The history of USENET and the alt. hierarchy shows what we lost when the Internet stopped being about protocols and started being about products—a catastrophe adversarial interoperability staved off for decades, until we blocked it with terrible tech laws.

· · twit2mast · 4 · 15 · 12

@eff this is a fantastic article, @Gargron will probably like it :toot:
From time to time I have this usenetpunk dream of a federated internet without Reddit nor Twitter. It's still not too late to keep internet decentralised: let things like WebPub and ActivityPub be universal :)

@eff Sadly all regulated systems will be monopolized and the issue this great article points at, is not limited to technology and services.

Globalization is a destructive weed but the weed killer will have to be bigger than the internet if we are to poison the roots. Decentralization begins off-line first, on-line second.

@eff I always did think there were lessons from Usenet that could inform the #Fediverse...


Indeed. If I'd set off to develop a federated news protocol (something behind my skills) I'd have started by very carefully studying #UUCP and #Usenet dynamics at large.

The so-called #Fediverse is basically a reinvention of #usenet.



The article does a reasonable job of informing the younger generations about #Usenet.

Just one thing: #Doctorow's romantic view of alt.* is a bit rose-tinted. In reality alt.* was the original 4chan. Most providers did not bother to carry it not because of moral objections but because it was crap.

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