[FoRK] that grim meathook future thing

Simon Wistow simon
Sat Sep 24 01:31:35 PDT 2005

On Fri, Sep 23, 2005 at 12:10:39PM -0700, Justin Mason said:
> FWIW, in terms of parallels in other fields; this also intersects a little
> bit with what Danny O'Brien called "the hinternet", I feel.  

Short story about the term "hinternet". I'm also on anothe rmailing list 
called (void) which is similar to this esteemed forum but strated with 
more of an emphasis on art and tehchnology. The topic's drifted over the 
last 7 or so years but there you go.

(void) is one of the many axes of the London geek scene that Danny was
(is) part and which is very prone to incestuousness and
cross-polination. I was one of the organisers (with Danny) of Opentech
2005 fo example.


Aaaaaaanyway, so Danny used the term hinternet here


to describe the fact that we geeks are guilty of assuming that everyone
knows what we're talking about when we say "Pop up blockers", "spam
filters", 802.1b, USB2 etc etc - when we assume that everyone else is,
in short, like us.

"There's a bit of me that does feel guilty. While I manage to fend off 
pop-up windows with Mozilla, and spam with Spamassassin, most people 
don't know about those programs. They live in the "hinternet", that 
shanty-town of X10 pop-ups and porn adware, and endless, endless Hotmail 
and Yahoo spam. They're tourists in the world of the Net, and like any 
tourist, they rarely get a good guide. They're just taken down the back 
streets by disreputable but flashy showmen, and robbed for everything 
they're worth. And it's true, we don't do as much as we should for them, 
because we're okay in our little burbclaves."

Weirdly enough, and I'm pretty sure Danny would have been aware of term 
because of the cross polination, (void) had been using the term 
hinternet for a while to mean almost the complete opposite


"And I really did invent the term hinternet, not subconsciously steal it 
from the (void) folk, who've been using it for years.

The funny thing is, that jo's coinage of hinternet on (void) is pretty 
much the opposite of mine. They use it to describe a place outside the 
"controlled web" (which is envisaged to be the corporate AOL-Time-Warner 
garden of controlled delights)"

which links to mail by a fellow by the name of Simon Batistoni


and a rather, err, less chorent mail by me


The contradiction intrigued me - they both display this "them and us" 
attitude but I'm not sure which one displays the most 
unintentional arrogance - Danny's point of view that we should be 
helping the poor little sheeple or our view that the big bad corporate 
world are coming to crush us and we'll eventually get 'our' internet 
back without the spammers and the n00bs and whatever. I paraphrase, 
extrapolate and project of course but it reminds me of one of those gag 
"Candid Camera" style TV programs I saw a while back where they changed 
the signs on the toilet doors to say "them" and "us" and then filmed to 
see who chose what designation for themselves.

In a way both view points are reactions to the same predicted future - 
Danny feels bad that 'we' built this shanty town, this Chiba City, 
that's incredibly fun but tends to be tourist hostile and wants to 
either train every tourist with combat skills and embed microfilament 
knives under their nails (which, let's face it, is a losing battle in 
the long term) or trun it into DisneyWorld and we, we want them to fuck 
off and go build their DisneyWorld somewhere else and let us be. or 
atleast give us enough room to build a hippy camp in the basement of the 
Magic Kingdom. 

It's 8:30 on a Saturday morning and I'm sitting up in bed writing mails 
about the term 'hinternet' - clearly what's missing here is a cup of 


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