Flutterby™! : personal trajectory

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personal trajectory

2012-10-19 13:48:39.699942+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Brennen has some interesting musings on his personal trajectory

This thing about the Internet: It too used to seem vast, something like the pages of a book with no discernible beginning or end. Or rather, something like the space inside of the experience of a book, of many books. It used to be a frontier, an unknown city full of the sound of construction, a series of doors opening onto strange corridors, a shifting surface through which other minds could be seen moving in realtime, could be approached and known.

But go read the whole thing, because there's something big that's been lost in the shift to "social" media, Twitter, Facebook, and in the dominance of the web by commerce rather than ideas.

And that malaise, I think, is echoed in the larger society, where we've lost a sense of a larger direction, of new frontiers to be explored. Some of that is that the 'net has revealed that most people are idiots and we as a species are likely to blindly march forward into a mass extinction event, but... well... on the third hand...

[ related topics: Books Invention and Design Space & Astronomy Journalism and Media Net Culture Machinery Fabrication Model Building ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-19 18:23:32.320461+00 by: Mars Saxman

I've noticed the same thing. The weird old internet of Usenet and mailing lists and FTP servers and oh, yeah, this new WWW thing too, used to seem far, far larger than today's data megastructure. Only Wikipedia still gives me that feeling that there is a great wide world out there to explore.

Everything else seems to have collapsed down into nothing but commerce and the endless array of message-board sites which have replaced Usenet, generally not interesting unless you are part of their niche and willing to spend time becoming part of their community.

Where did it all go? Even the weblogging thing seems to have died. I've been running mine so long I don't even remember when exactly I started it, but spambots outnumber actual commenters by at least a thousand to one, and I can't remember when I last came across an interesting new blog, something that was more than just marketing spam.

Did the ad industry just eat the whole web? Is that all that happened? Or is there something deeper going on here, to do with the social identity boundaries? The idea of a distinct net-culture has long since been drowned now that everyone is on the 'net; is it possible that the old net-culture had some characteristics which made it more creative, but which were functions of its social organization and not of the technology that underpinned it? After the Great Inrush of Normals, that culture seems to have dissolved away, with something much more like the old one-to-many TV culture replacing it.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-20 11:58:18.286865+00 by: DaveP

One of the things keeping me from getting my own blog active again is that there seems to be less positive stuff to link to. Appears I'm not the only one feeling that way.

Me, in the hours when I should be sleeping, I'm generally reading a book. I don't spend as much time reading the deep educational stuff as I used to, because a lot of it puts me to sleep now, but I still read a lot. Most of it acquired via Amazon, so yay internet, I guess.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-21 12:50:54.76819+00 by: m [edit history]

Just remember that it was current NY Governor, then NY atty gen, Andrew Cuomo, who engineered the collapse of Usenet. His justification at the time was that some 88 groups (out of 100,000) might have at some time had some child porn on them. He was the soldier who put a sword through Archimedes.