Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Net Worth?

Apparently it's 25 years today since the World Wide Web became available for public use. Blimey! There's no denying that it's a fantastic resource for information and a boon for sending work directly to publishers or whoever. It's also been great for social media. (I know a few people who have even met their true loves online.) 

It has a darker aspect too of course. From the extreme sickness of sites dealing in sexual abuse or violent radicalization to the lesser evils of 'trolls' bullying and hassling people or spreading malicious distortions.

Even in mild cases, the 'net can have its problems. The mistake many of us make is that we sometimes assume that someone we're having a debate with online is a rational person. Then, as the discussion becomes more convoluted and the other person is prolonging the argument by nitpicking every perceived flaw, or throwing in opinions as if they were hard facts, the alarm bells start ringing. If you find yourselves in that sort of situation, back away from the computer! You're either dealing with someone with 'issues' or a time-waster. Either way, they have more time on their hands than you, and you'd probably see why if you met them. The thing with the 'net is it puts everyone on a level playing field. That's great in normal situations, and can give shy people confidence for example, but in the case of the sociopaths it provides a shield they can use to a brutal advantage.

It took me a long time to realize that, but these days I try to keep clear of such people. If I see the conversation being manipulated like that I just walk away. And that's the beauty of the 'net. You can just switch it off. Ok, the crazies might still be banging on and telling tales in your absence, and that stuff is online indefinitely, but from my experience anyone with a glimmer of intelligence sees right through them anyway. 

So, happy anniversary, Internet! Let's focus on the positives....


Stephen Parry said...

Well said, Lew.

In recent months, I've given up arguing with trolls. When my time on this earth is up, I will not be saying to my kids/grandkids, "Oh, I really wish I'd spent more time arguing with trolls on social media." Life too short.

Lew Stringer said...

Quite right, Stephen. Whether they're trolls, or people who are continually missing the point, or just plain drunk, they're not worth the time.

John Pitt said...

And no matter how diplomatic or non-arguementative you are, some oddballs still manage to find you! In my few years on the net, I've had to deal with an anonymous blog commenter trying to pick an online fight, a cyber-stalker and a dictatorial forum boss!
There's nowhere safe from them, Lew!

Lew Stringer said...

Yep, people like that are never far away. The trick is seeing through the facade.

Manic Man said...

"Apparently it's 25 years today since the World Wide Web"? very apparently.. the internet is self is WAY older for public access.. in fact, the public had access in the late 70s.. it was a bit pricey but possible.. being a computer guy that can tell you the history of the public computer with things like the rubbish kitchen computer, the paperclip computer, all the way through the Atari age onwards, i'm a little confused about this.. but since terms get confused a lot, it's not a big surprise.. I mean, 25 years makes 1991.. that's after mainframe online gaming has finished, newsgroups were already around since the 80s, even the Sega Megadrive's Modem was in fully swing (if a console has it, it's old hat)... the 'Internet' as that term was 100% public running in 85.. the World Wide Web is a .. again, not the same thing... Not your field so that's no problem but.. very confusing who was claiming this rubbish... mmm.. of course, if we try to say ARPANET which was a Packet Switching using TCP/IP (which is still used system for the internet) that's... 69 I believe.. 47 years ago. but it wasn't commercial..

Lew Stringer said...

The news of the 25th anniversary was all over the media, Manic. I don't remember the www being publicly available in the late 70s or 80s. You say the World Wide Web isn't the same as what you're talking about, but the anniversary was specifically about the www, not the invention of or prototype Internet.

Manic Man said...

yeah.. problem is, has the Media ever been that reliable in such matters? while I wouldn't use the term prototype to refer to ARPANET, it can be seen as the forerunner cause it wasn't public available, but the internet as a public thing with web browsers that use a visual medium, would start in 1990, 26 years ago with W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) who still have the say on the internet standards.. of course, public accessible internet in the 80s was a big thing. Main people using it were MUD players of course, and other RPG gamers. around the time the early 90s started, people started to believe the internet would die out because gaming was becoming less of a thing and people couldn't afford the newer rang in prices needed..

but there is always a difference (a big one) between what is publically available, and what the public knows about ^_^ The Paperclip computer was a fairly powerful (for the time) home computer that anyone could make in there own bedroom, but there are still a lot of people that didn't know about such computers.

there are some people that never heard of the Phoenix WebBrowser (it was fairly popular for ex-netscape people) until it got the stupid name of 'Firefox' (renamed due to them not checking the trademade with Phoenix Technologies and there own webbrowser).

So I can see what you are saying and all, and the message you make in your post is still valid, but like I said, I guess it's the kinda thing you need to be interested in to fully understand.. like those that read the Daily Mail and believe the dandy was the first comic to remove text captions under the panels ^_^ that is reported in the media all the time.