We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
That is a deep psychological truth. The deep psyche has no sense of time. Memories, for example, can affect us as if they were happening today. ("effect" and "affect" always challenge my grammatical memory.)
My topic however, is the internet. This thing has become a gigantic repository of everything, and it is all basically accessible to anybody. Even the FBI can't really "lose" old emails. There is no need to get paranoid about it because nobody gives a damn about most of us, but it is a strange development that much of our lives have become searchable.
It's like living in a small town, where everybody knows everything that goes on and especially the secrets. How easy was it to find out about Trump's goumada?
A friend and I were discussing this over drinks the other night, and we agreed that we were glad that the shameful things and misdemeanors we had done in reckless youth were pre-internet. We both grew into straight-arrow adults after our careless phases, so that worked.
If anybody can find it, there was a Calvin and Hobbes toon in which Calvin as a 6 year-old (?) was documenting a false childhood for himself in case he ever decided to run for president or something. Genius. Hobbes took a photo of Calvin pretending to read a book.
A fake past is a cool idea, but how does anybody turn over a new leaf when the past is always dragged behind them? It makes it difficult to do or say stupid things, which means it makes it difficult to be normal.
Around 2009 I was listening to an NPR interview with one of the Google founders. He stated it was going to be important for the USA to allow citizens to more easily change their legal name so they could escape their past on the Internet. Pretty scary considering the source.
One is "Bit rot" websites die, or reorganize/redesign. Things go in and out of fashion. Today it's facebook that rules the roost. 10 years ago it was Myspace.
10 years before that it was Usenet--which is barely hanging on as a "thing", and is essentially not even searchable (though it was for a while).
Unless you do something egregiously stupid--like have a moderately successful career in porn that you abandon, or you make yourself front page news over something, it's likely that what you posted to Facebook that went viral will be forgotten and almost impossible to identify by the time you're 26.
Secondly, as alluded with Usenet, sometimes protocols die, are abandoned, or just fade. IRC is barely hanging on amoungst an older geek set, and those who would emulate them. AOL just shuttered it's instant messenger and the replacements are very different.
Thirdly the number of people who do dumb shit in their teens and early twenties is...a lot. Almost all of them. So at some level we just have to accept that and move on. Most of us had sex with gurls we knew had been around the block. Some around the city. Some of us married girls who'd been around a lot.
Life is short, pride is forever, and some of the scars are on the internet.
William O. B'Livion