The Golden age of Internet comes to a close?

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

ɪmˈpəʊzɪŋ (darraghmac), Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:28 (one year 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 (nine 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 (nine months ago) link

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

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

we call him ums, man

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

a moment of looping silence for jaymc.xls

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

five months pass...

one type of guy you don't hear much about anymore is the Linux Guy. if you were on the internet in the '00s you knew all about the Linux Guy. you had to. for your own safety.

— Jingleghost (@JeremyMonjo) October 16, 2019

it's sad, i miss their can-do spirit

j., Friday, 18 October 2019 02:42 (four months ago) link

A lot of Linux guys are now trans women

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 05:08 (four months ago) link

wait wut?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 18 October 2019 14:05 (four months ago) link

yeah um

weird ilx but sb (Doctor Casino), Friday, 18 October 2019 14:20 (four months ago) link

what exactly are you going for there?

weird ilx but sb (Doctor Casino), Friday, 18 October 2019 14:20 (four months ago) link

could he have been any clearer

j., Friday, 18 October 2019 14:53 (four months ago) link

Not sure what's confusing

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:00 (four months ago) link

The Linux Guy
1h 14min 2016

The Linux Guy is an interesting story about five college losers who become achievers when a new college professor teaches them linux and networking. During the project under Alok Sir, each student's life begin to turn around after memorial events and competing for the project of the year. Full of love, drama,fights, family issues, friendship and great college life fun.

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:04 (four months ago) link

it reads to me as a slam on transwomen since the context is the idea of a stereotypical and unpleasant "linux guy," and even the idea that some particular group is more likely to be trans

weird ilx but sb (Doctor Casino), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:05 (four months ago) link

there's also a weird "used to be into Linux, is now into something different" thing to it

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:08 (four months ago) link

not a slam on anyone, including Linux guys! Just an observation, I shouldn't have said "a lot", could say "some" or "a discernible amount"

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:09 (four months ago) link

anyway to get back on topic as late as 2008 or so a rather hippieish Linux guy at college was going around pressuring unsuspecting fellow students to install Linux on their computers and also sleep with him

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:11 (four months ago) link

I think he got expelled for some reason

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:11 (four months ago) link

as a onetime Linux-guy-adjacent type I now advise people not to use computers

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 16:12 (four months ago) link

they don't anymore, everyone's on phones, running Linux. Huzzah!

maffew12, Friday, 18 October 2019 16:25 (four months ago) link

not a slam on anyone, including Linux guys! Just an observation, I shouldn't have said "a lot", could say "some" or "a discernible amount"

― president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, October 18, 2019 11:09 AM (two hours ago)

my comment ("wait, wut?") was about the actual content of your message. some like how many? a discernible amount? is this based on personal experience or some other observation? the comment put me into 1000 questions mode

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 18 October 2019 18:45 (four months ago) link

not to criticize but because i am curious

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 18 October 2019 18:45 (four months ago) link

i dunno about silby but just eyeballing it from my internet experience i would have said yeah, that's a definite social ~identity~ now

j., Friday, 18 October 2019 19:14 (four months ago) link

"Linux guy" is too narrow a scope really; I know several and know of many trans women and nonbinary ppl (NB mostly white) who are software or systems or devops people, to the point where I would believe they're overrepresented in those professions (no hard data though). Like it's enough of a "thing" that one sees complaints that too much is made of it, like I've read tweets like "yeah most trans women are not white programmers in lesbian polycules" in response to the currency this social identity has gained.

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 18 October 2019 19:30 (four months ago) link

Oh! Hey! Another opportunity for me to run my mouth about Trans Shit! Thank you!

Geek culture is where I come from. These were the people who were my heroes growing up. Dani Bunten was the first trans person I ever heard of. It's one of the things I have so much guilt about taking so incredibly long to finally come out. If Dani had that shit figured out in the '80s, why did I not figure it out until 2017?

My feeling on this is that the stereotype of the Trans Geek, which is both a stereotype and rooted in reality, is in some sense a function of the staggering amounts of privilege these people were handed, perhaps possibly coupled with an equally staggering deficit in their understanding of or ability to conform to conventional social norms.

These were weirdo outcast kids and the people with the power and the money for some reason decided that they were essential to the Future of Humanity, that they were the homo superior. So the people with the power and the money said to them "You can have anything you want".

A lot of them bought sports cars. Richard Garriott decided he was going to go to outer space. Compared to that, I guess, just saying "Cool, I'm a woman now" seemed fairly reasonable?

And nobody of course ever told me I could have anything I wanted, I idolized these misfits but I wasn't really like they were. That's where I come from, though. That's where I learned about this first. Wasn't punk rock or queer spaces or sex work, it was these awkward weirdo geeks who invented the Internet while wearing dresses. These days I respect the latter more than the former.

Spironolactone T. Agnew (rushomancy), Saturday, 19 October 2019 20:15 (four months ago) link

great post, rusho, thanks, that's v helpful for me.

silby, sorry if i came at you hard, i read your post in the wrong tone/voice.

weird ilx but sb (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 20 October 2019 11:54 (four months ago) link

I was genuinely curious and my questions have been answered! Thanks!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 20 October 2019 13:35 (four months ago) link

v informative. I use Linux most of the time but it's been a long while since I was involved in any sort of community aspect with it. I'll read Slashdot a few times a week and find myself kinda confused at the huge battles going on in the comments every time it would be in the news that X is enacting better community standards or Y is fired for being a creep. A good chunk of the "outcasts" in tech have been extremely controlling arsehole types too. It's interesting to see them coming to grips with a lot of this.

maffew12, Sunday, 20 October 2019 13:46 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

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Agnes Motörhead (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:02 (two months ago) link

At the beginning of 2015, Alex Balk, then-editor of the now-defunct website the Awl, wrote a post of advice for young people in which he supplied three laws about the internet. The first: "Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people." The second: "The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything." But Balk's third law was most prescient, especially as we end this miserable decade: "If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a while." He went on: "The moment you were just in was as good as it got. The stuff you shake your head about now will seem like fucking Shakespeare in 2016." Reader, we've waited a while, and today it seems indisputable that Balk's law has held: The 2010s is the decade when the internet lost its joy.

The internet was always bad, but at least it used to be fun. At the start of this decade, being online still had less of the feeling of chaotic good than the years preceding it, but it wasn't yet consumed by the monolithic forces that rule today's web. Since the turn of the millennium, we've been used to the flood of emerging platforms -- Myspace, Xanga, Friendster, Napster, Flickr, Tumblr, Neopets -- each vying to be a better version of the last.

By 2010, personal blogs were thriving, Tumblr was still in its prime, and meme-makers were revolutionizing with form. Snapchat was created in 2011 and Vine, the beloved six-second video app, was born in 2012. People still spent time posting to forums, reading daily entries on sites like FML, and watching Shiba Inus grow up on 24-hour puppy cams. On February 26, 2015 -- a day that now feels like an iconic marker of the decade -- millions of people on the internet argued about whether a dress was blue or gold, and watched live video of two llamas on the lam in suburban Arizona. Sites like Gawker, the Awl, Rookie, the Hairpin, and Deadspin still existed. Until they didn't. One by one, they were destroyed by an increasingly unsustainable media ecosystem built for the wealthy.

As user experience became more seamless, we began to miss the internet's seams. We used to begrudgingly click through individual pages and archives -- now everything has an infinite scroll. Where we once felt in control of the amount of a site we wanted to see, feeds now pull us down and down into the ever-widening abyss. Uh oh! Our phones tell us like the babies we are, You've reached your time limit! Insatiable and hungry for the next tok, we crush the hourglass with one tap of the "ignore" button.

Ten years ago, niche platforms prioritizing user-generated content were still able to flourish. But people could also enjoy themselves on the bigger, more wretched sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In its early years, Twitter had Weird Twitter, a new home of sorts for the inside joke-filled-forum Something Awful. Now it is best known as the platform that refuses to moderate its white supremacists.

In 2010, Facebook had 500 million users. Today, that number has risen to an unfathomable 2.4 billion, and the company has hoovered up other major platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp. Before influencers existed, teens of yore -- the best and worst users of each internet era -- could go viral thoughtlessly. Now, they are pressured to market themselves, whether they want to or not.

As someone best described it to me recently, the internet has moved from a flat ecosystem -- with a multitude of smaller, trusted communities -- to a vertical one, with everyone being pushed together into the same few platforms (investor parlance termed it FAANG -- Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google), all in the pursuit of data collection and ad revenue. Yahoo purchased Tumblr in 2013 and promised "not to screw it up." Both companies were later scooped up by Verizon who later passed Tumblr off to WordPress. Vine was acquired by Twitter ahead of its launch in 2013, which subsequently shut the platform down in 2016. The fact that being online feels less fun is a serious matter. Today, Democratic presidential candidates incorporate breaking up big tech as central parts of their platforms, and the general public has finally come to understand that these monopolies only know how to do one thing: eat hot chip and lie.

The internet still contains fragments of joy, because people still do. (They did surgery on a grape!) Weird videos continue to proliferate on apps like Tik Tok, which New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino recently described as "the last sunny corner on the Internet." But on a systemic level, it's impossible to ignore the immense effect of capitalistic forces on how we experience the internet today. The pockets of fun will continue to erode until we are all flattened into a single pancake of behavioral data. To rediscover joy on the internet will mean reforming it entirely. When Deadspin was shuttered by its private equity-instilled bosses earlier this year, I blogged that instead of looking backward, we needed to imagine something entirely different. The same goes for the internet as a whole -- we need a digital world that is built to take care of us instead of profit from us.

It's true that every generation is too easily fleeced by the nostalgia of the Good Internet of yesteryear. But if every new moment of the internet feels like the worst one, it's because it is. Just take, for example, my Facebook from the beginning of this decade. In the pursuit of truth for this piece, I recently scoured my posts going nearly 10 years back, where I found this status update: "We're all just babies with internet access." Now that, my good bitch, is Shakespeare indeed.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:04 (two months ago) link

As someone best described it to me recently, the internet has moved from a flat ecosystem — with a multitude of smaller, trusted communities — to a vertical one, with everyone being pushed together into the same few platforms (investor parlance termed it FAANG — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google)

nnnnnghhhhhhhh

had never heard of FAANG until now

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:07 (two months ago) link

c&p is cool, was just saying this is what the internet has come to: reading rants on sites run by giant corporations about how giant corporations ruined the internet.

still not sure if a spectacular crash and burn is still in the internet's future or if it has reached its terminal state. probably the latter. most of us just aren't quite _irresponsible_ enough to destroy a machine which, at the end of the day, is keeping a lot of people alive - not simply out of spite.

Agnes Motörhead (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:10 (two months ago) link

investor parlance termed it FAANG — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google

RIP Twitter

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:12 (two months ago) link

poll: which of FAANG will end up purchasing twitter

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:13 (two months ago) link

twitter is a tiny minnow compared with those companies

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:17 (two months ago) link

poll: which of FAANG will end up purchasing twitter

― Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone)

the only reason to buy up a smaller company is to ruin it so that it can't compete with you

twitter is pre-ruined

fuck, didn't disney consider buying twitter before deciding not to on the grounds that twitter is terrible?

Agnes Motörhead (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:19 (two months ago) link

i'm sure people will gripe about that article but it seems otm to me

obv point but the big thing is the narrowing of the internet down into the aforementioned platforms. that's where my dread comes from, at least. ilx is a safehaven not only because of the people and the format but because it's truly an independent platform. we don't have to worry about stet trying to increase revenue or clicks, it's fine as it is, and it'll (most likely, i hope?) continue like this. it's sustainable and not trying to endlessly grow. that's comforting. but the rest of the internet feels like a shitty mall

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:23 (two months ago) link

ok, shitty malls are a bad analogy

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:26 (two months ago) link

we don't have to worry about stet trying to increase revenue

I would love to turn this into a money fountain but there's no way to do it which isn't hideous beyond description and so, y'know, no thanks. Clicks remain remarkably constant, traffic is at the level it's been at since I started counting in about 2008 and doesn't vary massively.

stet, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:39 (two months ago) link

which of FAANG will end up purchasing twitter

My preference would be Jeff Bezos, World's Richest Humanoid. He would then drown Twitter in a bucket just to spite Donald Trump, who would consequently become increasingly isolated.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:49 (two months ago) link

of course, if you ever want to entertain revenue-generating ideas i have this really bold plan that involves a pyramid scheme, cryptocurrency, and a minimum of 4 hectares of reasonably secure and well-drained land

but until then i'm very glad to donate as much as i can, as often as you need it, and i know that's true for many many others as well

xp

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:51 (two months ago) link

I've never even seen a hectare

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:51 (two months ago) link

anyway irc still functions, it's literally easier than ever to stick some html on the internet, everyone has access to secure private group chats on their phones, and no one forum needs to take over the world to be good. Discord is probably gonna turn out to be evil at some point but the spirit of irc is strong on there to a certain extent

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:53 (two months ago) link

Hectare? No, we never even kissed

Hereward the Woke (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 18:31 (two months ago) link

anyway irc still functions, it's literally easier than ever to stick some html on the internet, everyone has access to secure private group chats on their phones, and no one forum needs to take over the world to be good. Discord is probably gonna turn out to be evil at some point but the spirit of irc is strong on there to a certain extent

― Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby)

hell, Discord is probably evil _now_, I've heard stories about white nationalist communities. that's the risk of adopting the old "decentralized" model - no corporate hegemony, but also little in the way of functional oversight. it's a mess and it's inconvenient and everything is whispers and shadows, finding things is reaching out blindly in the dark, and every five months the community falls apart or a corporation buys it to destroy it and you have to move on to something else. it reminds me of piracy, honestly, the life, but nobody's trying to break a law that's been written, we're just trying to have an honest conversation without it being turned into a fucking shoe commercial

i don't mind the _idea_ of monoculture, it's just that the people in charge of the Majors are all manifestly bastards, probably how they got in charge in the first place. no, no, i do mind, because i've seen it, community just doesn't scale. probably one reason i keep going after bands only three people listen to, god you think i can have a discussion on the internet about _radiohead_?

Agnes Motörhead (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 18:45 (two months ago) link

my partner spent a lot of time on Radiohead's own weird web 0.9 technology messageboard in high school and the one rule there was not to talk about Radiohead

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 18:54 (two months ago) link

:) ask your partner if they remember feedback, HeadOfState, or penisfingers on that board. for a couple years i was in the top 5 posters (by quantity, not quality)

i actually found ilx through the rhmb!
we actually talked about radiohead all the damn time

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 18:59 (two months ago) link

top poster by quantity not quality by poster penisfingers #humblebrag

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 19:01 (two months ago) link


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