In my packing and unpacking the last couple of weeks, I found a magazine called “the net” from June 1995 (Premiere Issue!). It’s filled with screenshots of horrid grey-background sites and URLs like http://debra.dgbt.doc.ca:80/opengov/ (that was the government of Canada’s website!). The only non-cringeworthy thing in it is an interview with Douglas Rushkoff. One thing I learned is that he’s only been on the net a year longer than I have (he got on in 1991.) I also laughed as he described his experiences with online communities: “I realized that the same conversation is going on all over. It’s about different things, but it’s the exact same conversation. It starts with someone saying something provocative, then a bunch of people come down on him really hard, and then he’s just about to give up when someone else comes down on his side, and then people start arguing about the tactics that are used in the arguing, and the conversation dissipates into this metaconversation.” Ah, the more things change….
I just wanted to set down this little piece of Net trivia for myself. In 1992-1993, I was attending teachers’ college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My student teaching placement was in Holland, Michigan, a town about half an hour away on Lake Michigan. I taught at Holland Christian Middle School. At the time I was teaching there, Rob Malda (now better known as “CmdrTaco”), founder of Slashdot, was attending Holland Christian High School right next door. My girlfriend at the time went on to teach art at the high school and more than likely taught him, since art was/is one of his passions. Small world.