Valley of the Boom

National Geographic’s’ series Valley of the Boom is a real nostalgia trip for people like me. The events that are described within – advent of browsers, social media, and internet video – are real and not subject to impartial social commentary. They happened, we lived through them, and We Have Opinions.

The biggest evolution described within so far (ep 2) is the advent of social media via theglobe.com. This is a very personal topic for me.

Let me essplain. No. Is too much. Let me sum up.

In the time frame of 1985 to 1995, “the internet” was a nebulous, yet very important, topic. There were many people on CompuServ and GeNIE that had very strong opinions as to what that meant. And there were many people on usenet.org that had opinions on that.

And there were people on fidonet.org that had opinions, and I was one of them.

On a FidoNet “echo” called Amiga General, I found a friend (asha) and a future lover (holly) that changed my life in irreversible ways. The former opened my eyes to other ways of seeing the world. The latter opened my eyes to love.

Regardless of what you think of CompuServ, GENiE, FidoNet, TheWell, or other online communities, the Thing that happened was Community. In this the Year of Our Lord 2019, Community is spat upon, declared to be a second class citizen on the Web, the fat remains that whether you are on FaceBook, Twitter, Reddit, or other sites, the Community you in habit defines you in a way that we, the Netizens of 1990, very much identify with, are knowledgeable of.

You can deny that you are part of these communities, but your interaction and support of a groupthink mindset is all that matters. What that mindset lands on is all that matters as far as your mental and political participation – and let’s face it, all participation is ultimately political – this is what you are.

There are certain things that define a person. I declare that one of those fundamental things devolves down to what – or who – you are willing to shoot.

So what is it, pilgrim? Where do you land in this ultimate declaration of loyalties?