[vcf-midatlantic] The good old days of user groups

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Wed Aug 26 13:40:51 EDT 2020

Jeff jonas says:

> giving them the false sense of entitlement
> that Internet access is a "right".
> No, like driving, it is a PRIVILEGE.

"The Internet" was many things at many points in time. The ARPAnet was 
VERY privileged - for national defense and research. So it was 
something, then it became something else. Technology which was once 
scarce, but becomes a commodity, does that. My recent post described 
"scarcity" of personal computing technology.

Many people lament the loss of the past. But this forum is not a 
political or social-action arena. So a discussion of the politics of the 
Internet is likely off-topic. I am not in charge so that's merely my 
working opinion.

I will not debate rights versus privileges here, except to say Internet 
access is such an essential service to live and work in this country, 
that I think calling it a "privilege" and thus revocable is less than 

As for the past of social behavior, yeah, many people behave poorly 
these days on da Internets, and we also get access to that along with 
everything else we get. I don't think that's new. Imagine if you had to 
sit on a streetcorner in a busy city, and see *every single thing that 
happened there*. Now imagine, someone else feeds you views of the worst 
of it - for "free" (free access so your name is sold to people who want 
to sell you stuff). Who do we blame for that, eh?

> The burning of the library of Alexandria pales in comparison
> to the information and personal effort destroyed
> every time a hard drive fails or a major web page does down.

I don't know that. "It's harder to delete than it is to save". Stuff 
gets lost over time but there's services that preserve some of it and 
there's a lot of duplication. And a lot of stuff is very "forgetable". 
The Alexandria library was like destroying HALF "the internet" of the 
era (the other half being held in other cultures).

A value of vintage computing is to preserve history, in various forms. 
People are telling their stories, they are informative and are being 
preserved by telling. I'm a technologist by training, I preserve 
physical stuff, but it has human meaning and a context of development 
and use. I have stumbled into history.

Regards, Herb Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info

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