Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Web Browser We Lost (Not Just the Web We Lost)

Video download link | md5sum 1613c097999e32079f7cab7eb64a2679 Before Web Browsers Went Astray Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0



Summary: Web browsers have "tamed" the Web and turned it into a platform to run "apps" (the Web browsers have become de facto virtual machines); this means we've lost much of the appeal which the Web originally had (or the problems it sought to solve) and it's now facilitated to distance people from the programs they're using (they not only lost software freedom but also the ability to locally run programs/binaries)

SO NCSA Mosaic was recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, but surely you did not hear about this anywhere. What's left of "the media" conveniently ignored very important history and instead gave a platform to Microsoft lobbying for bailouts.



"AdmFubar mentioned this in IRC and this had been brought up by someone else in IRC."The "birthday" (not celebrated per se) was only noted in Soylent News, which recalled: "Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first text-only WWW browser. Then in 1991 four Finnish college students wrote the first graphical web browser, Erwise, but let it drop and that was the end of that. Two years later, Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen released NCSA Mosaic and, importantly, published it to an FTP site."

AdmFubar mentioned this in IRC and this had been brought up by someone else in IRC. The mainstream media said nothing at all. BillPR (NPR), where were you?

"I'm surprised the has been so little press coverage of the 30 year anniversary of Mosaic," one person told us, "nothing was mentioned anywhere back in January as far as I recall [...] Mosaic 2.0 was released in November of 1993 (I think)" (that's soon).

The video above talks about how the Web transitioned into a platform for "webapps" (really awful trend) and very much like so-called 'smartphones' it's now designed to abuse and spy on people. What we now have is authoritarian Internet censorship and a Web that does not function unless you use a very bloated and user-hostile browser. It's a good thing that we no longer rely on http:// and https:// (the latter presents additional barriers; Mozilla just supports a cartel of so-called "trust" while spying on everybody). We use irc://, ipfs, and gemini://. We also have plain text bulletins. We habitually experiment with GNUnet, so we do not depend on the Web anymore. Identica, Diaspora, Fediverse (e.g. Mastodon)? We've seen them come and go... they will all vanish, just like Twitter and the Web.

In short, the Web isn't doing well. There's a convergence with "apps". If you value freedom, don't invest much in the Web; do not put all the eggs in that one basket. The Google-dominated Web is, as it turns out again, also a major security headache [1, 2]. Blame Google. As for content on the Web, we're getting to the point where within years we'll have a Web not shy of 100% SPAM or CG spew; we may have not even articles, just shopping catalogues disguised as "content". The Web really went downhill this year and last year. Chatbots (CG text) contribute further to that.

On another note, the video above speaks about impact on health, including mental health, and more. It explains that we need countercultures along those lines; we need to resist fake "novelty" to the point where more people end up burying their skinnerboxes ("smartphones"). It seems to be happening already because sales of such devices fall sharply and and social control media is losing control over the outrage cycles. As one reader put it, "there is not really any safe level of exposure to most of the "apps" or really any of the "apps"..."

"Propagation of healthy approaches," he explains, is the way to go. This reader recalls how those "apps" had activists "effectively silenced". He notes that even the so-called 'Journal of Record' has "figured out that even it had been shadowbanned from Twitter / "X"..."

See the following articles:

  1. Looks Like Twitter Shadowbanned The New York Times


  2. X will address shadowbanning soon, says Elon Musk


Old ones too:

  1. What Is ‘Shadow Banning’? - The New York Times


  2. Twitter's shadow bans are why the public turned against 'experts'


  3. Instagram Will Now Tell You if You've Been Shadow-Banned and Why - CNET


This is why we call it social control media. This is what a lot of the Web has become: surveillance, censorship, and propaganda. Toxic!

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