Net Losers

Recovered from Archive.org – Mar 19, 1997

News happens everyday. Today Microsoft did something and Netscape responded with blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes, like today, the news isn’t that interesting. I am the first one to be shouting out predictions for every news article to hit the Associated Press, but today…who cares if Microsoft is going to produce their own video chip. It won’t affect your life, believe me.

So instead, I feel like editorializing. It’s Almost News.

The Internet is entering its third generation. The first was all scientific and sterile. Educators and researchers using the network to send and publish dissertations and the newest articles. It was mostly acedemics using straight text to transmit ideas. College students, professors and scientists were 99% of the online population using Archie, Veronica, Newsgroups, and email. The circle expanded to include the computer savvy public with the proliferation of BBSs and MUDs. The second generation saw BBSs become more graphical with ripscript and proprietary software spawning the easy to use online sevices such asAmerica Online, Compuserve, and Prodigy. That was almost 10 years ago.

The third generation has arrived in clichés of surfing and arachnid behavior. The WWW arrived and it came with its friend, Commercialism. They came to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And they were all outta gum. Commercialism hit the internet in a BIG way.

OK, here is the editorializing part:
The first generation (and some of the second) has developed a scornful disdain for the third generation (and some of the second). Catch phrases like “Netiquette” and “Netizens” and “The internet has been my backyard for X years” and “I have been online a lot longer than you…” have sprouted up like crab grass on my dad’s lawn. It’s the first virtual generation gap… Isn’t that just kick you in the crotch adorable??

If you ever hear someone say one of those or simliar catch phrases, repeat after me:

“Sure Grandpa.” (Don’t forget to nod your head dutifully)

Every generation since the beginning of civilization has been spewing ridiculous rhetoric about how things were better in “MY GENERATION!” Are we on the road to hell as a society? It sure seems that every new generation seems to have problems that the older generation had never developed. Coincendence??? Buy the Time-Life Book!

The internet is a scary thing to most people. Movies are being produced making things even worse. (See The Net, Hackers, Lawnmower Man, Sneakers etc..) And to top it all off, people who got there first are acting like they own all of cyberspace.

Where am I going with this?

Don’t act like you are in some inner circle of the internet. If I can influence someone in some way, I want to say, Don’t let HITS go to your head. An audience doesnt make you better than someone else. There will always be some newbie, who can hack better than you, be more creative, get more laughs, write it better and produce it better. It’s the nature of the beast. Keep up with the newest generation or become stuffy and pretentious with the older generation.

I saw an old man (70-80) in a diner yesterday reading OMNI. I think that’s great. I hope when I have kids, I don’t say, “When I was a newbie…I mean your age.”

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