OT: The future of USENET?
aimass at yabarana.com
Wed Mar 27 11:35:54 UTC 2013
On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 6:55 AM, Quartz <quartz at sneakertech.com> wrote:
>> Younger generations
> In my experience, few people under the age of 30 have used usenet, and no
> one under the age of 20 has even heard of it.
It's interesting to see all the re-inventions that occur all the time.
It's basically the same stuff, just re-invented for a wider audience,
lowering the barrier of entry in some cases and in others just plain
stupidity and ignorance. Many times these re-inventions happen without
even prior knowledge of what exists and other times are "simplified"
forks, or robbed ideas that wind up being the same or worse than their
Examples are in all areas of technology, and in society in general.
For example, chat and instant messaging have always been avail for IRC
users since the late eighties but have been re-invented in the late
nineties with a bunch of incompatible and overlapping IM protocols.
Blogs and forums are also re-inventions of older and in many cases
more robust and versatile technologies like USENET and mailing lists.
In many cases what I find that is a shame is that these re-inventions
don't build on top of mature technologies but rather start out as
simple things and then evolve to overly complex things without any
elegance and that (as stated above) wind up being even more complex
and generally much less elegant than their older counterparts. A good
example is Windows and perhaps most of MS technology in general, with
a few counted exceptions.
In some cases the prior art in known quite well, take for example PHP
which was originally written in Perl, then forked to a new language
for whatever reasons, and the evolves to be as complex or worse than
Perl itself, and after all these years it's still not a full-fledged
and decent programming language. In some cases, the evolutionary line
is actually positive, take for example Ruby. Yet in this case, Perl
has continued to evolve quite well, as Larry Wall well put it: "The
camel has evolved to be relatively self-sufficient. (On the other
hand, the camel has not evolved to smell good. Neither has Perl.)".
One could go on forever with thousands of example, but it's all about
evolution and you can only evaluate these things with time. Who knows,
maybe USENET, IRC. etc. will continue to evolve and survive in niches,
or someday make a great comeback when other options have run their
course and have gone extinct.
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