The Internet will always suck


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I feel like I just got brained by an apple, this makes so much sense. Totally takes a bite out of the hype 5G and whatever name they wind up marketing 802.11ax under have been garnering.


#3

The Peter Principle, Internet edition.


#4

All tech is like that for a while.
PCs were always a bit too slow, until one day, they weren’t.
Eventually the tech catches up to the ideal.


#5

Yeah, maybe. Won’t hold my breath…


#6

I’ll lay a bet on perpetual slowness. The Internet has never had a guaranteed thruput. Because of technology but also because of companies actively throttling customers. The Internet as a new Wild West frontier pretty much gave carte blanche to every huckster and charlatan with a dishonest money making scheme.


#7

Because people are hyped into using bloated junk to appear contemporary, when it works less well that what they had before?

I am still looking forward, but the scriptomatic “social” media functions people scramble for now are completely useless to everybody but marketers. There is not even anything truly social about it. My optimum internet experience was from about 1997-2002. Meaning that I had easiest access to relevant information, and most control over my navigation and experience. Now it takes far more power to deliver far less, all so that some minority of commerce cultists can try to guess what stuff to try selling to me. I am disgusted. People networking is important, revolutionary to personal and social life. So it should not work markedly worse after ten years of such heavily funded development. It has gotten better for a few people, but not for the average user.

And no, there is no reason to assume that this will always be the case. That would be giving in to needless despondency.


#8

If a child is pulled from the rubble of a quake in some rich, mediagenic city and the only orthopedic surgeon that can save him is on the other side of the world, she will inevitably end up operating Dr Robot over whatever crappy network connection the rescue crews can jury-rig in the wreckage.

Even if there was only one doctor in the entire world who could save little Snookums, is this the best way for them to do so? Or is it just the coolest way? Back in the bad old days - say, the 1990s - Doctor Awesome would probably talk the local surgeon through the Impossible Technique. Have robots made coaching obsolete, in favor of the Kwizatz Haderach being all places at once? Or is it just an argument for laying off all the local doctors so we can outsource medicine to a call center in India?


#9

I can literally still type faster than text fields can display… PCs are still too slow.


#10

But we were in charge of and paying for the PCs ourselves.


#11

Awesome, Corey! That’s a really great reality check about design, and also an important progressive message in there… think of all the people who can’t afford or can’t access current gen connectivity.


#12

That’s what workstations are for.

Old operating systems were more or less real-time. The drive over the past 15 years to base them upon more advanced features such as protected memory and hardware abstraction have made them non-real time. It is not that the same thing is still as slow as it was, but that modern OSs work quite differently.

But this I regard differently from network slowness, which is more nefarious.


#13

Mine was 1983. I printed out a map of the entire Internet (took a wide format printer, mind-you) and was able to construct an email path anywhere in the world.

Of course, I didn’t know anyone anywhere else, so I ended up sending an email that circled the globe twice and ended up back in my account a day later.

That was magic.


#14

Sounds like an exciting personal milestone. But as communications/information goes, I wouldn’t call needing to send emails to myself optimal. At least you were guaranteed intelligent conversation!


#15

Actually, he was a jerk and never emailed me back…


#16

Actually, all that stuff is great. Super great!

When you’re downloading a single file over FTP.

Sites now don’t bat an eye now about having megabytes of markup + javascript!

Forget about actual script runtime, cross-site content, ad networks, CDN’s, auto-play videos, the sites lingering with flash plugins or god forbid their own dodgy plugins…

I actually downgraded my internet service a while ago, because being geeky means I know how many bytes/sec. I actually use in various situations. Since I no longer travel, and all my hosted stuff is now in the cloud, I can get by with internet that runs me $35/mo. and hardly know the difference. The advertised 15 megabits, I don’t care too much if I ever see it, because that’s far more than I need.


#17

I recently got a letter from the cable co. that they’re now providing increased speeds, but I need to upgrade my modem (they’ll provide one for free). My first thought was “why bother?”. It used to take hours to download a 3-minute song, but now I can download an entire movie before a song (which is now streaming in another tab) finishes. (Nevermind reminiscing about watching text download a character at a time in the 1200bps days.)

I just don’t feel the need for more speed. Instead I feel the need for cleaner, simpler stuff. Faster speeds have just brought more cruft that we have to block with adblockers, popup-blockers, script blockers, tracker blockers, etc. People post images of text instead of the text itself, videos or audio recordings where images and text would serve better, etc.

Same with desktops. I was kind of surprised, but since I went from an i7 down to an old 2-core with half the RAM I haven’t had any problems, even with games (few if any can use multiple cores). I’ve dropped a lot of bloated programs for simple text-editor and cli-based software that does only what you need. It’s so much quicker and easier than clicking through a gui for everything and having to workaround 30,000 functions that I don’t need, or dealing with an ‘integrated suite’ that tries to be all things to all people but somehow fails to do the one simple thing I’m trying to do.

The state of the art is now way more than we need for normal usage. It primarily enables things to be more difficult and filled with stuff we don’t need or want.


#18

Indeed, I believe 2 core machines offer gigantic value, but more vastly diminishes unless you have just the right threaded app.

Indeed, the software space mimics the same trend as the internet, “increased capacity equals increased crap”.

The reality is most users with the right software and forgiving websites could get by on hardware from the 90’s.

Indeed, I have done so on a 266mhz laptop that fully loaded ran $8k in 90’s money. But, YouTube was always the major “want but can’t have”.

Shit man. I would love if all news sites looked like their 2000 versions with a link to the video. Everyone would be happier, whether they know it or not. Auto-play anything needs to be banned from the web, much like the blink tag and animated backgrounds.


#19

This kind of sounds like a variation of Parkinson’s Law.


#20

And to be fair, I can feel Uncle Bruce Schneier frowning at me now, as he reads the SHA-2 spec.