast Fooled

“What is the Fast Web? It’s the out of control web. The oh my god there’s so much stuff and I can’t possibly keep up web. It’s the spend two dozen times a day checking web. The in one end out the other web. The web designed to appeal to the basest of our intellectual […]


“I see Google as solving legitimately difficult technological problems, not doing stupid things like cloning Facebook. Google, in my opinion, lost sight of what was important when they went down this rabbit hole.” – Spencer Tipping