another pufferfish drawn by rekka yet another pufferfish drawn by rekka yet another pufferfish drawn by rekka
    i will never participate in weird internet caste systems

i was stumbling around discord today and had a pretty
sudden & severe realization about discord nitro.

i'll get to that later.

        what is discord nitro?

discord nitro is a paid subscription service that
discord offers to generate revenue. nitro provides
a few functional perks - larger upload sizes, better
voice quality, etc; and a few aesthetic perks - animated
avatars, cross-server emoji usage, and "super reactions"

this post is mostly about the aesthetic perks. the
things that cost discord exactly nothing and operate
psychologically to make users desire nitro. the arbitrary
boundaries that discord chooses to draw.

        sharing === good

i believe that sharing knowledge & objects helps people
feel meaning, and that the people committed to sharing
openly and honestly are uniquely beautiful.

i believe in this principle. i cry about this principle.
i will die believing in the power of open sharing.

    my knowledge & output will _never_ be
    arbitrarily caged!

    everything that i ever create or produce
    will be shared for free, to the best of my

    my time will be spent giving gifts to this world
    that has given me so much!

    i will die smiling! and i will die having loved
    with my whole heart!

i think about my own life, and scheme to share even more.

what discord is doing is the opposite of sharing.
it's taking. it's hoarding. it's almost like lying.

discord has intentionally created a caste system.

and in case it's not clear: caste systems make me furious.

             caste upon the world

caste systems must restrict sharing of particular
resources to the "underclass." They also tend to
incorporate aesthetic privilege to highlight the
privilege of the upper-class.

from the perspective of users who do _not_ have discord
nitro, nitro users have _aesthetics_ that the underclass
are not capable of having. they have _resources_ that
the underclass does not have access to.

this is a design decision. people sat in a room and
thought this through. here's a historically inaccurate
representation of how that conversation may have gone:

person A: how can we make discord nitro (tm) more desirable?
person B: we could make nitro subscribers look sexy!
person A: but then our other class of users might feel ugly :(
person B: exactly, which will make them want to give us money!
both, in chorus: PEOPLE ARE GONNA LOVE THIS!

here are the specific aesthetic perks this post is about:

  nitro users can:
    $ post custom emoji on any discord instance
    $ use "super reactions", which are fun little things
    $ upload animated avatars, banners, and profile themes

this fosters two feelings in the basic user:
  - a sense of envy
    (i wish i could do that. i want to look like that.)
  - a sense of self consciousness
    (why can't i do that? why can't i look like that?)

finally, discord ties these perverse feelings directly to profit:
  - if i purchase discord nitro, i can stop feeling bad!
    (if i give a business money, that's good for me!)

this system is psychologically predatory.

it is a system that _intentionally_ makes people feel longing
& worthlessness to sell them something. it's selfish.

no. i will never participate in a system like that.

fuck off with your weird internet caste system.