The Internet has an infinite memory
Digg had pointed me to an article about you are what you post, which reminded me of something I’ve know about for ages: that the Internet has an almost infinite memory. To reaffirm this, I looked on Google (where else), but not on google.com, but rather on Google Groups, which is a searchable archive of Usenet.
Back in the early 1990s, I was using Usenet quite a bit. There wasn’t much of a World Wide Web back then. Hell, I remember working to get a Usenet feed in college so I could read and post. I ended up just getting an account on a local ISP on a Unix Shell machine which, of course, had a Usenet feed. I was able to, without a whole lot of effort, find several threads where I had participated. What is anything particularly revealing? Maybe. Damaging? I don’t particularly think so. Here’s a sampling of what I found:
- Several newsgroups I voted on creating
- An indication of my political views at the time (which are somewhat different from now)
- My evolving relationship with women in general. Man I was a dork back then. I do wonder what happened to a particular woman I was friends with in college, though.
- My opinion on the F-word. An opinion that I generally still stand behind (though I am cautious around the kids)
- Oh my God, I was an AOL member! (You have to remember, this was before the Internet was as big as it is today)
- My various trials and tribulations with various things on the Mac and Apple II platforms. And even some MIPS computers
- I ran a Macintosh User Group in college (I hardly remember that!)
And that’s just within a small part of Google. It’s amazing that I’ve been online for so long and that so much of my interactions are just “there” for the mining.