Re: Funny Tech Writing

Subject: Re: Funny Tech Writing
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 18:25:24 -0700

On Friday 28 April 2006 08:53, Clare Turner wrote:
> Weeeelllll - first, I DID say I thought the whole thing was suspect...
> on the other hand, I first saw this LONG before the internet/email
> existed. In fact, it was 1985.

I think Clare's reference must be to the pre-public internet, which was an
entirely different internet than the one we know today. In 1985 the internet
was open to government, universities, and various syntheses of the two, but
was not open to ISPs and the general public.

Today's internet has one notable exception to the rules or etiquette of the
original internet: the 'net today allows commercial advertising--this was
banned on the pre-public internet. It was banned on the early web and in
internet mailing lists and usenet newsgroups. (Imagine a web of that sort).
This ban on commercialization was universally accepted on the pre-public
internet, if not by charter then at least by general consensus, and attempts
to violate it produced immediate strong protest reactions from netizens.
Holy cow! this is not a trick of memory--there truly was no daily inbox full
spam, and only rumors of theoretical anti-social malware like computer
viruses. The pre

Advertising on today's internet is really just the old rule against
advertising, stood on its head. The rule against it reasoned that the net
was paid for by government/public tax dollars, and no one was allowed to use
it directly for their own profit. Today the internet runs on a lot of public
and private infrastructure, with tax dollars, advertising and commercial
revenue, and as with the ealy internet, probably a lot of donated volunteer
effort footing the bill.

A lot of users of the original internet found the open internet intolerable,
and left it for a rumored 'undernet' that continued on in the antedeluvian
internet tradition.

Anyway, my $.02 (in 1982 dollars).

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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RE: Funny Tech Writing: From: Clare Turner

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