Re: Speaking for myself NOT for others about OI

Gavin Nicol (
Sat, 10 Sep 1994 23:22:01 +0500

>Finally, let me go on record dispelling an old myth; that the Internet was
>once a free and happy place where hackers roamed. It's false nostalgia
>that makes me shudder. The Internet was formed as a defensive system that
>would survive a US *first-strike* nuclear war, and back when I first got
>on (1988), it still had a very heavy MIL tilt. Internet was free and
>happy? Sure, if you worked for the Military-Industrial complex, or at a
>big university, two times of notoriously poorly-grounded organizations.
>It wasn't crowded, true, but it wasn't rich either.

I got on just after the great renaming. While I agree that in the old
days (tm) there was less freedom, I must say that I truly preferred
things the way they were. Signal to noise ratios were much higher, and
while many people were directly or indirectly on the MIL payroll
(through grants and such), I think it is a fact that there was a large
feeling of sharing and working for the community. I find commercial
interest in the Internet a bad thing: already it has affected the
entire world with a decision made in the US, which I consider to be
arrogance of the grandest scale. When I try to ftp anything from the
US now, I think I rarely get more than 3/4 of the speeds I used to. In
addition, businesses are hyping immature technologies. The WWW, while
in many ways a success, still has a myriad of problems
technically.Mosaic, while nice, is still a pretty poor browser when
it's all boiled down, yet these are being hyped so much that the
ignorant masses (who are the targets of ad men), beleive that the WWW
is greate, the WWW *is* Mosaic, and that if you don't get in on it
*now*, you'll be left out of the Information SUperHighway (tm).

Then we have Linux as well... and the misunderstanding people using
*it* have...