In the course of human history we have become quite adept at taking activities that used to require craftsmanship, precision, and skill and figuring out how to mass produce the products. Machines have replaced blacksmiths; bread factories that can make millions of loaves a day have pushed out local bakers; cobblers have been replaced by legions of third-world children.
But one thing has always been out of reach. Creative expression is a distinctly individualistic thing. The mass production of opinions, jokes, and other firms of expression has always been out of reach. At least until now. Lurking on the horizon, if it is not already here, is the literal Content Farm.
Businesses like Buzzfeed, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even WordPress are the like may appear to be benign ways to pass the time and connect with other people. Soon enough long rows of authors will form on the Earth, all of them hunched and staring at a screen as their unsympathetic overlords stalk among them with whips and issue their horrible commands.
“We demand,” they say with imposing voices only slightly muffled by their intimidating masks, “We demand twenty witty observations about 90’s sitcoms, as well as pictures of cats with cleverly misspelt captions. And we want screenshots from movies with funny saying below them. Oh, and we almost forgot! GIFs! Shower us with images that make up for their poor quality by being able to move! Only when we receive all these things, in sufficient quantity, will we be pleased. But you will never get paid.”