by: goobster

badged by
lil
recent badges
goobster  ·  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.

goobster  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 11, 2018

We all have doubts about ourselves. If we didn't we'd all be dicks like Trump.

Doubt isn't a bad thing in and of itself. But it shouldn't hang around. Don't feed it.

Look it in the eye, evaluate it with a clear head, learn what you can from it, and then discard it. Doubt is a reminder to look inward from time to time, and make sure you are who you think you are.

Doubt is a fortune cookie fortune: Interesting in the moment, but useless in the long run.

(And by the by... the "sad panda" visual that appeared in my head almost made me spit out my coffee, it was so funny! Thank you for that!)

goobster  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

Hey Pubs. Just a water for me, barkeep... I'm still not remembering to drink enough water every day.

Keto.

I can deny it no longer... I have actually lost more than 20 pounds now. That means that - for the first time in my life - I weigh less than I did before.

From a skinny 175lbs in 1987, to 269lbs at Christmas 2017, I have always gotten heavier. Amortized over time, that's only about 3lbs/year, but of course the weight did not gracefully grow over time. It grew rapidly, then leveled out for a few years at the "new normal" weight, until something happened and it went up again.

For the first time in my life, my weight is going the other direction.

I had to put several pairs of pants into storage. (Note: I wanted to get rid of them. But my wife insisted we keep them until we know whether I am going to keep the weight off or not.)

I am maybe 2 months away from departing the land of XL, and purchasing L shirts... for the first time since the 1990's.

I feel better.

I don't "crash" at 2:PM every day.

I no longer eat two antacid tablets every night.

I don't fart prolifically anymore.

My diet has changed significantly, and I now strongly identify with Michael Pollan's quip, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much."

I haven't started working out or stretching regularly. Which I planned to do Feb 1. Not sure why I haven't started, but I need to get on that.

The road to "Fit and 50" is looking pretty good right now.

Food Perspective.

Mushroom hunters talk about "putting on their mushroom eyes" when they go mushroom hunting.

You go out to where the mushrooms should be, and you see nothing. Damn. Wrong place? Was someone already here? Am I at the wrong elevation?

Then they just go calm and stop moving for a few minutes. Scan the landscape. Be still.

POP! Oh! There's one! ... and another!... oh! there's another one!... woah... they are EVERYWHERE! Holy crap I am STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF SO MANY MUSHROOMS!!

With my new diet, which generally avoids most carbs and sugars, I have my "Carb Eyes" on.

Vending machine? Nothing in there edible.

Coffee shop? Nothing in there either, except black drip coffee, espresso shot, or an almond-milk latte.

Restaurant? Side dishes start to look REALLY tasty... and main courses look heavy and unpleasant. "Can I just get these two sides, and a steak?"

And now, I will post this message, and walk out into the lobby where my company is providing everyone with ... Valentine's Cupcakes. And I am going to enjoy the shit out one of those carbo-sugar bombs.

Because carbo-sugar bombs are AMAZING treats.

But that's what they should be: Treats. Not Food.

There's some good solid advice in there. And I think I can add something valuable to what you said: Perspective.

You don't hear people 30-plus years old asking this question. Because they realize it isn't the right question to ask. By the time you are in your 30's, pretty much nobody you know will be working in the field/job that is written on their college degree.

Life is a river. You start off trying to build a dam, and make the river conform to your view of what it should look like. But water is consistent, persistent, strong, and devious. Your every effort to make life conform to your view will fail, and eventually you will get swept downstream.

Some people try to stop. They bash into rocks. They grasp at low-hanging branches and try to stop the water from dragging them further downstream.

Other people go "woohoo! whitewater rafting!!" and look downstream and try to pick a line that looks like the most fun.

These are the people who inspire you. They are the people enjoying life, and who seem to have amazing opportunities drop in their lap.

Schooling, clubs, hobbies, and interests are what you build your boat out of.

Then you get thrown into the water and head downstream.

What skills do you have? Do you communicate well with other people? Do you like to learn? Do you keep your word? Are you an enjoyable person to be around?

Then your boat will float, and you will find the journey enjoyable. The more flexible and amenable you are to life and it's ever-changing dynamics, the more opportunities that will be presented to you, and the more chances you will have to find something that you truly enjoy.

The less flexible, personable, pleasant you are, the less opportunities will come up. Because you are narrowly skilled, and unpleasant to be around, and therefore fit into only a small portion of the available roles out there in the world.

From where I'm sitting, just short of 50 years old, I can tell you that the river widens, slows, and empties into a big placid lake, where you can kinda paddle wherever you want. If you built a good boat.

I don't even recall all the jobs I have had, the places I have worked, the people I have fallen in and out of love with... all that is back there, up the hill, in the rapids on that river somewhere.

Looking back up that river, I can see the path I took now, but it was not apparent to me at the time. I was simply presented with interesting opportunities because I had a wide range of skills, I was funny, and people liked talking to me. They liked having me around, so they would overlook any technical/skills limitations, and just said, "Eh. You'll learn it on the job. It isn't hard."

This is, of course, my advice based on my experience.

Like RD95 says, life isn't lived in a house you built in college; it is a long series of building projects that you live within while building. Some rooms you may never visit again. Some you may crack the door open 30 years later and find a new passion for, and others you may visit every single day.

The only constant is change. Either find a way to embrace that, or live frustrated for the rest of your life.