The Golden age of Internet comes to a close?

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egad those bastardo!

Mr Jones (Mr Jones), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 09:23 (thirteen years ago) link

Hasn't Tim Berners-Lee done approx. zero for the last ten years?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 09:29 (thirteen years ago) link

The directorship of the W3C has probably kept him slightly busy.

ledge (ledge), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 10:08 (thirteen years ago) link

nine years pass...

cosmic slop posted a thread about why ilx was relatively unbusy now, but it got me thinking that the whole thing seems way bigger than ILX.

like I guess I always thought the Internet would keep growing in interesting ways and reveal new interesting writers and creators and communities etc, but it occurs to me that's what you always think when you're in the middle of something that's expanding and new during the "salad days" of something

but i don't know it feels like there's so many things about the Internet and social media that are just terrible now! People talk about Twitter and Facebook like they talk about smoking cigs, man trying to cut down why am i doing this? but yet can't many people take "twitter breaks" and stuff like that, feels like there's little joy there....

facebook is basically 70s and 80s network television now, just driven by lame-o squaresville stuff for the most part and ubuquitous enough where it's got no cache...

message board traffic is down, reddit ( is devolving into some sort of horrid gamer asshole lord of the flies....

ned has been posting a lot of stuff that's pretty grim like this:

and i saw this carles thing about how viralnova and outbrain and all those garbage content sites are eating the net:

the dissolve shut laid off everyone to do "aggregated content"....blogs are old news...."viral content" is so self aware about trying to be viral now i can't stand it...

i don't know...lots of times i'm just floating around on the web looking for something that's not there...(i still do like ILX for that reason because I usually find something worth reading)...

but yeah i know i'm being a little emo and dramatic about it, but i guess in retrospect there was this brief bubble where the internet happened and all the corporations didn't understand it, but now it's been generational change and they obviously hired whoever they needed to hire and the big data nerds got into crunching the numbers of what drives traffic and that little bubble seems like it's popped and content is going back into a new form of corporatized media that's not even necessarily better than the old one in some ways...

***this isnt' a very articulate post but i feel like there's this sense that something has changed and maybe other people can express it better than i can?***

***also tumblr which i don't even interact with is a newer thing that feels like 'old internet' when i'm on it but i don't know i guess it's small potatoes compared to content farms**

"a certain hand might reach terribly out of darkness and reclaim the time, easy as taking a joint from a doper and stubbing it out for good." - thomas pynchon, inherent vice

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:30 (four years ago) link

it's been generational change and they obviously hired whoever they needed to hire

is there a way we can foment a shame-based movement against them for being sellouts

j., Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:35 (four years ago) link

I can't really speak to the periodizing thesis itt but I do think there's something to the idea that mediums tend to move from a state of potentiality to one that sorta defines your relationship to it in advance--like the internet seems less about developing alternative identities/subjects/whatever now that it has gotten so good at prescribing them ahead of time. there's a kind of "capture" at work. there is always a residual potential for outliers and other unexpected possibilities but it's also fair to say those possibilities are less and less likely to be realized.

(speaking of Pynchon, this is more or less the thesis of Bleeding Edge, no?)

ryan, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:47 (four years ago) link

i started this thread iyo did facebook ruin the internet? cuz i felt a lot of the same vague unease and displeasure

blaming facebook is wrong but i think the move from the 'old web' to 'web-based platforms' was the real sea change. i have lots of thoughts about this but thats my main insight

affluent white (Lamp), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:49 (four years ago) link

yeah man the internet sucks bruh

lil dork (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:50 (four years ago) link

time to make a new one, just a little farther out west.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:51 (four years ago) link

lil dork (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:52 (four years ago) link

thx lamp i'll check out that thread

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:57 (four years ago) link

The economic model of the web has gone through a series of upheavals, and will understandably continue to go through yet more upheavals in search of a modus vivendi.

If you're just a reader/viewer/browser hungry for eye candy, I suspect you will always be able to find it. It may take more or less looking, but there's always going to be something out there for you to look at.

If your profession involves content, and your ability to make a living depends on that, it's a different picture. Personally, I am old enough to remember "information wants to be free" being said to me in all earnestness in 1994. (Said, actually, by a fellow professional writer! A guy who would probably not try to pay his rent with buckets of information.)

As a veteran print journalist (aka dinosaur), I can remember many, many attempts by media outlets to micro-monetize clicks. I especially recall WSJ and Salon getting caught in the 90s/00s cycle: get people addicted to your content, then try to charge them, then act surprised when the audiences immediately defect to free stuff.

My wife - a very experienced and very good journalist - recently made some forays into freelancing amid the murky world of ghostwriting, SEO stuff, corporate blogs, and (quite possibly) content mills. Clearly there is something going on but no one is sure what.

It's tempting to call for a full Darwinian shakeout.

Ye Mad Puffin, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:58 (four years ago) link

Both this thread, the iyo facebook thread and the ilm quiet thread touch on something that rings true to me - good idea to have a thread where thoughts on the topic can be collected. The concept of post memes that was brought up on another thread maybe too?

I've discussed it some with my brother, and we're thinking that a specific site where it really seems like we experienced a now past golden age is Youtube. I don'tmean to sound weirdly nostalgic, but Youtube is pretty central to the net and web 2.0 and it's underwent a lot of restructuring during the past ten years that reflect some of the other "content / web 3.0 / mobile platforms / social media" developments. From being fairly simple, "free", non-commercial 2.0 etc it's underwent a professionalization and social media integration - related to the sell to Google, Vevo partnership... Anyway bit of a clumsy post here too, but me and my brother miss the old youtube with proper comment fields, no robot generated playlists, no millions of clickbait/copycat/remix-meme videos, no ads...

niels, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 15:34 (four years ago) link

content is going back into a new form of corporatized media that's not even necessarily better than the old one in some ways...

it's not better it's the same, there's just more of it

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 15:36 (four years ago) link

Iranian blogger spends six years in prison for blogging. Gets out to discover that blogs don't exist anymore:

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 18:37 (four years ago) link

my sense is that something has been lost and that things are generally stagnant and bad. but it's tough for me to generalize because my view of the internet is so intertwined with my own life and interests, which, lately, have been generally stagnant and bad. the internet today reminds me of the technology in A Scanner Darkly which anonymizes Arctor - everything is flashing so quickly and endlessly that it ends up appearing abstract and indistinguishable. the most amazing footage of an elephant is reduced to something that i hover over in facebook for just long enough to catch the main highlight of the video. which feeds into the sense that even if not quite everything has been done before, and better, by someone else, it still doesn't make much of a difference to contribute something new to the endless scroll because even the most astounding things on earth seem so banal, at least to me. there was a time where it didn't feel like that on the internet, i think, but i can't make an objective comparison because the time that the internet consistently blew my socks off (roughly 1994-2006 for me) magically aligns with the time that i was growing up and figured i'd be doing really cool stuff soon. now i'm older and i make the grumpy face when i walk to work and everything sucks, and not so coincidentally the internet seems to suck now, too.

i suppose i should defer to people who had already done the whole mid-life crisis thing before netscape navigator came out for a more reliable and less subjective opinion

1992 ball boy (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 18:43 (four years ago) link

yeah i agree w/a lot of that though and i'm not particularly bummed out (hope things get better soon btw, best to you)

i'm thinking we're about the same age based on the years you mentioned

god maybe it is facebook? at the end of the day is it just facebook ruined everything?

though sometimes i wonder if it's almost like conversations and thoughts were a more finite resource than we thought, everyone has their theories abt ilx but i think in some form there's so many viewpionts and things that were already posted it's hard to find new things, and then with facebook and twitter and etc etc etc eating up thoughts and opinons maybe we're just running out of thoughts?

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 18:51 (four years ago) link

i felt very viscerally that the quality of 'content' took a nosedive, even on non-corpo blogs, back when syndicated/modular commenting services became widespread so that every single new piece of content also came with the leetle comment boxes underneath it. really shifted people's modes of interaction i think. i used to find all the leetle boxes so aggravating.

j., Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:03 (four years ago) link

god maybe it is facebook? at the end of the day is it just facebook ruined everything?

It's more responsible for making me feel isolated from the rest of the world than killing the internet, by my reckoning.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:05 (four years ago) link

beware of rambling post ahead --

one thing that is strange for me is that instead of approaching online communities through a web browser, i am instead approaching them THROUGH FACEBOOK. I don't think I particularly like that, but it's the way it is! There is a facebook community for posting pictures of records that is fun and a lot of current/former ILXors make appearances there. Likewise, the most vibrant communities of "young" (20s/30s) 78 collectors are on facebook -- some old guys too, but a lot of guys approximately in my own age range. SO.. if i want to interact with those communities, i need to have a facebook account to do it, I can't just do it with netscape.

in the OLD DAZE... well, ya had to go to ILX via your browser. nothing else required. in some way facebook groups remind me of a horribly designed and bloated evolution of usenet. but... not as cool, at all. i play scrabble on facebook. i used to play scrabble (literati!) on

as i get older my relationship to internetting has changed. i am not very active on ILE and almost never active on ILM. A lot of ILM-type conversation takes place on facebook now, or in gmail chat windows. I search for threads on ILE sometimes when there are people or things I want to talk about, like movies or books and TV. that's sort of what i want from the internet now and find lacking, is intelligent discussion of the books i like to read and movies i watch. but i'm not about to start an account on goodreads or rarteyourmusic or whatever the film equivalent is. shmm.. i dunno what my point is.. i guess, also, since i am in a relationship and not alone by myself all day, i probably spend less time online overall. i also only work a job where i can be online a few days during the week, so i'm not just killing worktime like i used to be able to..

ian, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:06 (four years ago) link

the web portal companies are just following the microsoft business model. once you become the gatekeepers you can start gouging everyone.

panettone for the painfully alone (mayor jingleberries), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:26 (four years ago) link

j., if you had been asked beforehand (say in 1994), wouldn't you have been inclined to say that leetle boxes were more democratic (that is, less corporate) than a paid editor-type person deciding what the best stuff was? If not, why not?

Further, devil's advocacy: Would non-corporatized media really be better (and if so, better for whom)?

A totally flat environment, in which all creators put their stuff out there, for people to pick and choose what they like, doesn't seem realistic to me. To start with, consumers of content like to get stuff for free, or almost free. Creators of content like to be paid for their content. How should this conflict be managed?

Patronage is one model. The Medicis (or whoever) pay Leonardo (or whoever) to make a great artwork that will last for centuries. Maybe a few of the angels in the nativity scene look like the patrons. Whatevs. Humanity has a great artwork and the artist can eat for a while.

Then you have a model where the content-wanters subsidize the entire project: creation, creator, chooser, and all their hangers-on. In traditional book publishing, an editor (who worked for a publisher) chose what to put out, based on hiw guess as to what people would want to buy. Readers needed to justify the transaction after the fact.

Then there's the model of content that is free (or almost free) to the end user because it is ad-supported. The New Boston Postglobe (or whatever) sells advertising based on the expectation of eyeballs. Eyeballs are drawn by having content that people want to look at. So if you're H.L. Mencken or Dorothy Parker or Flann O'Brien (or whoever), you create content that pleases the editors, publishers, readers, and advertisers (to varying degrees and in varying proportions).

Then there's a model where creative people are not even remotely expected to earn their keep from their creations, but rather in a sideways fashion: writers teach English, musicians teach music, artists teach art; their creative work is treated as a hobby.

Again, creators of content like to be paid for their content. Further, they tend to want a living wage for it (defined however). It doesn't help that they mostly want to live in New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Boston, San Francisco, Washington - known to be the most expensive places to live. And there are SO many more things out there than anyone can be expected to sort through. This may sound like a dirty business to my lefty heart, but maybe paying a person (even a corporate person) to act as middleperson and selector isn't so bad.

Ye Mad Puffin, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:31 (four years ago) link

we are all Montgomery Brewster but the money is bandwidth

an asteroid could hit the planet (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:40 (four years ago) link

hey have you guys heard about this one cool trick to get rid of facebook-related depression

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:41 (four years ago) link


an asteroid could hit the planet (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:42 (four years ago) link


Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:43 (four years ago) link

I've never been/will never be on facebook it can be done

I am on the twitter but I get the impression I don't use twitter the way most of the world does

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:44 (four years ago) link

well you only ever tweet puzzle suggestions to Pat Sajak

an asteroid could hit the planet (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:46 (four years ago) link

it's my calling

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:50 (four years ago) link

but tweeting them in a public forum guarantees that he won't use them!

an asteroid could hit the planet (Sufjan Grafton), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:51 (four years ago) link

i relate a lot to what karl malone said about how the internet, by providing immediate access to everything, has a "disenchanting" effect in which nothing seems that special and you always have a nagging suspicion that there is something better you could be looking at somewhere else.

Treeship, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 20:20 (four years ago) link

although i guess every modern generation has complained about ennui.

the thing that concerns me most about the internet is that i can't seem to quit it for a day or a week if i want to. i tried to quit for a month last year to focus more on school and my job but i failed and embarrassed myself because i had announced that i was leaving the internet on facebook

Treeship, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 20:30 (four years ago) link

should have announced it via wax cylinder

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 20:33 (four years ago) link

next time i am going to use a skywriter

Treeship, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 20:35 (four years ago) link

the creepy thing about facebook mediating so much, is that it is so opaque in terms of what it shows you -- you don't see every post by every friend, notifications are weird, the financial shakedown of "pages," -- it is untrustworthy

sarahell, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 20:47 (four years ago) link

yeah sometimes i think of people and i wonder 'Huh did they quit facebook' and i search them and go to their page and lo and behold they are posting all the time but i never see it

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:13 (four years ago) link

Further, devil's advocacy: Would non-corporatized media really be better (and if so, better for whom)?

A totally flat environment, in which all creators put their stuff out there, for people to pick and choose what they like, doesn't seem realistic to me. To start with, consumers of content like to get stuff for free, or almost free. Creators of content like to be paid for their content. How should this conflict be managed?

Non-corporatized media is better for everyone that is not a corporation. Which is most of us.

Consumers like to consume, it does not matter if they have to pay for it or if it is supposedly 'free'.

Creators like to create. They like to be paid the way consumers like to get stuff for free.

That artists require money to create is capitalist propaganda that is less true as the internet grows and technology is democratized.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:24 (four years ago) link

by providing immediate access to everything, has a "disenchanting" effect in which nothing seems that special and you always have a nagging suspicion that there is something better you could be looking at somewhere else.

I think this is a result of us existing in a time between the internet being there and not. Foundationally we are still relying on the old corporate media model to refer back to. The flood of free and un-promoted information is not as interesting or meaningful as what we have traditionally consumed. This is because we have been shaped to identify branding with authenticity in the commercial marketplace. I think this feeling will go away as more generations grow up in a post-internet world.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:27 (four years ago) link

oh someone i don't think that nagging feeling ever goes away, for anyone ever

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:28 (four years ago) link

That artists require money to create is capitalist propaganda

? Was unaware that humanity had reached the point where we can create things out of nothing, that's amazing

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:29 (four years ago) link

Hey y'all. I've been on a pretty long hiatus but I happened to pop by today and see this thread. I think about this stuff a lot but I'm not very good at thinking about it, and I especially have a hard time sorting out what's the internet getting worse and what's me just getting numbed to what's good about it, and also what's just me aging.

I think there are still a lot of amazing things about the internet, I mean if you showed 1998 me internet 2015 and just skipped that whole earlier romanticized "vibrant" part of it, I still think I'd be pretty psyched about it, at least for a while.

I don't quite have the right way to articulate this yet, but I have been trying to conceptualize a phenomenon that I have noticed in a number of industries that the internet is either killing or completely remaking -- publishing, journalism, music, etc., which is that the presentation and even marketing of certain kinds of content had certain rituals to them that in some ways were very important to our relationship to the content, and when you change the rituals you change the significance of the content.

What I mean is, for example, take the idea of a "great writer" in the literary fiction category -- there was this whole series of rituals and events that built up to the making of a great writer, not just great writing being put in print, but the publishing cycle, certain kinds of marketing, book reviews, panel discussions, academic criticism, awards, interview appearances, etc., not to mention the existence of a certain kind of audience that would stand around at dinner parties and chat about literary books.

By reshaping all of those things, the internet is not just delivering us "great writer" in a different format, it's actually (I think, probably) killing the old paradigm of "great writer." I just don't think a Nabokov or a Saul Bellow or a figure like that could emerge now as a result, the structures that create and support such a figure have been eaten away, and I don't just mean "it's harder to make a living off novels now."

In a similar way, I think Internet 2015 is structurally different in ways that prevent the kinds of "vibrancy" people found in certain aspects of Internet 2000 or 2005 or 2010. It's not that you can't get the same content, or that the content isn't as good, it's that the structure of the internet, the "content delivery mechanisms" are different, so that there isn't the same kind of potential, e.g., for everyone you know to get really really excited about an absurd singer/songwriter video. It's not that the videos aren't there -- they've multiplied 100-fold, and that's in fact part of the problem.

five six and (man alive), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:31 (four years ago) link

acapella groups are the only pure creators
specifically the dudes that sang the carmen sandiego song

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:32 (four years ago) link

"capitalist propaganda" is a funny way to spell "hunger"

goole, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:32 (four years ago) link

? Was unaware that humanity had reached the point where we can create things out of nothing, that's amazing

Welcome to the internet.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:32 (four years ago) link

Hunger I thought this was about internet media not food.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:33 (four years ago) link

the thing that concerns me most about the internet is that i can't seem to quit it for a day or a week if i want to. i tried to quit for a month last year to focus more on school and my job but i failed and embarrassed myself because i had announced that i was leaving the internet on facebook

― Treeship, Wednesday, July 15, 2015 3:30 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

And this is the other thing -- I think there's something about the way that this once seemingly awesome thing has become our master that makes us feel miserable amidst plenty. Hence I took an ILX hiatus for a while, only I just started using facebook more, and OMG facebook is so much shittier than ILX!

five six and (man alive), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:36 (four years ago) link

i wonder if this ("this" the Great Late Internet Malaise or w/e) wouldn't be solved by much stricter internet access rules for people who work in offices. if eyeballs are the prize now, the attention economy, etc, well, that would artificially constrict the aperture through which all this bullshit has to flow

a pointless suggestion i know. but norms of work for people not doing physical or attentive labor seems like a big part of what's going on.

think about this: you know those pictures showing an old tv, phone, clock, calendar, etc and saying "this fits in your pocket now!" well imagine a picture of a stack of every single newspaper and magazine printed out daily, vhs's of funny animals and pratfalls, a few vaguely dirty jokebooks -- "it's totally ok to just flip through all this shit at your desk!"

goole, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:41 (four years ago) link

i certainly don't see better discussion happening in Facebook comments or anywhere else really, compared to ILX.

lil urbane (Jordan), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:42 (four years ago) link

as I get older the trade off the internet seems to propose--"here's access to and knowledge of *so much stuff* that will both potentially and actually enrich your life but sorry you're gonna be perpetually distracted and mentally foggy and it will start to make less and less of an impact"--is a Faustian bargain I am thinking I may want to back out of. then again maybe that's just life in generally, only accelerated.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:46 (four years ago) link

ILX is the best place I've ever found on the Internet, as horrifying as that might be.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 21:46 (four years ago) link

Yeah, you’re kind of off-base there. Smug, chuckling men are the morning drive-in DJs of the podcast world.

rb (soda), Saturday, 21 October 2017 21:44 (one year ago) link

there are a LOT of them tbf

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 21 October 2017 23:00 (one year ago) link

sorry sorry i don't want to be mean, and i actually even know the feeling of liking and anticipating the next episode of a pod; forget i said anything. but just, if podcasts are 'the good thing on the internet' in 2017 we're fucked

flopson, Saturday, 21 October 2017 23:45 (one year ago) link

reading on the internet has just become so basically shitty most of the time, autoplaying videos, intrusive ads, anti-ad-blocker blockers, the uh.. writing itself.. podcasts feel relatively uncluttered and handleable somehow

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 21 October 2017 23:56 (one year ago) link

well you can get people to subscribe, can't you

it me, Sunday, 22 October 2017 01:24 (one year ago) link

yes! almost as if it were an...... rss feed!

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 October 2017 09:59 (one year ago) link

flopson’s characterization isn’t at all unfair. maron, simmons, fucking barstool - those are all wildly popular. plus all the godawful comedians out there. i also kind of hate the light smirkiness of a lot of big time podcast network shows, especially when i’m interests in the meat of their content - that sort of uneasy “ha ha don’t want to appear too SERIOUS because it would muss my carefully curated brooklyn aesthetic” just falls so flat

maura, Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:35 (one year ago) link

ta for the nudge re feedreader ...
welcome back rss feeds.
i loved google reader, and this seems to do everything i need.
now to go find my archive of rss feeds that i used to subscribe to.

mark e, Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:51 (one year ago) link

xpost i totally agree. that said you can break out of that bubble and once you do there are a ridiculous number of frankly miraculous podcasts right now. top of my list at the moment are rumble strip and first day back, both produced and presented by women, neither of them smirky or annoying, both with an incredible facility for channelling stories into your ear. but yeah it's also a totally different mode of engaging with something, it takes longer. it's not a substitute for reading. although for some people it kind of is now??

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:58 (one year ago) link

i also can’t listen to anything while i’m working, especially people talking while i’m trying to write. and i don’t commute. so that knocks out a lot of my podcast listening time

maura, Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:03 (one year ago) link

flopson otm

pulled pork state of mind (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:57 (one year ago) link

I need to take a break from the internet for a while, this thing has become a beast. When I was younger and spent all my time online, late 90s/early 2000s, it was still a relatively hidden place. I was on it because I had made really good, close friends with people who I'd have real conversations with everyday, and around hobbies (making music and sharing it, writing and sharing that, drawing, etc.)

Now it's turned into this abomination taken over by corporations. Just about every website I use has been made with addictive design, and it's getting pretty bad for my health.

It's hard to admit it's not the same place it used to be, but it's not.

Now it's just mindless, repetitive clicking over and over again, and it's like that by design, like being a slot machine addict. Talk about something going from life-changing to life-screwing so quickly.

carpet_kaiser, Monday, 23 October 2017 02:04 (one year ago) link

A lot of popular podcasts sucking doesn't feel like a particularly strong condemnation of the medium to me, I mean how good were the most popular sites of 2006, or 1998? At this stage you could listen to podcasts 24/7 without listening to a single man, or a single comedian; there's a very low barrier to entry in terms of cash and technical skills, chances are there's a podcast for any interest you could think of.

I think this is fundamentally different from twitter or facebook, where the problem isn't (only) who's popular but the actual medium itself and what it's trying to do with you. Closest podcasts have to that is Apple constantly fucking up their podcasts app but plenty of ppl listen by other means and the bad shit in iTunes feels more about incompetence than insidiousness in general.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:45 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

Google search is becoming more and more useless, often I'll get pages and pages of results from fucking or

niels, Friday, 8 June 2018 07:34 (one year ago) link

i agree w that. quora's ok but yeah these are not really definitive sources.

too heavily weighted toward newness as well - anything more than like a week old gets crowded out if it's a name in the news. the "news" tab should favour newness but the main results should be more even-handed

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 8 June 2018 08:08 (one year ago) link

I googled 'outback' the other day because I needed information about rural Australian climate and the first few pages of results were for Outback Steakhouse and the Subaru Outback.

how's life, Friday, 8 June 2018 08:18 (one year ago) link

it's hot btw

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Friday, 8 June 2018 08:28 (one year ago) link

Also Google Image Search which these days returns a slurry of contextless Pinterest sludge with the occasional genuine image on a useful site.

startled macropod (MatthewK), Friday, 8 June 2018 09:03 (one year ago) link

i use duck duck go but it's just as bad tbh

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 8 June 2018 09:20 (one year ago) link

longing for the prelapsarian non-SEO'd web

ogmor, Friday, 8 June 2018 09:22 (one year ago) link

googling "prelapsarian" now

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Friday, 8 June 2018 10:45 (one year ago) link

Yeah, Pinterest has fucking destroyed image search.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Saturday, 9 June 2018 12:40 (one year ago) link

Agreed that both google search and image search are noticeably worse than they once were. Image search is muuuuuuch worse, I can’t believe it. Even the “visually similar” search is somehow worse. Possibly a truck full of tartar sauce crashed into their algorithm room

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Saturday, 9 June 2018 14:00 (one year ago) link

FUCK PINTREST FOREVER for polluting Google image search results with useless garbage.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 10 June 2018 03:35 (one year ago) link


noel gallaghah's high flying burbbhrbhbbhbburbbb (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 10 June 2018 04:10 (one year ago) link

it’s the worst

maura, Sunday, 10 June 2018 04:31 (one year ago) link

youtube thumbnails in GIS results are also deeply fucking aggravating. it's getting to the point where you have to start using elaborate filters to get viable results, ex.:

cute pigs
(9 of the top 20 results are facebook, pinterest, or youtube images)

cute pigs -inurl:pinimg -inurl:ytimg -inurl:twimg -intitle:facebook
(problem solved!) cutest pigs
(pretty decent if you can put up with the occasional giant isopod and/or Thom Yorke headshot)

the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days (unregistered), Sunday, 10 June 2018 04:51 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

i don't think i'm much of an outlier here, but it was really odd to scroll through this list and know EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM already

Karl Malone, Saturday, 20 October 2018 17:08 (ten months ago) link

Ha, same

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 20 October 2018 17:19 (ten months ago) link

ILX was robbed!!

Mr. Snrub, Monday, 22 October 2018 00:06 (ten months ago) link

the screenshots should really go below the headline, not above....

niels, Monday, 22 October 2018 13:10 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

interview w/ jill leopore about her new book, 'these truths':

Q. For democracy to work, of course, the people must be well informed. Yet we live in an age of epistemological mayhem. How did the relationship between truth and fact come unwound?

A. I spend a lot of time in the book getting it wound, to be fair. There’s an incredibly rich scholarship on the history of evidence, which traces its rise in the Middle Ages in the world of law, its migration into historical writing, and then finally into the realm that we’re most familiar with, journalism. That’s a centuries-long migration of an idea that begins in a very particular time and place, basically the rise of trial by jury starting in 1215. We have a much better vantage on the tenuousness of our own grasp of facts when we understand where facts come from.

The larger epistemological shift is how the elemental unit of knowledge has changed. Facts have been devalued for a long time. The rise of the fact was centuries ago. Facts were replaced by numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries as the higher-status unit of knowledge. That’s the moment at which the United States is founded as a demographic democracy. Now what’s considered to be most prestigious is data. The bigger the data, the better.

That transformation, from facts to numbers to data, traces something else: the shifting prestige placed on different ways of knowing. Facts come from the realm of the humanities, numbers represent the social sciences, and data the natural sciences. When people talk about the decline of the humanities, they are actually talking about the rise and fall of the fact, as well as other factors. When people try to re-establish the prestige of the humanities with the digital humanities and large data sets, that is no longer the humanities. What humanists do comes from a different epistemological scale of a unit of knowledge.

i often think about the mixture of humanistic and scientific/technical cultures that seemed to me to characterize the aspects of the internet i liked back in the 90s. i don't know fully what lepore has in mind here but i imagine that in my 90s internet even the technical stuff was sort of on an even footing with humanistic 'fact' because of the way the gears were relatively visible and lots of people had knowledge of how they ran things. dealing with a compiler error is something on the same scale as close-reading a poem; having a debate on usenet is something on the same scale as holding a city council meeting. comparatively speaking, 'numbers' and 'data' held little sway in the sense lepore apparently has in mind.

j., Sunday, 25 November 2018 04:57 (nine months ago) link

two weeks pass...

j., Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:48 (eight months ago) link


Trϵϵship, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:07 (eight months ago) link

Things I was shockingly old when I learned: the internet had a golden age. Here I thought it was always something of a hot mess.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:26 (eight months ago) link


mookieproof, Thursday, 27 December 2018 03:02 (seven months ago) link

yeah it's good

max links to this on tw too, which is good value in the "post it directly into my veins" school of internet ire

Amazing thread

— Max Read (@max_read) December 26, 2018

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 27 December 2018 03:10 (seven months ago) link

What I liked about the internet in the past was that websites from regular folk populated the search results. Blogs, niche websites created by one person, user groups... Nowadays you are lucky if you can go through all the google search results for something specific and come across a site that isn’t mainstream - which has plenty to do with search engine algorithms. This keeps the little guy from wanting to make their own (non-commercial) site in the first place.

ヽ(_ _ヽ)彡 ᴵ'ᵐ ᵒᵏᵃʸ_(・_.)/ (FlopsyDuck), Thursday, 27 December 2018 03:18 (seven months ago) link

had an argument with my spouse who didn't understand why i was so upset about tumblr. no, i don't look at tumblr porn, or much of anything on tumblr really, but my impression was that a lot of tumblr was what i now think of as the "wikipedia internet" - knowledgable enthusiasts sharing their knowledge, what that ny mag article would characterize as "real". and it's become increasingly clear to me that the corporate internet dislikes this model and favors shouty internet, people angrily yelling about anything and nothing, because it's more profitable than genuine information.

i don't know. obviously there are still pockets of value. my dream is to one day be able to treat the internet the way i did facebook, as something that does more harm than good and something therefore to be avoided at all costs, but i don't actually believe we'll ever get there.

errang (rushomancy), Thursday, 27 December 2018 13:59 (seven months ago) link

man I love all these articles about the internet eating itself.
I'm quite happy to have been a teenager online during the Golden Age. when I started cybersurfing the information superdotmotorway I used to chat to the only other people online: teen manics fans, German goths, American nerds and music journos

kinder, Friday, 28 December 2018 20:44 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

"Why do I need a 4Ghz quadcore to run facebook?" This is why. A single word split up into 11 HTML DOM elements to avoid adblockers.

— Mike Pan (@themikepan) February 6, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 20:41 (six months ago) link

fuckin lol

Norm’s Superego (silby), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 22:24 (six months ago) link

well this Instagram egg thing just totally fuckin passed me by

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:22 (six months ago) link

j. that post from a few months back (epistemology) is great, thanks.

ɪmˈpəʊzɪŋ (darraghmac), Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:28 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

a moment of looping silence for YTMND, which quietly shut down yesterday

— 🍀🌳 eevee 🌳🍀 (@eevee) May 15, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:37 (three months ago) link

funny to read the OP of this thread, which is like, "am i onto something?" when it seems so clearly obvious now, four years later.

jaymc, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:43 (three months ago) link

sorry, not the OP, the M@tt H3lg3s0n post from 2015

jaymc, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:43 (three months ago) link

we call him ums, man

j., Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:48 (three months ago) link

a moment of looping silence for jaymc.xls

deemsthelarker (darraghmac), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:24 (three months ago) link

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