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Remember when the Internet was cool?

Old 08-08-19, 10:45 AM
  #26  
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^ true, if only applied to individuals on distant web forums. It becomes much more of a societal risk when the above applies to many hundreds of thousands of people. They form mobs, virtual or actual.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:21 AM
  #27  
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My first "computer" was a Tandy TRS-80 CoCo2. It hooked to a TV, not a monitor. I had a cartridge drive, a tape drive, and a phone cradle modem. I had a couple of really neat games for it my favorite of which was a Defender-like game. I honestly cannot recall what the modem was used for. I recall using it, but just not what for. Of course at that time (this was around '83) the internet didn't exist as we know it now. I learned a little bit of basic to do a few stupid things with. It seemed like it wasn't long after that Texas Instruments and Commodore came out with a similar system that was just so much more powerful and desirable, better programs, better games, etc. and the CoCo fell by the wayside.

After that experience I waited a good while before actually buying another computer. I recall 386 and 486. When the Pentium came out I got my first one, 233MHz with MMX....I thought I was strokin'. I recall HDD being in the MB at the time...I can't recall if the 2 and 8 TB drive came later? Actual 56K modem. Had to remember to go in and disable your call waiting before connecting or it would disrupt being online. Of course, everyone in the house would be pissed if you stayed online for any length of time since they couldn't call anyone unless you had a second line. Of that time I recall utilizing a web page/message board type site that the name won't come to me....pretty common for everyone at the time. If you knew how to use Dreamweaver you could make and download a nice looking page, or they had templates you could use. We all stayed in touch that way for our various hobbies, most notably for me, paintball. I still think fondly of the game Abe's Odyssey from that time.

Ah how far we have come. Never would have believed if you told me you would one day be able to work from home on one.....
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Old 08-08-19, 02:28 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
OMG. Overreact much?

Damn you! That's it. I'm reporting you to the mods and blocking you!

Don't ever talk to me again! You hurt my fragile self-esteem.
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Old 08-08-19, 02:41 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The internet has become a little less accessible and a little less diverse or interesting the past decade. I've done freelance and independent investigative journalism occasionally over the years since leaving the newspaper business. There was a time in the early to mid 2000s when it was easy to research almost anything, without diving into the dark web. And for awhile Google cached practically everything and made it fairly easily accessible. That was great for documenting abuses by public figures, and even for catching news media sites altering stories without notifying readers. I had utilities that would screenshot or download full pages either at timed intervals or whenever a new post appeared or a change was detected on a page. This was very handy for catching public figures lying, or documenting suspicious activities by news media sites that appeared to be caving in to pressure from publishers or other agencies.

But now it's much more difficult to access Google cache. Many of the tools we used to use have been disabled.

And with the influence of Twitter and Facebook, the tone of social discourse has taken a deep dive into the cesspool. Up until a decade ago most racism, misogyny and hate speech was posted anonymously or under pseudonyms. Now people are proud to flaunt their most despicable behaviors, even providing selfie videos to illustrate how horrible they can be.
Well, that's definitely part of it. I remember back in 2000 or sometime around there when there was still some optimism around it. It seemed all of the world's knowledge would be accessible and used to make everyone smarter. Instead it seems to have caused us to revert to our old tribal instincts. Have an errant racist thought? Here's a whole forum full of racists to tell you how right you are. Been dumped by some girl and think all women are *****es as a result? Here's a whole forum full of misogynists to agree with you.

The worst part is there is no real social discourse anymore. Try going to one of their forums and disagreeing with them. You'll be banned quicker than you can say "*****s and giggles". Instead of forums, we have "safe spaces" where people go to express their opinions without having to worry about having them challenged.

I don't know, maybe humans just aren't sufficiently evolved to cope with it.
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Old 08-08-19, 02:42 PM
  #30  
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I remember when I first started using the internet at home in the late 90's and being fascinated with it. There was more anonymity and less tracking/data mining then, and that made things more appealing to me. It's become a necessary tool now, and much less appealing too.
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Old 08-09-19, 03:31 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
You know? Like, pre-2005? Before everyone started getting offended all the time? Before everyone turned into a frothing political idiot?

It seems way back when, we had much more freedom online to say whatever we wanted, and most people had a sense of humour.

Now it's just people getting offended by the most mild things, and wanting to block this or report that. When did it just turn into a collection of safe spaces?
No, because we were all worried about viruses and amateurish stuff that started automatically and scared the heck out of us.

It wasn't the internet as much as people just transferring their nonsense from other things. GIGO.
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Old 08-09-19, 06:20 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yeah, when I was a mod on a couple of niche hobbyist sites, usually when some people complained about the sites becoming less interesting, or too heavily "censored," what they really meant was they were upset because they couldn't behave like jackasses with impunity.

Or they had boundary issues and refused to stick to the off topic forum for OT stuff. They'd try to sneak in commentary on hot button issues into unrelated conversations, then whine about "censorship" instead of simply observing the basic guidelines for every forum.
Could you please leave me out of this post?

The internet has become a little less accessible and a little less diverse or interesting the past decade. I've done freelance and independent investigative journalism occasionally over the years since leaving the newspaper business. There was a time in the early to mid 2000s when it was easy to research almost anything, without diving into the dark web. And for awhile Google cached practically everything and made it fairly easily accessible. That was great for documenting abuses by public figures, and even for catching news media sites altering stories without notifying readers. I had utilities that would screenshot or download full pages either at timed intervals or whenever a new post appeared or a change was detected on a page. This was very handy for catching public figures lying, or documenting suspicious activities by news media sites that appeared to be caving in to pressure from publishers or other agencies.

But now it's much more difficult to access Google cache. Many of the tools we used to use have been disabled.
Good point. Search engines have been outright neutered compared to 10-15 years ago. It used to be possible to use Google to find every single instance of a search term, that was ever used on the internet. Nowadays, searches are dumbed-down and filtered to death, and you're lucky to find 1/100th of what's really out there on a given subject. It's not just China who censors the internet anymore. Google searches are a joke these days, and if this nonsense continues, I hope a competitor comes along to restore the ability to do a decent search (assuming Google has not become so powerful that they can squash anyone who tries to compete).

Google has apparently worked very hard to achieve the status quo, but I wonder if some day they might offer a paid service that removes all the filtering, and creating that scenario in order to generate profits is their ultimate goal, or if they just want to censor and control what information the public has access to, and make money under that model. Because the latter could be rather troublesome if they start swinging election results to favor the candidates they like.
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Old 08-09-19, 09:48 AM
  #33  
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Remember when Google changed their motto from don't be evil to be evil?
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Old 08-11-19, 04:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I remember when I first started using the internet at home in the late 90's and being fascinated with it. There was more anonymity and less tracking/data mining then, and that made things more appealing to me. It's become a necessary tool now, and much less appealing too.
Tend to agree... everything comes with ads. Totally annoying. Remember when youtube first came out... and people were thrilled to post there. Now we have the age of "influencers" and almost every click on YT comes with a damn ad. Hell, may as well watch antenna TV.

And the real irony of ads, on the internet... if I want something I'll friggin' search for it... I don't need crap pushed at me.
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Old 08-11-19, 07:04 AM
  #35  
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It's like the 60s etc.

If you can say you remember it fondly, it's just that it sucked a lot better.
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Old 08-11-19, 07:11 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Tend to agree... everything comes with ads. Totally annoying. Remember when youtube first came out... and people were thrilled to post there. Now we have the age of "influencers" and almost every click on YT comes with a damn ad. Hell, may as well watch antenna TV.

And the real irony of ads, on the internet... if I want something I'll friggin' search for it... I don't need crap pushed at me.
Yep, surfing the internet has become like walking across a homeless encampment, full of billionaires aggressively begging for your spare change.
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Old 08-11-19, 07:18 AM
  #37  
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And lots of people telling them to get a job...I know.
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Old 08-11-19, 07:21 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Yep, surfing the internet has become like walking across a homeless encampment, full of billionaires aggressively begging for your spare change.
Arrrg. "Branding," what a waste. What a joke.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:12 PM
  #39  
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Check this out, if it doesn't cue automatically, start at 15:55 (or listen to the whole thing, it's great!)

Kumail Nanjiani describes his experience of the internet quickly turning dark while researching old X-Files episodes discussions for his podcast.
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Old 08-13-19, 08:58 AM
  #40  
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Well yeah, I do remember when internet was fun and new inventive websites were sprouting up to keep things interesting. I do also remember the darkness of "say whatever you wanted" of BBS (bulletin boards) and then AOL chatrooms etc..) those were the places to avoid then and those are the places to avoid today




Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
You know? Like, pre-2005? Before everyone started getting offended all the time? Before everyone turned into a frothing political idiot?

It seems way back when, we had much more freedom online to say whatever we wanted, and most people had a sense of humour.

Now it's just people getting offended by the most mild things, and wanting to block this or report that. When did it just turn into a collection of safe spaces?
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Old 08-13-19, 10:46 AM
  #41  
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Buddy of mine used to be into chat rooms back in the 90s, I think I got involved in online BS in the early 00s. At the time, it was all about the special interest mailing lists, that you basically had to know about to track down and join.

Then came MySpace. Damn you, Tom! Damn you to heck!

I've run across others mooning about the pre-social media internet golden age, back when predictions for the future of computing were about processing speed and storage, and no one was even thinking hand-held would be a revolution.

*shrug*

Things change. Change with the times, or yell at kids to get off your lawn. I now do both...
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