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I Miss the Old Internet

10-29-19


I had a warm feeling recently when I came across an early 1990's-style website on ZeroNet called "MayVaneDay". It's less than five years old, and it's still being actively updated. The website's author is a young woman in her early twenties named Vane Cassia Vander (probably a pen name). Vane hosts her personal website on her own server. After some searching, I located her mirror website on the clearnet (the regular internet). You have to enter the exact name of the website to find it on Google. MayVaneDay is also mirrored on I2P, TOR, and Dat. For those of you who are unaware, these are three so-called "darknets", networks that host the "dark web". Vane's site has information about old command-line programs--like Alpine, Lynx, and Nano. It also gives her experiences with various Linux distributions, a list of websites she likes, some of her artwork, and five science fiction books she's written that can be downloaded for free. I started reading the first book, and it wasn't bad.

Although many websites like Vane's exist on the clearnet, it's getting increasingly hard to find them through the commercial smog thrown up by Google. You have to look really hard for them now, and the best way to find them is through links from similar small websites--that you won't be able to find easily by a Google search, either. Duckduckgo is less commercialized, so you'll have a better chance there. But, even there, it's difficult to find the websites of people who create them just for the joy of it, people we used to call computer hobbyists. Since somehow you found my Miscellaneous Stuff blog, I'm guessing you likely understand what I'm talking about.

I miss the internet of the early 1990's, back before the World Wide Web had been visited by more than just a few computer geeks, back when websites like Vane's were the internet. Don't get me wrong, many cool things can be found on the internet today. But, the voice of individuals has mostly been drowned out, except on commercialized websites like Facebook and Reddit, where the contents of their communications can be easily monitored and controlled. These days, people like Vane who experiment with Linux distributions and run their own servers seem rare. Yes, alternative social networks, where people are allowed to voice unpopular opinions--places like ZeroNet, voat.co, raddle.me, etc.--do exist. Thank goodness. But, they are not well-known or frequented by many. I expect that if they grow to any significant size, they will be commercialized too. I was recently banned on raddle.me, a fairly small alternative social network, for posting links to this website. It's depressing to discover that even the alternative social networks don't want me posting--despite the fact that many people up-vote my posts. I miss the days when corporations hadn't yet discovered the internet, before they had the idea that there was money to be made by dominating it the way they dominate everything else in our lives. I miss the old internet.



--Tie



UPDATE: Here is a link to Vane's website on the clearnet.






  

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