strangest systems I've sent email from

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Wed Apr 27 08:23:46 CDT 2016

{Several replies packaged together to minimize list bandwidth use..}

    > From: John Willis

    > the real promise of the Internet as envisioned by Cerf, Postel, et. al.
    > was in the purity of the end-to-end networking connectivity, where your
    > personal machine is a node equal in stature to minis, mid, and
    > mainframes also participating

We don't have peer-peer at the packet level, true, but a lot of the
philosophical goals many people had back then (which were unspoken, of
course) were in fact met.

i) Information is much more accesible now (and not just Wikipedia, but
government information, etc - stuff you used to legally have access to, but
it required real effort and physical presence to get to). ii) Information is
much more democratic - the 'New Media'. No more three national TV channels
(in the US, replace '3' in other countries.)

Yes, there are issues, but on balance, I think I still prefer post-Internet
to pre-Internet.

    > the vapidity of online exchanges quickly reached fever pitch as more
    > and more blockheads flooded the network.

This is kind of a corollary to Sturgeon's Law. x% of the world are ^%&-heads;
if you have something that includes the entire population, you'll
_necessarily_ have a lot of ^%&-heads.

    > From: Swift Griggs

    > The Internet is a large, but still textbook case of what happens when
    > you let business-weasels in on something good. They "monetize" it and
    > turn it into a combination strip-mall, casino, theatre, porn-shop. 

"In a democracy, people generally get the kind of government they deserve."
Real world strip malls, Walmart, etc exist because of _demand_. If people
didn't want that stuff, it wouldn't exist. You want better? Educate
people's tastes.

    > I even cringed when I saw Geocities dying. Yeah it was a cheesy service
    > but, for example, I have a friend who is a master gunsmith and put all
    > kinds of excellent info on a site he made. Now it's gone

Some was saved:

Interesting story...

    >> Of course, if class A and B address blocks weren't handed out like
    >> candy to children in the early days, IPv4 might have lasted longer.

    > I still hate Network Solutions and all the NICs for that, too.

Uhh, by the time we got to that stage, the taps were long turned off.

All the 'space handed out freely' stuff happened back when you went to Postel
for numbers - and a lot of the class A's went i) before the Internet was a
going concern, and ii) in the earliest days, there were _only_ class A's.

    > Nowadays, folks create viruses that encrypt and/or destroy the target
    > for ransom the minute they can write 3 lines of code in Visual Basic.
    > The level of malice and thuggery have gone way up.

See previous Sturgeon's Law comment...


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