What we can do about the Internet
The Web is broken, which is almost as much as to say that the Internet is broken too. No news here, no need to even link to what has been already said a zillion times. Also, I am sure we cannot fix it. There are too many people trying to make money, a few of them actually getting wealthy in the process with a huge tail of hopefuls.
I do not believe a, relatively, small subset of people being to fix that monster. And, I think, most of us agree with that.
What we can do is to build little strongholds of sanity, havens, Rivendells, hidden valleys, secret gardens, forest huts, firefly class ships, small tugboats. Then, connect with one another in some meaningful ways. Finally, perhaps, see what works best and do more of that stuff.
Gopher, Gemini ---PDF, CSV or plain text, but served over what?---, smol webs, SFTP, email, the next little shiny thing... all of that are just tools. Some could be better or worse for this or that use, but all can be employed for evil, again with more or less efficiency.
Anyway, as for myself I will focus on doing nice little things. I hope that way I can build a little Serenity amid this weird chaos of the Internet.
From my gopher, which is named yretek.com
I think, just by being here, we're doing what we can. It's not SEO'd or ad-worded to death. We're not here posting for clout. I'm just doing it because I like it. It feels like a breath of fresh air, while the "main" internet composed of about 5 websites feels like drowning. Drowning in endless content, most of it for the purpose of making money. That's capitalism for ya, it turns everything into a value proposition. It takes the passion out of things.
My mental image is more of a fast food restaurant when they will push you to eat more and more "food".
I've found one can leverage a little potential evil also known as Google Drive to:
- place a text file therein
- change its access to be accessible to anyone with a link to it
- obtain its link, e.g. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qbSOCmFVqCOPD_zLIvG-Kb3cp9LEsHIm/view?usp=sharing
- modify that link to leverage accessing it by download, i.e. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1qbSOCmFVqCOPD_zLIvG-Kb3cp9LEsHIm
- point "curl" to that thusly: curl -s -L -o- 'https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1qbSOCmFVqCOPD_zLIvG-Kb3cp9LEsHIm'
That brings the text content to stdout, which could be redirected to a file, which could be diff'd against a copy of the same file thusly acquired to note changes/updates to the file - and then, of course, one replaces one's copy with the latest for subsequent diff'ing.
I suspect one could also point the likes of twtxt (https://twtxt.readthedocs.io/en/stable/) to such.
Of course there are plenty of devilish details accomplishing some of the above that I'm not going to get into because shit looks different in others environments, etc., blah, etc., blah, and those who'd truly want to make it work will find a way.
Looking back, my online experience might be characterized as an oscillation between the bliss of interaction hope, and dread induced by sneaking suspicions stated, in part, rather well
> I could overthink this, but it isn’t warranted. The
> reasons not to write here are all just themes I’ve
> been repeating at (numbing) length for years: Self-
> expression in the open seems like an attack surface.
> A public record is, as much as anything, a liability.
> Kinds of text that once felt liberating now feel like
> an embarrassment at best. The internet in general is
> owned by bad people and has gone septic as a culture,
> even as it determines culture as a whole.
And then, of course, there's