The Internet - Friend or Foe?
Written by Paranoid
Today, nobody would dispute the fact that the Internet plays a huge part in the scene. But some people would ask the question "is this a good thing?". Well, in my opinion, not entirely. Let's look first at what the net offers all of us on the scene.....
* Cheap Global Communication!
Jepp, this is a great thing. No longer do dudes have to use unreliable phreaking methods such as boxing/cc's/PBX's - and therefore we don't have to risk imprisonment for the pursuit of our hobby.
There's no downside to this aspect really, except that not all countries have ISP's, and therefore these dudes are isolated from the scene, and have to rely on mail-trading and local BBS'.
In my opinion, newsgroups are not very useful really. They sound like the ideal forum for a discussion (apart from IRC), but if you look at newsgroups you soon find out that they're mostly filled with crap, and spam. The people who post on newsgroups are almost always looking for something from people. Which is not really a bad thing, as we all need help sometimes! The problem is that there aren't enough people responding to these questions. Another problem is also the fact that posts get deleted by the servers after a while. The scene newsgroups are dead, and a useless and a wasted tool for the scene.
This is great! I use the net mainly for e-mail and some web-sites. Sending messages to you friends & peers all over the world instantaneously, what's bad in that?
* Web Sites
Good for information on groups, and of course for getting the latest releases from these groups (provided we're not talking about the lame warez sites!). The only problem with web sites is that finding the sites which are of relevance to you can take an awfully long time. And people will often lose interest and give up searching. Something like the old BBS Traders List needs to be brought into operation for the Internet (I'm actually working on one of these at the moment - takes a long time to develop though!).
I dont like FTP's - I much prefer the old BBS interfaces. Warez FTP's are mostly clogged with hundreds of users, leeching stuff, and change every second week! If we're talking non-warez sites, then I guess they function well enough.. (But I still prefer BBS'!)
IRC is a cool idea. It enables people from all over the world to chat real-time. An essential tool. No bad points for IRC either - I don't use it much, coz I dont know many sceners anymore, and those I tried talking to were kinda reserved... :)
OK, so there's the things which the internet offers to the scene. But, I think that, without a doubt, the internet has caused more damage to the scene than anything else in the scene - EVER! For damage you could also insert the word 'change', because as something changes, it inevitably destroys that which is not in accord with those changes. For example, let's look at the invention of the steam engine. The steam engine was a vast change in human transportation. But horse riding and horse drawn carriages were left behind - they became obsolete in most developed areas. That's kinda what the internet did to the scene. Although, admittedly, not to such a drastic degree.
We just need to grow with these changes, and move the scene onto this new kind of media for it. The problem with this is that the internet was not designed for things like the scene. It was designed for the 'normal' everyday users of computers, and for businesses etc.. This presents us with some problems in making the transition (which I think has been quite successful so far), and it's a transition I think will be made fully quite soon. When the scene settles, and carves out it's own space amidst the chaos of the internet - when it becomes ordered - then we will all enjoy a 'golden-age' of the scene, where more people than ever will be involved. The transition takes a while to complete, and sceners have to put a lot of thought and work into adapting the scene to this chaotic global information super-highway, but I know that dudes will do this, because they always have in the past. The scene is like the perfect parasite, which can live from whatever media available to it.. paper, BBS', diskmags, or the internet. So let's see what happens in the future!
- Paranoid / Eclipse '98!