Today of all days I'm reflecting on the life-and-death metaphors we use for technology. Who/what counts as "born digital"? When is a service dead? Which devices are "iPad killers"?
There's a desire to make the digital felt, to make it bodily, and that manifests itself in the language we use to talk about devices and services. This can create some really weird bits of language: the opposite of a "dead" phone isn't an alive phone, it's a charged one. Does that make your smartphone a person or Frankenstein's monster?
Tilde club interests me in many ways: as an outlet for silliness, as an escape from today's feedback-obsessed web, as a place rather than a product. And I love reading everyone's blogs and thoughts about the site. But I especially love the sites that go after the look and feel of the web in the 90s.
I'm pulled toward these pages in particular because of my fascination with archaism. It's why I immediately chose a very, very old school typeface for this page (see below). The practice of using something new to do or say something old is itself very old. That doesn't mean that what people are doing here at Tilde Club isn't breaking new ground, but it puts some of our 90s web nostalgia in perspective. Archaism is usually thought about at the level of the word, but I see no reason to exclude code from archaism. Is there any better way to say "Wellcome to Ye Olde WebsPage" than with a
~ford has a really nice write-up about all things tilde up on Medium today. He linked to my network thing, which was cool. But I really loved the way he characterized our little community. Here's a short taste:
There is no hurry to join. There is no business model, no relevance for brands and nothing to optimize. The site does not compete with anything for it is just a single computer like millions of others. There is no need to get in on the ground floor, because the ground floor has been there for decades. Tilde.club, like all dubious products, is clearly marked: For entertainment purposes only. If you are respectful of others, you will be welcomed, and people will be excited to see your web pages and to meet you. This is not a special characteristic of tilde.club; this is a basic characteristic of decent humans that somehow has become atypical on the Internet.He goes on to give a short history of Unix, and makes an analogy about exploring a city on foot that I won't butcher by attempting to paraphrase. Anyway, you should head over there and read it.
It was exciting to have played my own little part in ~ford's article, but I felt a little bad that I haven't yet set up the network to automatically update. I'll be getting to that soon, but for now there's an updated version that's even more monstrous.
Very relieved that tilde.club is back on all the lines. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm very thankful to ~ford and his crack team of sysadmins. NOT TO SELF: FIND A MIDI OF THE A-TEAM THEME AND GET IT TO PLAY SOMEHOW.
I made a network visualization for the people who link to other people on tilde.club.
For this site I'm using the IM Fell English typeface, which has a pretty interesting history if you're into that sort of thing.
You guys you guys. Guys! Guys. Am I Internetting right?Twitters