Text and Hubris |

There but by the grace of god..

I built my early career managing systems and networks for telcos in the dotcom era. Mismanaged layoffs were a regular feature of the work. It paid well, but so many burned out along the way and no pay was worth that.

I went a different direction. I got to teach and found new ways to work with tech and people. In that sense, I was lucky. There are times, though, when I still think of that younger me desperately struggling on the razor’s edge of burnout.

The events of today brought a lot of that back. While the scope of today’s grotesque chaos may have been an aberration, the systems and structures that allow such practices to exist remain prevalent and powerful. I look forward to the day when we tear them all down.

Writing Progress - November 1st, 2022

Rethinking the Narratives of Retro-Tech (no working title as of yet): 539 words

A cartoon blue bird on a dark background with its eyes x'd out

The World Beyond the Gates

I still remember when one of USENET’s biggest gripes was the influx of users from AOL. As a shared space (or spaces) of communication, USENET had its own parlance and etiquette and suddenly all of these new users were invading and ignoring all of the informal rules that had helped make the different groups fun and interesting. This was not the fault of the AOL users. They didn’t know. All they knew is that the walls were down and they were free to roam.

They understood the Internet from an AOL perspective: capital exchange. They were Internet consumers. They wanted what AOL sold them: access. They paid a fee and they were provided service and access to a ton of stuff. It didn’t matter who created the stuff or the networks that had come together to share and build the stuff. They paid money to AOL and they wanted their stuff. They got it, too. USENET still exists, today. I check in every few months or so more out of a sad sense of diligence than anything else. The vibrant nature of the forum (in areas that I know of, at least) has all but disappeared.

Then again, so, too, has AOL.

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Not Really a Revamp?

So I have moved to a new theme which is my old theme rebuilt for a new engine. Is that a revamp?

I originally built this theme for the pelican static site generator when I moved to pelican from Ghost. It’s inspired, in fact, by an now defunct version of an Eston theme that I had purchased for that Ghost site mixed with a bunch different things that I liked. Once I got the design where I wanted, it became was my primary site theme for several years. When I moved to Hugo, though, I decided to adopt a new Hugo-styled theme.

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Blogging and in-process work.

One of the things I liked about blogging—from oh-so-long-ago—was that it offered a place to work through ideas in real time with an audience that, occasionally, would offer valuable insights. That type of content is all but gone now. The risk and consequence of being wrong on the Internet or even of not getting it right the first time, is too great.

Now, I use private channels for those discussions. While such conversations are often rich and generative, I feel a real sense of loss at not being able to share them with others.

© Geoffrey Gimse (2023) - Built using Hugo.

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