The Internet is Going to Hell May 30, 2005
In a digital handbasket.
Have you ever gone to Blogspot and just clicked "next blog" for an hour? Well, this brings upon some enlightening thoughts about where the internet is going. Every other site is spam. Every third site is some young kid who uses sentences like "ive bin bz lol and work sux lol and my cat dide lol". Once every 10 clicks or so you'll find a nice, intelligible person who writes in proper English (or almost, like me), complete sentences, and has something meaningful to say. The rest of the sites are in some other language, so I have no say on them.
There are numerous sites out there that let people have a website and write thoughts on it. That's all good and dandy. But it's like a guy at the beach wearing a speedo, when you know that guy shouldn't be wearing a speedo, and no one will tell him that he shouldn't be wearing one. So, it's not against the law, but it's not pleasant for anyone... His daughter won't even be on the same beach as him, the wife is hiding under an umbrella, pretending to be asleep and/or reading a book, you know the scene.
I have nothing against free speech, free press, free anything. There are consistently low quality performances in all walks of life. Some movies suck, video games, books, tv shows, the Phillies, etc. Some are expressions of emotion, like a "blog" would be. There are also those on the extreme opposite end of that spectrum. Like, for one thing, the Eagles rule. Also, Plato's books rule, and I'm sure there's a good video game out there somewhere.
Obviously, I don't have to view those websites, and that's the other freedom granted in Free Press, Free Speech, and everything else free. The freedom to ignore. God Bless America.
OK, so while the Internet isn't going to hell from all the n00bs out there posting incoherent ramblings using long-ass sentences consisting of words of no more than 4 characters in length, it's still going to hell.
So, I'm going to look for a domain name to purchase to park this site at, and I try like a hundred different things that might closely resemble something that I would be proud to have as a domain name. I search the WHOIS database like nobody's business, finding all these domain names taken. I have to investigate, right? I visit the first domain name, and it's a "GoDaddy" site. The next one is a "Register.com" site. This happened for about 10 different domain names and at least 4 different registrar sites (like Network Solutions also). So many people, or "abstracts" even, own so many domain names. Luckily I was able to get the ones I wanted because of a cleverly inserted hyphen :) I say abstracts because these people buy domain names, and then try to get a sucker to buy it from them for at least 10 times what they paid. This just sucks for the future of the internet. It only costs $35 (max) a year to keep a domain name and not use it. Domain names are allowed to be pretty long (you can pretty much find the history of the internet on this site), so there are infinite, or close to it, permutations of domain names. I'd hate to know someone at an newly established domain name 20 years from now. Hey what's your website? Oh, it's www.mydomainnameissolongbecausethestupidpeople
Great. So, how do I email you? It's bob@my... no, I'm not going to type it again. That wasted 5 minutes already.
Other reasons the internet is going to hell...
Spam is too obvious. Worms are too obvious... Virii is a cool word, but it's still too obvious. Fraud... too obvious. Porn even... what else is bad with the internet?
I'm not a lawyer, but open source is good. Knowledge sharing is good. Being able to easily find something that you're looking for is great. With the internet growing at a rate that it is (google is now indexing 8 BILLION+ websites, just a few years ago it was at 2-3 billion), there won't be any tools capable of searching the internet and bringing back relevant results. I searched for my name, and figuring I'm searching for my name, it should return my website. I got to the 7th page before I gave up. One of these days there will need to be artificial intelligence of the human kind to be able to search the internet. Not that AI is bad (unless you think the Matrix is real :) ), but it's HARD! I'm no genius, but I worked with AI in college. VERY interesting subject. Mind boggling, even. Exciting. Fascinating. It's awesome. But anyways, back to the internet...
One thing that comes to my mind when I hear the words "The internet is going to hell", is the obvious notion of compatibility. Sharing information between sites can now be done in a thousand ways, as long as those sites share their methods of sharing information. Let me list them... SOAP through Web Services, plain XML, RSS, ATOM, XMLRPC, RPC, Remoting, and anything else that someone may want to program. Granted, the WWW Consortium is trying to get a grasp on all of these methods, almost none of them are standardized through them. The happy internet is the standardized internet. Imagine, if google, instead of just reading all of the HTML through a website url, can just ask a website "Yo, what's your deal?!" and the website can respond back "Dude, I am a guitar shop, here are my wares." And google says "Awesome, Jason Connell was searching for guitars the other day, he wanted a new stratocaster, I'll email this to him right away. He found one for $500 but judging by your prices, he's gonna crap his pants. In fact, let's just place the order now, shall we? I have his credit card and mailing address..." Without standardization in server methods and in browsers, we won't even come close to that point :)
So, that was my very compelling argument on why the internet is going to hell. I hope you enjoyed it. Please comment below.