- Disclaimer the First.
I admit that I am greatly reluctant to make this thread, because of the amount of trolling and other abuse that I know I am going to receive for it,
from brainwashed, mean-spirited, conservative Americans; who have been indoctrinated to believe that white is black, down is up, and that which is
beneficial to them, is actually somehow harmful. I have already received large amounts of abuse online, for mentioning this and related topics. I
used to think that my psychological stamina for enduring such abuse was limitless, but I have since discovered that it is not.
- Disclaimer the Second.
I'm also aware that this thread likely won't receive much attention, because it is constructive and solution-oriented, rather than focusing on
apocalyptic doom porn. That's fine; I will keep the URL of the thread, in order to give it to people at appropriate times in the future.
This thread is an attempt to comply with the motto of this site; to educate and Deny Ignorance.
Most of you who are currently here today, are probably entirely unfamiliar with the nature of the Internet, as it existed prior to 2000; and
especially prior to 1995.
Today, the Internet exists almost exclusively as a collection of web sites which are owned and operated by large corporations. Google, Facebook, and
Twitter are probably the main three. Files are generally hosted, again, by centralised websites which are owned and operated by smaller corporations.
Virtually nobody outside of said corporations has their own web sites; instead, everyone has various accounts with the sites owned and run by said
corporations. The Web browser is more or less the only application which people now use, for accessing the Internet.
It wasn't always this way.
The Internet used to be vibrant, non-homogenous, and unrestrained.
Where we now have Facebook, Twitter, Mediafire, and private or corporate-run, Web-based forums, we used to have decentralised application
. Internet Relay Chat
File Transfer Protocol
, and the
Network News Transfer Protocol
, (Usenet) were probably the three most
These were decentralised systems, which could be run by any single individual on their own computer. In the past, universities operated what were
called "mirror networks," of FTP sites. One of the largest of these was the Simtel
This was a scenario where a single set of files were duplicated and hosted locally, by a large number of different educational and other institutions,
all over the world. This offered a level of assurance for the continued availability of information, which largely no longer exists today. The
Web-based mirror network used by Wikileaks, is one of the last examples of this technique, left in popular use.
Internet Relay Chat was the direct, non-corporate ancestor of Twitter. It was not purely web-based, but was typically used via a seperate
application. (An IRC client
Anyone who wanted to, could run an IRC server on their own computer. Typically, there existed a number of IRC networks
. These were
collections of IRC servers which were connected together. Each was run either by an individual, an educational institution, or a small Internet
service provider. They were considered common carriers
of information, which meant that they did not monitor or censor the information
that was carried. There were no false, psychopathic/fascist rationalisations made that censorship or monitoring of the entire system, needed to occur
in order to prevent child porn as an isolated issue, and the users of these systems had not yet been sufficiently brainwashed as to believe said false
Another of these systems was Usenet. More of you are probably familiar with this one than IRC. Usenet was essentially a decentralised forum system.
It was run in a similar manner to IRC, in the sense that servers could be run by anyone, and were typically run by individual Internet service
providers. Today, Usenet has largely been choked with binary files and various forms of rubbish, but in the past, it was a host for global
conversations which were not subject to even the relatively lenient degree of censorship that we are accustomed to, here on ATS.
Usenet as a whole had no centralised moderation staff, although individual newsgroups could be. For the most part, though, each Usenet user
maintained a killfile
as part of his or her Usenet client or newsreader.
If you didn't like what a person wrote, or they
behaved in a manner which upset you, you'd add their email address to your killfile, and you no longer saw what they wrote. Their messages were
seamlessly deleted immediately after delivery to your machine.
Another advantage of Usenet was the use of public key encryption
this wasn't directly associated with Usenet itself. This involved the use of an application called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and later the GNU
equivalent, gPGP, and allowed confidential, secure communication.
Generally speaking, these systems had the following three things in common:-
These systems were run as client-server pairs, where a client program connected to the server. Both programs could be run by anyone
with a computer, and were generally Free and Open
Source Software. It is here that ANOK's quoted definition of socialism is complied with; the individual user could own and have
complete control of the means of information production.
It was understood that the network was a beneficial resource to ALL, and thus all people using it were interested in its' maintenance,
propogation, and welfare.
The above two characteristics of these protocols rendered censorship or other control by corporations and fascist governments largely impossible,
which was the precise reason why said corporations and governments came to feel that it was imperative to destroy them. This, in turn, is why we now
have the centralised, Web-only, corporate abomination that exists today.
The Internet is currently in a state of crisis due to corporate involvement, which is directly analogous to the offline ecological crisis that has
been caused by corporations. It can be restored to real health, as can the offline environment; but doing so is up to us.
I would particularly request that the Occupy movement become more committed to use of the Internet in its' original and non-corporate contaminated
edit on 8-5-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)