I got online in the way back through the University of Maryland. Before BBS’s, etc. I have used many different ‘platforms’ since then. I have never really been happy with them, ‘cept strictly academic communication.
I suppose what was ever my favorite was newgroups (NNTP/USENET). That was good for several years. At the time I was doing a LOT of programming and the applicable newsgroups were still very helpful. But eventually the news groups got flooded with garbage, so that was out. I liked the Well (mid-80’s) but that too eventually got flooded with junk. Gaming-wise, I did like some of the MUD’s. I actually did build a few ‘worlds’. That was really fun.
One of the MUD’s where I hung out had an hourly church bell that would sound. No sound of course. Not in the proper sense. But it lent a very strong sense of place.
Since MUDs were text-based, did you find they allowed for more imaginative scenarios or interactions? Did you interact, or did you mostly explore or build worlds?
I felt it very immersive. Very, very much so. These were the black screen with green/amber text days. Having to stop and think about how to describe a sound, for instance. What does trickling water spell like? What does wet dog or ocean breeze spell like? Subjectively, it is, at turns, what does one’s self think and what would the audience ‘experience’. Talking to one’s self in one’s own words? Saying, ‘trickling water’ is pretty boring. Or, trying to find a way to communicate a mood. One of the MUD’s where I hung out had an hourly church bell that would sound. No sound of course. Not in the proper sense. But it lent a very strong sense of place. These were kids (probably grad students) who had done an internship in Greenland or somewhere. They were interested in removing borders, so to speak, and the ‘setting’ if you like, was sort of a cape on the eastern edges of Nova Scotia.
One of the things I remember working on for a while was a sculpture that was all different shaped objects with 100% reflective surfaces. I really got occupied with that. How do you write 100% reflective surfaces? Not, ‘you are looking in a mirror’. Boredom, that. I wanted it to be an experience. Ya’ know? Like, you discover that you are looking into mirror. Not being told that you are looking in mirror.
Anyway, as with old vs. new horror films: In the way back it was left to your imagination to fill in the gory parts – what exactly was Nosferatu up to anyway? Use your imagination! Right? Like that. Now’a days, you are shown every drop of blood. No imagination needed. None at all. Hopefully it is at least good story. Seldom is though. I don’t like horror movies anyway. I suppose one could say something like: The extent to which one invests one’s own imagination, is the extent to which one is invested in the story.
It just seems like there is no life on Facebook proper.
I had been on Facebook, early on, for several years but found it quite hollow and just never-minded it. Recently a friend of mine started using Facebook. We both are very involved with local social justice issues. Facebook messaging is sort of a sidebar for us. Neither one of us are very into the public ‘face’ of Facebook. I like using the messaging because it can be real time. At the same time, it is fine to leave a message unanswered till you can get to it. It is easier than texting and less intrusive, if you like, than phone calls.
At least with what I see on Facebook, it is mostly just ‘likes’ and people posting posters or quotes from news articles or whatever. It just seems like there is no life on Facebook proper.
That is an interesting statement. What kind of people were you “Facebook friends” with, family? School friends, close friends, people you may not have met offline?
I have personally met most all the people on my Facebook page ‘cepting 3 or 4 out of, um, 16, 20? Not family. No. Totally pedestrian acquaintances a few are though. It is just really interesting to me to see what people care to post. Ya’ know? What are you paying attention to? Or not. It informs my sense of the character of that person a bit more.
Most people on Facebook just re-post. Don’t lend original content. That is such a shame. It is. ‘Cause what people do think, what people do have to say, that is so important!
I have started looking at imzy. I love the way it looks and feels. But, it does not have the real-time presence that I would like. I think imzy is a wonderful idea. I do. But I am not sure it is really what I am looking for. We’ll see. I do like what they are doing.
Throughout, I have always just been me. I never felt the need to do otherwise.
What do you mean by real-time presence? In my mind I think of things like IRC – is that what you mean? Can you articulate what you are looking for?
IRC is fun. Can be fun. But even in the narrowest channels, there can be so much noise. So to speak. I just give up and walk away. So, I don’t know, um, for instance, chatting on IRC about configuring Tails’ WiFi settings. Say. Pretty narrow. Right? There is always people jumping in and just talking junk. Just talk’n shit. And then, to me, all of any of any of the credibility anyone in the conversation might actually have had, deservedly, that disappears into the noise because, I don’t know. Like, just never mind. Fine. Forget I asked. I’ll figure it out myself. Thanks. Bye. Have a nice day.
Imzy? I’m not sure why I feel that way: it seems/feels one step removed? Maybe? Maybe just because it is slow as in, the software not being quickly responsive. Going from community to community, I feel like the system is laboring; that it is a burdensome task.
My favorite online communication is still email. I don’t have a smart phone, so, I don’t know what I would do with that. Plus, I really do not like the privacy concerns. Online, I use Tor a lot and am about to move to Tails, am pretty sure. I just get the feeling that Tor is too hacked. I don’t have anything to hide but I do think all online communication should be as private as one cares for it be.
Throughout, I have always just been me. I never felt the need to do otherwise. I did run a blog for a while where I myself was strictly anonymous. The reason for that was that I did not want people talking/writing to ‘me’ but rather to each other.
I feel like there is a campaign to desensitize people to their privacy being a nonexistent concept. And, like I said, I think this is going to lead people to self-censuring leading to expressionlessness.
Are your privacy concerns more directed towards companies who are collecting data and potentially using it to target you with marketing and advertising, or towards governments a la Snowden’s concerns?
My concerns I guess goes more off into the government involvement universe. I feel like there is a campaign to desensitize people to their privacy being a nonexistent concept. And, like I said, I think this is going to lead people to self-censuring leading to expressionlessness. I am not big on conspiracy theories. Fact is, though, sometimes they are all too real. So, ya’ have to wonder. I also think there is a psy-ops campaign to obfuscate fact from propaganda. Making everyone doubt everything like what has just happened to seed discredit the Wikileaks releases with the notion that they have been compromised by an ‘outside’ hand. In so doing, drawing into question the veracity of _all_ the documents they release. (I think it was the Intercept that just did a story about how that seed-of-doubt was planted).
Personally, I don’t care much about advertisers per se. I see another problem on the horizon: What is to stop insurance companies, say, or employers for that matter, tracking the food you buy and saying that because you eat too much salted ham (or whatever, if there is a receipt and you used your debit/credit card to pay for groceries) your health is compromised and it is in the company’s best financial interests to, say, triple the deductible or simply drop the policy. Not at all unlike your rates being adjusted based on where you live.
Or, if you get too many speeding tickets, they raise your rates or drop you. No different. All the information is there at their finger tips for the taking unless you go totally cash-only.
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