Meg Hourihan, writing in 2000:
And I realized there are dot-com people and there are web people. Dot-com people work for start-ups injected with large Silicon Valley coin, they have options, they talk options, they dream options. They have IPOs. They’re richer after four months of “web” work than many web people who’ve been doing it since the beginning. They don’t have personal sites. They don’t want personal sites. They don’t get personal sites. They don’t get personal. Web people can tell you the first site they ever saw, they can tell you the moment they knew: This, This Is It, I Will Do This. And they pour themselves into the web, with stories, with designs, with pictures. They create things worth looking at, worth reading, worth coveting, worth envying, worth loving. They create Beautiful Things. We need more of those.
Robin Sloan on his proposed protocol, Spring ‘83:
You feel it, don’t you? They’re all crumbling, the platforms of the last decade. It’s unsettling, but/and also undeniably exciting. Tall trees fall in the forest, and light streams in, nourishing places it hasn’t reached in ages.
But we, as users of the global internet, cannot just ride the same rollercoaster again. It’s too embarrassing to be trapped inside these hungry corporate gambits, these dumb proper nouns. The nouns and verbs of our online relationships should be lowercase, the way “magazine” is lowercase, the way “movie” is lowercase. Anybody can make a movie. Anybody can try.
I’m more or less off Twitter these days—and even moreso under the new management—in favor of places like micro.blog and Mastodon. But here we stand, at the edge of a better web, a new platform, a new protocol. And that’s exciting.
W. H. Auden:
The state of enchantment is one of certainty. When enchanted, we neither believe nor doubt nor deny: we know, even if, as in the case of a false enchantment, our knowledge is self-deception.
All folk tales recognize that there are false enchantments as well as true ones. When we are truly enchanted we desire nothing for ourselves, only that the enchanting object or person shall continue to exist. When we are falsely enchanted, we desire either to possess the enchanting being or be possessed by it.
We are not free to choose by what we shall be enchanted, truly or falsely. In the case of a false enchantment, all we can do is take immediate flight before the spell really takes hold.
Recognizing idols for what they are does not break their enchantment.
All true enchantments fade in time. Sooner or later we must walk alone in faith. When this happens, we are tempted, either to deny our vision, to say that it must have been an illusion and, in consequence, grow hardhearted and cynical, or to make futile attempts to recover our vision by force, i.e., by alcohol or drugs.
A false enchantment can all too easily last a lifetime.
Faith is the willingness to give ourselves over, at times, to things we do not fully understand . . . the full engagement with this strange and shimmering world.
“The most glorious vision of the intellectual life is still that which is loosely called humanist: the idea of a mind committed yet dispassionate, ready to stand alone, curious, eager, skeptical.”
We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily.
The best way you can defy crap content on their own is to write your own blog on your own platform. Don’t let threads, Facebook posts, and Medium take your words and your creative license.
One last thing, about another side project of yours with a sizable impact: LaTeX. I’d like to finally clear something up with the creator. Is it pronounced LAH-tekh or LAY-tekh?
Any way you want. I don’t advise spending very much time thinking about it.
Obviously, no one does this, I recognize this is a very niche endeavor, but the art and craft of maintaining a homepage, with some of your writing and a page that’s about you and whatever else over time, of course always includes addition and deletion, just like a garden — you’re snipping the dead blooms. I do this a lot. I’ll see something really old on my site, and I go, “you know what, I don’t like this anymore,” and I will delete it.
But that’s care. Both adding things and deleting things. Basically the sense of looking at something and saying, “is this good? Is this right? Can I make it better? What does this need right now?” Those are all expressions of care. And I think both the relentless abandonment of stuff that doesn’t have a billion users by tech companies, and the relentless accretion of garbage on the blockchain, I think they’re both kind of the antithesis, honestly, of care.
Heather Kelly in the Washington Post:
Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday took extraordinary action against President Trump for spreading coronavirus misinformation after his official and campaign accounts broke their rules, respectively.
Facebook removed from Trump’s official account the post of a video clip from a Fox News interview in which he said children are “almost immune” from covid-19. Twitter required his Team Trump campaign account to delete a tweet with the same video, blocking it from tweeting in the interim.
In the removed video, President Trump can be heard in a phone interview saying schools should open. He goes on to say, “If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,” and that they have stronger immune systems.
The source video, however, is still on YouTube. It’s simply not true that children are immune from the disease, nor should we forget that there are children and adults in schools.