Dmytri Kleiner on Thu, 10 May 2012 06:57:52 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Privacy, Moglen, @ioerror, #rp12

So porn figures importantly in the demise of usenet. Here I disagree
with Dmytri's implication that usenet died because of its
decentralised nature. As I remember it, being a sysadmin and network
engineer, it was more a simple question of expense of running a full
feed. alt.binaries was big. The news server took a lot of disk space
and consumed a lot of bandwidth and accounted for a small portion of
revenue. The decisions at ISPs to stop running news servers were taken
pretty much on those terms and had little to do with thinking about
centralisation or lack thereof.

I never said "usenet died because of it's decentralized nature."

I said "Once capital became the dominant source of financing it directed investment toward centralized platforms, which are better at providing such surveillance and control, the original platforms were starved of financing. The centralized platforms grew and the decentralized platforms submerged beneath the rising tides of the capitalist web."

Whatever problems Usenet or other platforms may have had, these issues could have been fixed with investment in the further development of the platform, or perhaps a whole new distributed platform, such investment was never made, while billions where invested in centralized platforms.

And in any case, porn is actually what has kept usenet alive. Though not as free service. Commercial UseNet services carries more traffic today than at any point in it's history. Wares, Porn, etc. And many of the newsgroups are still active, alt.slack, sci.econ, etc. largely thanks to google groups. Usenet will never die, it has simply, as explained above, "submerged beneath the rising tides of the capitalist web" and is frozen in time stuck at a stage of development that can never be suitable as a platform for the masses.


Dmytri Kleiner

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