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re: ::scr Technical Priesthood
Allright Muttley, allright, keep your hair on! Here's a post:
Last Friday, Simon wrote:
> Should the technology to access the Net/Web be sufficently complicated
> in order to act like a driving test.
[ ... ]
> 1. This doesn't mean that the applications such as web browsers should
> be difficult to use but maybe that there shouldn't be a point and drool
> interface to get everything to connect.
Right, well, I think you'll have to clarify that a bit for me. What do you
mean by "everyhting" here? *Literally* everything and ting? You don't mean
browsers should be difficult to use, and yet you're talking about
making technology to access the web so complicated that it acts "like a
driving test". Surely those two aims are mutually exclusive? How's it
going to act like a driving test if it's not difficult? :)
But I get what you mean, I think. Going back to your question - should
the barriers to people making use of the internet be higher? I've said it
before and no doubt I'll say it again: it depends what you think the
internet is for.
Now it seems to me that a lot of the old timers are nostalgic for the days
when the internet was primarily a researchers and hobbyists thing. The
barriers to entry were sufficiently high, and resources like bandwidth
were so scarce that anyone who actually got onto the net treated the
medium with a fair amount of respect. I'm guessing and speculating here,
because I wasn't on the net back then. That's just how I see it after
reading loads of old usenet posts.
And that was great! People were thoughtful and paused pre-post, content
was interesting, original or useful, and even flamewars were sometimes
witty. Men were Real Men, women were Real Women and small furry creatures
from Alpha Centauri were Real Small Furry Creatures from Alpha
Centauri. [thwack]. I can see how people really miss that - I often get
curmudgeonly about the 99 percent shite ratio myself.
But, despite the plethora of 1337 kiddiots, B1FFs, JEFFKs, prudes,
puritans, bigots, invisible-space-superhero worshippers, confused newbies,
lazy lobs and attercops, I still love the way the internet is now. I love
the fact that barriers to use are low enough for a struggling dissident
group in south america can publicise their cause.
I love the wway that Joe Q Consumer can put up a protest site dissing a
lousy customer experience when The Man sticks it to him and breaks it off.
It's the only way to reign in these corporate behemoths - after all, no
gubbermint's going to do that for us. [reign in rant].
I love the fact that people who previously only had access to
state-produced propaganda can now get information from a whole range of
sources. Although I expect they're all as skewed as each other.
I love the fact that peer to peer file sharing made easy has caused the
majors to start to rethink their outdated business models. It has also
given me a laugh when I heard the major record labels telling off the
*public* about ripping off up-and-coming artists. Hello, Mister Kettle? I
also giggled when I heard Elton John claim that MP3s were destroying his
I love the fact that strong crypto gives us the ability to communiate
relatively securely. Although I might assert that the only truly secure
way of communicating is with a "social" system rather than a technological
one. If anyone wants to pick that up and run with it it could be
interesting (I like learning more about crypto).
I love the fact that when something like CPRM is mooted then it's easy to
reach thousands of people to organise a response. Anything that
facilitates Organisation to the extent that an easily-accessible internet
does *has* to be a good thing in my book.
I love the fact that the low barriers to use have been responsible for the
majority of my jobs - and many of you, too, I'd have thought. Just
remember, if all those dozy twats couldn't get online then the tech sector
would be in even worse doldrums than they are now.
Yeah, I know that last reason wasn't as high-falutin' as the others, but
you've got to admit, it's a factor ...
But anyway, I think that no, the technology to connect to the net isn't
too simple. I think that it can only be a good thing for more people to
become "connected". Okay, it may be to the detriment of the
Internet-Of-Yore-When-Everyone-Was-Clever, but I think that in the long
run it's to the benefit of humanity.
Gawd, how pompous of me. Ah well.
[ snip extra ramble about the future evolution of netiquette ]
Come on, BOFH usenet veterans of twenty years, slap me down, prove me
wrong, make me think!
"Bah! We're living in the 21st Century and people *still* wage war to
impress invisible superheroes who live in outer space! I thought we would
all be chilling out in solar-powered flying cars by now!"
 Well, not so much tricky as trciki*er*