Turns Out That Not Everyone Is Nice And Honest On This Internet Thing
from the geee...-really? dept
There’s this weird myth that goes around that at one point in time everyone online believed that somehow the internet was supposed to turn into this lovely utopia of happy people all working together towards the common good. It’s not entirely clear where that belief came from, but it’s never been a part of the internet vision that most folks seemed to have about it (just ask some people about the flamewars of decades past). There certainly is talk about how the internet can help enable better communications and new information flows, but it never seemed like anyone ever thought that “bad things” would automatically be kept out. That’s why it’s odd to see this Baltimore Sun article pointing out that the web hasn’t become this fabled utopia. They don’t say who predicted it, but suggest that it must have been true. What’s even more amusing, though, after they catalog all the gaming, spamming and audacious behavior online, they get to the heart of the matter. Someone points out that the nice thing about the internet is that, sure, people can do all of this stuff, but others can also expose it. And that’s really been the key all along. No one ever thought that the “bad stuff” wouldn’t show up online — but they recognized that the internet is a wonderful platform to allow anyone to then come in and respond and deal with it. It’s an ongoing process. It’s not a perfect world by any means, but it is a world that opens up lots of possibilities — for good uses, bad uses, neutral uses, everything in between and responses to all of those uses.
Comments on “Turns Out That Not Everyone Is Nice And Honest On This Internet Thing”
Like, Duh !
Haha duh again
DEE TEE DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe
my dreams of utopia have been shattered 🙁
Oh man… this was kinda a lame articile, but then I got to the comments and saw all the “durs”… priceless…
Just like life.
I just want to DUH all the people who thought that the first duh wasn’t good enough.
techno-illiterates will like it
The Baltimore Sun article is silly but appeals to techno-illiterates who want to feel better about the fact that they can barely turn on the machine let alone use it. “Ya see Madge — it’s not a utopia. It’s a bunch of nasty people and weirdos and gamblers and athiests and porn addicts, and they all steal music. We are actually smarter, better, nicer, more morally grounded people because we can’t… errr… chose not to use computers.” And there you have it in a nutshell.
Re: techno-illiterates will like it
I guess what you’re saying is that computer illiteracy makes one a better person. Crap!! All this time I thought it was high standards and treating others as you would like to be treated.
This just in...
…the wind blows !!!
Re: This just in...
And vacuum sucks.
“Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy.”
“It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost.”
“Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.
Re: Everything Zen?
Life is suffering. But it is also a struggle against suffering. Without the duality the path to nirvana is meaningless. Without enemies to vanquish and masters to turn into servants there is only cold comfort, and comfort is the killer. The greatest of these tasks of course is the self. Men are at war because every man is at war with himself. Those who would build perfection must watch it swept away, because with perfection there is no change, there is no life.
I think Haskell would have been a good choice, or maybe Smalltalk, but the architect insisted on visual basic didn’t he? No wonder those sunglasses don’t quite fit you 🙂
(a 33% improvement on “duh”, my bold accomplishment for the day)
Can anyone help me find porn on ther internet? I once had a friend who said he knew someone that saw a naked picture on the Internet. I think he may have been lying.
I saw it, it was yer mom!
As long as there is a plentiful supply of pr0n… The internet is Utopia for me.
da dee dee
Why the Internet was a utopia
> There’s this weird myth that goes around that at one point in time everyone online believed that somehow the internet was supposed to turn into this lovely utopia of happy people all working together towards the common good. It’s not entirely clear where that belief came from
–> This belief came from the fact that the Internet *used to* be a utopia where happy people worked together for the benefit of all. That was 1969-1994, back when the only people on the Internet were scientist and engineers. Scientist and engineers are nice people who lack the selfishness inherent in most humans.
Then, shortly after the WWW was invented, all the unwashed proletarian masses invaded the Internet because then any idiot could us it. So of course idiots started using it. That’s when the Internet ceased to be populated by nice people.
The image of the Internet being a utopia comes from the distant memory of what it was like before all you fucktards ruined it.
Re: Why the Internet was a utopia
“This belief came from the fact that the Internet *used to* be a utopia where happy people worked together for the benefit of all. That was 1969-1994, back when the only people on the Internet were scientist and engineers. Scientist and engineers are nice people who lack the selfishness inherent in most humans.”
I must say you are not entirely correct Dude, though you make a partially valid observation on historical changes.
I am one of those “Scientists and Engineers”, though not old enough to be a first generation user, and you give us and the formative “internet’ too much credit. There were always plenty of unpleasant characters in the mix. The internet then, as such, was not a coherent network at all. It was a disparate collection of smaller networks each with their own tribal politics and conventions. If you knew some of the scandalous events that were necessary for the formation of the modern “Web” you would not lament those halcyon days (much like the inhabitants of our contries forget the genocides and exploitation on which our nations were built). It was not news back then. Remember too that the province of ARPA, one of the most vital seeds of everything you see today, was killing people. That is what the defence industry does. So, some of the internets founders were mean, miserable and selfish people too, particularly the academics whose cloistered vanity and rivalries are legendary.
The “unwashed masses” are not the problem, unless you dislike them purely for their status, it is those that came to prey upon them. And if you are going to be pragmatic and Darwinian about humanity, “problem” is a misleading word. Inevitability would seem more the case.
If one can make such a sweeping collective judgement, the ethics of many IT corporations are far below that of the defence sector. At least the latter know they are killing people and are involved in an unpleasant though sometimes necessary business. Most businessmen of the former ilk know fullwell that their actions destroy lives and rob the populace of wealth, yet simply do not care. Their actions are excused by the niceties of modern business.
Wherever you find sheep you will find wolves. The spammers, phishers, patent attorneys, theives, sex-offenders and profiteers of division and control are merely thriving on a new food source.
Us scientists are still here, still ploughing our little fields and still hoping that technology can become a force for positive social change. But we can never offer a “Utopia” free of predators. You must do that for yourselves.
Re: Why the Internet was a utopia
you just got put back in your box dude…
Why the Internet was a utopia
> you just got put back in your box dude…
Whatever that means… Man in the box, get back in the box.
> I am one of those “Scientists and Engineers”, though not old enough to be a first generation user, and you give us and the formative “internet’ too much credit.
And yet you misspelled Internet. It’s a proper noun if you are talking about “the Internet”.
> if you are going to be pragmatic and Darwinian about humanity
It is always good to be pragmatic. As for natural selection, it’s real and affects our species like any other whether or not you believe in it.
> If you knew some of the scandalous events that were necessary for the formation of the modern “Web” you would not lament those halcyon days
I never claim that the technology was built in an Ivory tower. Yes, there are a lot of hacks and kludges that persist till this day. That has nothing to do with the point of this discussion, which is that the reason the Internet isn’t a “nice” or “safe” place anymore is that all the assholes have discovered it.
> the ethics of many IT corporations are far below that of the defence sector.
Corporations and sectors cannot have ethics. Only people can have ethics. There is no such thing as group ethics. Nor has anyone ever provided a meaningful way to measure, add, multiple, or divide ethics so as to derive some meaningful “average” within a group.
That said, we all know assholes when we see them and can tell if the majority of a people in a room are assholes. We don’t need to use statistics to calculate that.
> we can never offer a “Utopia” free of predators.
No one has suggested we could. I am merely showing the reason why the Internet was a much nicer place 10/20 years ago. The reason being that the majority of the people on it were nicer back then because only technical people were interested in it back then.
The thesis of my argument is that you are basically less likely to be murdered, mugged, back-stabbed, ripped off, chewed out, or otherwise taken advantage of by scientists and engineers than by lawyers, salesmen, advertisers, religious freaks and all the other personalities that make up the general population.
It used to be that the Internet was compose almost 100% of students, professors, and professionals in the science and engineering fields. Now those same people, although greater in number, represent a tiny fraction of Internet users and even less of the Internet traffic.
And yes, DARPA did start the Internet as a means of keeping communications channels operational in the event of a nuclear war. However, by 1980 DARPA was a small player in the Internet. TCP/IP, sockets, email, gopher, telnet, html, Ethernet, and all the other technologies that make the Internet what it is came after DARPA. Eventually DARPA net even truncated itself from the Internet for security reasons. Evidently, the guys are DARPA saw a movie called War Games.
Here’s a little tidbit that sums up my point of view. Back in the early nineties I could go to a discussion board (posted or real-time), introduce myself, and have a polite, meaningful, and intelligent conversation with a person I just met. That happened all the time.
Today, when I try to do the same thing all I get is “ill pwn u ass u l0zer n00b”. This clearly shows how the people on the Internet today are comprised mostly of degenerate slime.
There may have been flame wars back in the 70s, 80s, early 90s, but they were much rarer and less tolerated. And the majority of conversations were intelligent exchanges of ideas. This is no longer the case.
Going back to the premise of this TechDirt thread, why hasn’t the Internet become a wonderful place of exchanging ideas… The answer is that is used to be, but then everyone jumped on the Internet bandwagon and most people aren’t that nice or intelligent. In fact, I’d say that *at least* one of every four Americans is retarded. How else can you explain all those reality TV shows or Bush being president?