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goobster  ·  254 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Internet was a mistake

I think this video misses the key point. (Like all of the pithy web video stuff produced by people who weren't there when it happened, pontificating on What Went Wrong.)

Here it is in a nutshell: AOL is to blame.

Back in the day of the early web, there were isolated islands of network interaction, that didn't really cross over very much. BBS. Fido. Gopher. AOL. WWW. Telnet. Archie. eWorld. The WeLL.

Each of these interactive tools were synonymous with the communities that used them. You used the Fido tool to log in to FidoNET. You used Gopher to find Gopher servers and transfer files and mail. AOL, eWorld, and The WeLL were servers you logged in to, and participated with those communities in those spaces.

The World Wide Web broke this model, and HTTP-based sites were now able to share files and data between the different tools and servers. You could write an HTTP front end to your FidoNET server, and people could use NCSA Mosaic to log in to your FidoNET, and see/transfer files in a visual tool, rather than command-line only.

Everyone using the World Wide Web had their own site.

Every single person was a CREATOR of some sort.

Maybe it was a list of porn sites. Maybe it was a list of parts for old BMW airhead motorcycles. Maybe it was ASCII art pictures.

Whatever it was, the same tool you used to browse other sites, was the tool you used to create your own site.

And, by default, everyone's Bookmarks List was public. That's how you found stuff. You went to someone's site, clicked on their Links page, and saw what sites they had links to. Click, click, click... rabbit hole!

Along came AOL.

America Online was originally just email. But they also created a custom, curated environment, where people could get movie listings, read news, and send messages to each other.

They business model was to charge by the hour, for the connection to AOL's servers. So they wanted you to stay logged in, and clicking around their properties, so they got to charge you for the access.

After much debate, AOL opened up their "walled garden", and allowed their users to VIEW and BROWSE the world wide web.

The change happened almost overnight.

People (like myself) had their own web servers running. Mine was on an old Mac SE I had in the corner of my bedroom, with a dedicated modem and phone line.

Suddenly, my $15/month phone bill for that line, and service, shot up to more than $50/month.

Other people, who had been serving their web sites for years, were suddenly hit with thousands of dollars in service fees from their ISP due to huge traffic spikes.

ALL of this activity was from the AOL people, who were not CREATING anything. They saw the internet as TV, and just consumed, consumed, consumed all of our paid-for content, for free.

Sure, AOL subscribers paid their AOL access fee, but AOL paid us web sites ZILCH, and we were forced to shut down, or monetize our sites to pay for the bandwidth AOL's looky-lous were consuming.

This is where the utility of the web ended.

Now, you needed to monetize your site. You had to measure "views", and run ads, and give up space on your site where CONTENT used to be, and serve flashing GIFs that advertisers paid you a fraction-of-a-cent per click.

Once that happened, the altruistic, creative, and generous nature of the web was destroyed. If you offered quality content for free, you were on the hook for enormous ISP hosting bills. If you monetized your site, you were in a constant war with your users that still continues today.

AOL fucked it by inviting "spectators" to simply look, without participating.

AOL turned the internet into TV.

Quoting one of the tweets from the article:

    [Sanders] is a broken-down bitter and racist old man.

This is why Democrats keep losing. It's especially stupid to call Sanders racist, given his start in politics. Sanders was an organizer of CORE and SNCC in Chicago while in college, and organized a protest of segregated campus housing ("We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments"). Dude saw MLK speak at the March on Washington.

When the bar for the "racist" label becomes so low it becomes meaningless, and this does a huge disservice to people who have actually experienced racism. When it becomes a magic argument-ender, it no longer means anything.

Stories from my own life, and some ranting follow.

First, I spent a couple of years hearing unemployment cases for my state. Basically, my job was to do a hearing if someone (either the company or the ex-employee) appealed the lower decision. I fast became incredibly cynical when it came to charges of racism, because every single time it was a shitty employee who was trying to blame the employer for their own failures. Now you may wonder how I know, and the simple reason is that I would ask. This is paraphrasing from memory, but is indicative:

    Claimant: I was harassed.

    Me: What did [employer] do that you felt was harassment?

    Claimant: They wrote me up after I was late 37 times in 2 months.

    Me: ...

I'm sure racial discrimination at work still happens, but shit like that (which happened every couple of weeks) makes it impossible for the legitimate claims to be taken seriously. I pity people who work for the EEOC.

Second. I volunteered at our local legal aid organization while in law school. This was a group funded by a combination of private donations and the Legal Services Corporation, and provided civil representation to low-income people (so not criminal defense). We did a lot of housing stuff (Richmond sadly has plenty of slumlords), some divorce and custody (but only if there was abuse, so those were fun), just kind of whatever. We'd go after anybody: our state's sole power utility (a lawyer for which once accused me of legal malpractice for suggesting that they can be sued, which even as a lowly 1L I knew was ridiculous), Wells Fargo, whatever.

Random aside: knowing tenant's rights served me well as a tenant myself. If any of you still rent, do some research on what your state's laws are if you haven't already.

Anyway, the "high" point of my time there was being told I was a racist while standing in the clerk's office of Richmond Circuit Court because our client had spent over a year (I worked on this case both summers of law school) ignoring everything we told her. We'd arranged a way to solve her mortgage problem by having a private investor take over the note, but she was convinced she could get the money together. She was wrong, got foreclosed on, and then this was our fault (and we were racist).

Now I get it, people (in both examples) often look for someone else to blame. It is what it is. But it doesn't excuse it either, and ultimately does more harm than good.

One, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. As cathartic as it may be to yell at a racist, there's no evidence (whether anecdotal or more formal) that this actually helps. MLK didn't do it. There was a guy who has converted a bunch of white supremacists by simply sitting down and talking to them, which is a hell of a counterexample. And it's consistent with the conclusion that most racists have very little actual experience with the people they hate. I saw a stat awhile ago looking at Germany, and the folks who were most afraid of immigrants were also the ones with the least contact with them.

And second, as I mentioned earlier, it cheapens claims of racism. It's easy to be dismissive of someone crying race when your overwhelming experiences have been of people using it as excuse. For white folks, we don't generally see racism the way other races will, and it's difficult for anyone to trust a stranger over our own lived experiences. It took me until the shooting in St. Louis and all these protests to think that where there's smoke there's probably fire. Plus, talking to some folks there (mostly cabbies and the janitors in the building I was working in) really helped, and I am grateful to this day for their willingness to share their impressions and their fears with some white stranger who for all they knew could've been wildly unsympathetic. It was an interesting time, actually, and I'm hoping to write more about it one of these days.

Ultimately, we're all in it together, and none of us can solve this problem alone. It sucks that so much of the onus is on the same people who are taking the brunt of it, but pretending reality is other than it is doesn't lead anywhere. We can complain or we can get to work, but I don't think any of us have the energy to do both.

blackbootz  ·  450 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City


I think this is part of what gets at me. It's one thing if something done for the right reason happens to also be noble. It's another if a thing is done so as to telegraph to everyone watching that This Here is a Noble Act. This is mind-reading territory which can be dangerous. I don't want to second guess this reporter's motives. As far as I can tell, she wants to send her daughter to a segregated school to help her daughter's classmates, at the expense of a better school she could have sent her. But it also seems like there's a larger narrative the reporter wants her readers to read into, i.e. that white people in Dumbo are racists.

Devac  ·  816 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When it's good to be bad

I have stopped reading right about here:

    And yet a new school of thinking is challenging these received ways and arguing that straying from the path, even engaging in hedonistic behaviour, might be the surest way to success.

so I will only conclude that author has learned some lesson. Better late than never. But since I know how the narrative in pieces like this goes, I went straight for the ending and got:

    That he ever thought he could achieve perfection, without setbacks, without respites, Franklin admitted, was his gravest error. He had been naïve. And prideful.

See? I was right. Good for him!

So, have some shit that I've learned from my father so far:

- In all likelihood you have only this one life, so try to be happy.

- Moderate yourself as much and long as you are comfortable (and I don't have to bail you out).

- Don't obsess over minor failings. Every problem is bigger that it really is on first glance. Look at it when you'll get over it.

- You probably don't know what you want.

- Don't be a dick. Or at least try to not be one and treat others as they deserve.

- Hard work or not, you are not entitled to anything in life. There's likely someone much better anyway.

- As with toilets, try to leave the place in at least the state you found it yourself.

- Fear is the mind-killer, but not everything requires higher mental faculties.

- You can strive for true perfection but you can never achieve it. It also applies to this list.

And I didn't even need to quote philosophers.

text  ·  #hubski  ·  #2000days  ·  #hubday
goobster  ·  1092 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stephen Fry's Blog post on Social Media.

I've been online since the early 1980's. Bulletin Board Systems. Email. The WELL. Usenet. Hand-coded web sites. eWorld. Tribe. LiveJournal. MySpace. Blogger. The original incarnation of Tumblr. Facebook. Blah blah blah.

What every commenter has missed in this thread, is the fact that Stephen Fry's article has nothing to do with technology... it's a love song to the rebellious nature of youth. And that it is the rebels who move the world forward. Not the sheep following along single-file behind the leader. He mourns the loss of the rebellious spirit of youth.

Women wore pants to rebel.

Rebels rejected the 2.5 kids and a white picket fence "nuclear family" and embraced communes, roommates, and living alone.

Punks tried to tear down every societal norm to rebel.

Metal heads applied skill and craft to rebellious ideas and tools and developed a finely honed precision to their rebellion.

Grunge rejected the precision of metal and went sloppy. Both in clothing and technology.

Rap rebelled against the structure of a band, and the assumption the front man should sing.

Every single one of these things were driven by the young, rebelling against the ways of the old.

Stephen Fry makes the simple point that the most common thing - the thing that Advertisers love, the thing the mass media has fully embraced, the thing even your parents are doing - is Social Media. So the most rebellious thing you could do is dump these tools of the modern bourgeoisie, and go analog.

Talk in person.

Make things with your hands.

Don't buy in to the machine and become a cog in their wheel... opt out! You don't HAVE to be on social media. You don't HAVE to have email.

The case he makes is that people like he and I have lived in both worlds, and by personal experience we know that both are valuable. But being electronically connected is now the norm. Adults today have grown up with screens and internet connections. These are today's Normal.

But rebellion is about fighting against the norm.

So the most rebellious thing one can do now is opt out of the digital advert-verse, and engage people in a real way. Face to face. Don't offer up your eyes, your mind, your time, and your soul, to advertisers, just to get another momentary endorphin jag.

The comments in this thread are really pretty funny to me. And a bit sad and pathetic at the same time... seeing people clutch so hard to something, as it cuts into their hands and the blood runs down their arms and they cry "I'm fine! Don't touch me!" and cower in the corner...

The internet is a tool.

A needle is a tool.

Put heroin in the needle, and you'll become unhealthily obsessed with the tool.

Put yourself on social media, and your internet becomes an obsession, rather than a tool. Now YOU are a tool of the advertisers. Rebel. Don't offer yourself up to be lied to. Go where they can't get you. Rebel.

Odder  ·  1105 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Overenthusiastic tagging of #spam in #rpg

I am the one who tagged both of the above users as spam. tacocat's explanation describes exactly why I did so. There are other users who mostly post links to one website, but with only one exception, I haven't marked any of those posts as spam.

When I'm bored, I go to global feed and mark things as spam. Here's my rationale:

1. If a user has commented, or shared posts from any other user, I do not mark their posts as spam.

2. If a user comments on their own posts when someone responds, I also don't mark their posts as spam.

3. If a user has self-promoted several posts in a row that have no shares or comments, I mark their posts as spam. If someone continuously posts things that no one in this community has interest in, it's spam.

4. If someone posts a new post every day, from the same website, then they're posting far more than most other people in the community. This is a good indicator, but not a guarantee, of spam. Most quality posts are not released on a daily basis, because good writing takes longer to read than it does to write.

I have no real problem with self-promotion. A fair amount of our regular uses do it. But I do have a problem with users who are not at all otherwise engaged with the community self-promoting. I have a rather low toleration for "blogspam" as it's commonly called on reddit, and I don't like people using online communities that they are not members of as an advertising platform. I don't think I'm alone in thinking this.

If 6d6rpg and rangergames want to comment on this, I'd be glad to hear their opinions. Assuming they are people, and not bots. If most people would prefer me to block these users rather than mark them as spam, I'll do so, but I marked those posts as spam assuming that most hubskians did not want to see those posts, either. As klein mentioned, if you follow #rpg and block #spam, you should still see those posts, so Devac, I know I'm not inconveniencing you directly.

Also, I'd like to point out that hubski does not work like reddit. #rpg isn't a subreddit, and the content posted with that tag isn't only visible to people who follow that tag. As such, it isn't like reddit, where I can safely ignore posts that don't interest me by not subscribing to #rpg. I would have to block #rpg, which I don't want to do, because several posts using that tag do interest me, just not those posted in excess by a few users. Any post, no matter the tags shows up to everyone who doesn't filter them. It's how Hubski is designed. This is a very small site, so the design works well.

vile  ·  1149 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Which Podcasts, and why?

I'll preface this by saying that I only recently began listening to many of these.

99% Invisible

Common Sense with Dan Carlin: Interesting perspective on politics.

Data Skeptic: Data science from a skeptical perspective.

Freakonomics Radio

Hello Internet: CGPGrey and Brady Haran talking about things.

Invisibilia: Similar to 99% Invisible but with a broader scope.

Lore: True and scary stories from history.

Note to Self: Discussion about being human in this day and age.

Play Dead: Discussing death in video games. -- This one is very new, and I can't find a proper link for it.

Still Buffering: Two sisters, roughly 15 years apart, discuss being a teenager.

Still Untitled: Adam Savage et al. talk about things.

The Greatest Generation: A Star Trek: TNG podcast by two guys who are a bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek: TNG podcast.

The Minimalists: mnmlsm -- I'm actually thinking of unsubscibing from this one. It seems to be getting a bit repetitive.

The Partially Examined Life: A philosophy podcast for the everyman.

The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe: A show about science and skepticism.

Useful Science: Interesting topics in science.

Waking Up: Sam Harris discusses a variety of topics ranging from politics to science to spirituality.

Welcome to Night Vale: Hilarity and Cosmic Horror combine in a way so beautiful and terrifying that your attempts to comprehend it will thow you into the depths of insanity.

bfv  ·  1173 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 160th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Aw, but half the fun of introducing people to music is meeting them where they are, and metal is pretty unique in that there is something adjacent to where anyone is. Electronic music? Industrial metal is there for you. Classic rock? The stoners have you covered. Go to renaissance festivals? Folk metal loves you and wants you to be happy. Hear "thac0" and don't think "mexican food"? Every power metal band ever is right there with you. Hip-Hop? Not all nu metal sucks.

user-inactivated  ·  1233 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions With @nowaypablo

Hey Hubski, It's nowaypablo. It's a frosty evening here in New York City suburbia and I'm answering a few questions that thenewgreen sent me as part of this meethubski series interview thing. So thanks for having me on TNG. And here it goes.

Question 1: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

One of the people that I really look up to is a family friend of mine who came to the United States from Armenia with $100 in his pocket, ame to the University of Rhode Island on a full scholarship, and studied physics. After graduating he came to New Jersey and as he started just taking whatever opportunity came before him he eventually got into the world of finance on Wall Street and eventually ended up managing his own hedge fund. That hedge fund became one of the most successful hedge funds in Manhattan and before you know it this physics geek from Armenia is a total Wolf of Wall Street Baller Type guy. And all the while he managed to maintain compassion and real character that allowed him to raise a great family, be a great father, and exhibit the sort of traits that I would want to see in any kind of person, especially myself, even in the face of financial success that a lot of the time we see spoiling a lot of great people and great characters.

Question 2: You are stranded on a deserted island and can bring one member from the Hubski community with you. Who do you bring and why?

I think we'd have a great time regardless of who I brought with me, but my boy Galen, who despite getting a higher ACT score than I did is still a great guy and I think we'd have a great time together. _refugee_ who is the first Hubski user that I actually saw in person, I've never had the chance to have another Hubski meetup though I would love to if anyone ever came to New York. We'd have a great time, thenewgreen would show me some great music I'm sure, keep me very entertained on that lonely deserted island. Although kleinbl00 would have a lot to teach me, I think we would argue so much that I think I would have to swim away from that island and risk drowning. (Hear you on that one). That could be great too.

Question 3: What is your message?

Well seeing as I'm 17 years old, I'd say that whatever opinion I have formed so far means absolutely nothing to anyone of any substance. But, I learned a lot this year about attitude. And that's something I'd like everyone to be aware of especially if you're a bright person who is in a bad situation, or in negative circumstances that you feel like you can't get out of. I found out that if you can keep even with the use of humor, try to keep a positive outlook even in the worst of situations, that circumstance might get better all of a sudden, and you'll be there with a positive outlook ready to seize that change and roll with it. Socially it's been very easy for me once I allowed myself to be open and free and have a good time. To just make friends and just surround myself with the kind of people that I feel most comfortable around. And if one of my friends turns out to not be the best person for me, to have this outlook, a positive attitude can help me let go of that toxic person and move on with my life easier, comfortably. And not trying to hang on to this wicked relationship and try to figure out how to get around it. So I hope that anyone who is going through any sort of tough times or any sort of stressful situation can allow themselves to see a little bit of humor or a little bit of fun in whatever they're doing. Or at least find something else to distract them from that and get back to it when they're feeling better because there is no point in wasting a second of your life in doing something that doesn't make you feel good. Unless of course you're working toward something that will make you feel great in the future, in which case keep chugging. Best of luck to you.

So thanks for having me on, and hearing me out. It's been great. Peace out.

user-inactivated  ·  1235 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions with @coffeesp00ns

Hey Hubski! Hey thenewgreen! It's uh, it's coffeesp00ns here! It's kind of weird to actually hear my own voice because one of the things they don't tell you about being a trans person is that you have to kind of re-learn how to speak and I'm still kind of in the process of doing that. So my voice is kind of sort of half of boy voice and half of girl voice and it kind of depends on how much I'm focusing. So we'll see. I'm sure you'll get a range of coffeesp00ns.

So here are the questions.

First question is: What is something I do well?

As someone who is incredibly self-critical this is pretty difficult to answer but I like to think of myself as a pretty good bass player. I have my Master's in bass now and I've done relatively well and I'm you know I tend to get a lot of compliments on my playing but I always think of the things I need to do to get better because those are the things that have kind of been drilled into me over time. Just because that's kind of how it is in classical music. No one, it's very rare that you have someone say "Good job." You mostly just get, "Ok, well, that was okay but this is wrong. Or this is wrong now. All right, that was a little bit better but now think about this instead because you need to work on this." There's no blanket positive, or at least very rarely there is. It's uh, I don't know, ingrained at this point.

I'm also a pretty good cook. I've gotten into cooking since I started working in a restaurant though thankfully I don't work there anymore.

Second question is: What would I change about hubski if I could?

I think I would make it uglier. Just to make it a total turn-off to the people who aren't going to care about the community. I know that that's probably like a stupid thing to say. But, I find that it would almost get rid of a whole bunch of people who aren't here for the content. Maybe it would prevent some people from being here even though they would be good contributors. But I don't know. It just seems like an interesting thing to do.

And the third question is: What is my message?

Well, in the wake of the things that have just happened as I record this, it happened on Friday and it's now Sunday. There was the attack in Paris and previously there was also an attack in Beirut and also in Kenya. And I think the thing, the message that I would like to give people is that giving into fear and painting others with broad strokes and allowing yourself to be controlled by someone else's message are all really dangerous things. It's easy to say that all Muslim people are bad or that all people from the Middle East are bad or what have you. But it ruins, and completely eliminates so much of the complexity of the situations and the frank realities of the situation. Take the Islamic state for example. There's maybe 1000 people who are active members of IS. Considering the amount of Muslim people there are, that's like .1 or maybe even .01 of the amount of Muslims in the world. And thinking all Muslims are like that is like thinking that all Christians are like the Westboro Baptist Church. It's just insanity. So love each other. Be critical. And don't forget to be awesome.

Thanks for having me.

user-inactivated  ·  1240 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions With @arguewithatree

I'm way too drunk to transcribe right now. But I'm nothing if not stupid, so here we go.

Hello Hubski, this is Chelsea, arguewithatree, it is Monday the 23rd 3:30 p.m. Figured I'd bang this out before I head out to class. I did really good 'newgreen'. I really wanted to peek at the questions before I got this started, but I waited. I waited. And I'm going to look at them now for the first time.

So #1. What is something you are proud of and why?

I think I'm most proud of how far I've come. I think I've done a lot of growing and changing even just in the last year or two but definitely in the last five or so years. So I don't think that if you had asked me at 16 if I thought I'd be in DC studying security at a high level or, you know, comfortable in my ability to speak Arabic or analyze complex problems, you know, I don't even know what I would have said. I think 16 year old me would be pretty impressed with 23 year old me.

#2. How would you describe hubski to someone?

I think I would if I was trying to get someone to try out hubski, I would recommend that they come on a Wednesday and come to Pubski to sort of get the greatest sense of what hubski really is about. It's about a community of people who may or may not have never met eachother and may never meet eachother who come from all over the world who come and discuss their lives and their interests and the world around them in a sort of faceless but not unfriendly environment. There's no pressure to produce attention grabbing content. You share things because they interest you and may catch someone else's eye and get followers. It's an actual community.

#3. What is your message?

I was kind of hoping that I would get this question. And I was thinking about it, and I know you didn't want me to think about my answers but I was thinking about this one. And I think a message that's been really comforting to me especially as a high anxiety person, over achiever, very type-a is the message that you won't ever be the first to do something and you certainly not the last to do something. I think that's very comforting to know that there are people who have gone before you and know what it's like to be at your point in space-time and that you are really not alone in what it is that you're experiencing and that you're not the last. You will be able to look and see when others have reached that point that you're at and that it's your duty to help work them through that in sort of a pay it forward pay it backward type message.

Yeah, I think that's all I have for you. I can't wait to see what people think and what kind of music you put to this. So thanks for reaching out to me to do this and participate in this awesome project.

(And then, I shit you not, a bunch of cats meow over a harpsichord).

necroptosis  ·  1240 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Chocolate covered bacon-wrapped marshmallows

How appropriate to see this after reading the "Why it was easier to be skinny in the 1980's" article

Fallexe  ·  1350 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Can someone explain to me what the hell is up with the Dota 2 community?

No, I think that friendships with people who believe differently from me are valuable.

For me, I view a persons beliefs as a result of upbringing and culture plus biological tendencies.

If I isolate myself from "bigots" not only do I lose access to people who might actually be right (albeit partially) I also lose the ability to help change their views.

EDIT - in my personal story, people who took the time to befriend me in spite of my bigoted beliefs changed my values, albeit after many years....