Tell him . . . (he hesitates) . . . tell him you saw us. (Pause.) You did see us, didn’t you?
Yes Sir. (1.817-8)
Every day Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot. It’s their thing. Much like social media addicts, they show up every day to wait for him, and Samuel Beckett’s existential play ‘Waiting for Godot’ never makes explicit who Godot is, or what, why they are waiting for, for him for? The point seems to be to show up and wait. They get something out of it, these addicts of meaning Vladimir and Estragon. They get to scroll through their day with quips and witticisms, and when Godot doesn’t show up, they go back into the scenery.
Tech companies have a lot to learn from these two. When Godot’s ‘boy’ attendant does come around, it’s clear the main concern of Vladimir and Estragon isn’t necessarily news of Godot, or knowing when he might be coming, if he is at all actually. But rather, that they were seen. It seems they need validation, that what they are doing has meaning, or perhaps that they even exist at all, as they seem unclear whether the boy seeing them.. really did see them.
“You did see us, didn’t you?”
It’s this kind of perpetual standoff, being kept waiting for Godot, while philosophizing and contemplating suicide, but being acknowledged that they are seen, and that their search is a valid one, that tech companies can capitalize on the keep their users clicking.
“The right balance between the void of existential despair… and certain faint hope of recognition… some faint dream of basic human relatedness… is the balance to strike to keep users coming back,” says Pozzo, one executive system administrator.
“The ‘Lucky’ Algorithm can also be fine tuned to get people to ‘Think’.
Example of the Lucky Algorithm having taught an individual ‘thought’ can be seen in this corporate investors advertisement:
Training people with deprivation of human meaning while simultaneously feeding them bits of edutainment and propaganda can lead them into channels that one desires they fold themselves into. People are vulnerable when they are in this lonely place, and stringing them out, stretching their souls across this technological rack is the best way to make their minds malleable to our attendant purposes.”
‘Think of it like a hat. People are going swimming in the depths of all this information. They used to call it surfing. But now we know people are drowing, and they can’t swim… or think… without their hats.”
“God..ot.. is not showing up…” says another social media exec. “It’s important that we keep the people from knowing the location of that fabled city of meaning, so that they can’t come and take over our locus and dare to connect the dots, grasp the strings, grip the bars… wait, who is asking these questions? Are you recording me right now? I won’t answer if you actually are hoping to… Boy, come in here. See him out. And let him know, he was never here.”