The Mindless Offerings

October 28th, 2021 by Diana Coman

For all the apparent silence that surrounds in the online any text anchored in enough context to require some sustained effort to comprehend, the machine nevertheless keeps accurate logs of all the clamoring it dutifully kept out of the way. Day and night, at steady rates and even predictable intervals, the same bots only run anew by "other" newcomers keep trying the same things - perhaps it works this time? Nevermind that it didn't work the past 100 times, nor the past one million times nor ever.

The bots don't change because they can't and the ones running them don't change either -other than in name or IP at most- because they... can't. Supposedly there is some difference between the two types of can't. At any rate, why should they change when everything else around them seems to change all the time anyway (superficially only, yes, but who has any time for looking beyond the surface) so let it change until they simply become successful for having tried again and again the same old thing, right?

So they keep crashing on the shores of any unexpected island of meaning that still stands and they keep bringing their sad offerings of stolen and disjointed words and sentences that someone else, somewhere else, sometime else happened to write - if not for them, at least accessible to them, that's quite enough for their needs as it is1. Undeterred by any rejection, whether silent and implicit or verbose and explicit, oblivious to their lack of effect, they happily redefine "success" to anything they might be allowed at all, even if it means as little as a place in the automated and short-lived spam queue, even if it simply means "not visibly rejected outright". They are quite used to make do with very little indeed, so that - or anything else that a real person might spare them, anything really - will do.

Some ten years ago, I used to get on occasion slightly annoyed by all these mindless offerings even though they never really were in the way of anything. Nowadays they don't even elicit that much response from me but that's fine, the machine generated response is still good enough to keep them coming and if some give up, there are always newcomers ready to run anew the very same bots and the very same scripts. The online medium is very much made to simply shrug off and not retain any trace of all those bruteforced attempts at meaning and permanence - as a result, one can repeat the same mistakes for as long as one affords to and bots are very cheap indeed, after all, whether they are made of code or not.

  1. In this as in everything else they are not in any way original, of course, only they don't know it - and that's enough for them. Way before the internet, there were others going about clutching the pieces torn out of others' work and they had the same sort of "success" with such approach then as they are having now. 

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