The Death of Everything Has Been Greatly Exaggerated


Not long ago in Wired, Chris Anderson declared the web dead (though he proclaimed the Internet to be thriving).

Via Jim Henley's Unqualified Offerings comes this link to a story of how dead technologies just seem to live on and on and on.

Email, Internet Explorer, the Macintosh, Twitter, Linux, Microsoft Office, the Wii, Microsoft, Firefox, you name it. All pronounced as dead as second-hand Liza Minelli slags. And yet all still curiously living.

As Motörhead could have told you years ago, the only way to die is to be Killed by Death. Take it away, boys:

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  1. Only two sure things in life – taxes and fees.

    1. You know, we’ll get rid of death before we get rid of taxes.

      1. Three things – death, taxes and power-hungry Congress-critters.

        1. Yep, we’ll be immortal with godlike powers, and we’ll still have idiots in government and still pay too much in taxes.

          1. And we’ll pay them for a lot longer.

          2. But the estate tax will be gone, at least.

            1. Which is the major advantage to immortality. That and compound interest.

              1. I thought the estate tax was coming back after this year. Am I ill-informed?

                1. If people don’t die, it won’t matter if the estate tax remains on the books, right?

                  1. Ah, good point.

                    On a side note, do zombies pay taxes?

                    1. Only consumption taxes.

                    2. I had no choice.

                    3. Only if human flesh is not listed as a food product.

                  2. Are you assuming Obamacare will be repealed, if not, when people don’t die Obamacare will kill them.

              2. Compound interest?
                If we achieve immortality the rate of inflation will exceed the rate of return.
                The central bank will see to that.

                1. Well, then just no estate taxes.

                  1. Based on the ‘immortality’ hypothetical, I will predict that estate taxes will be replaced with wealth tax.

                    1. Anyone hear how much estate tax Teddy Kennedy’s estate had to pay? I’m betting on $0.

                    2. You understand the bureaucratic mind better than I.

              3. Compound interest is the key to the Time Travel fund.

                In a nutshell, you put $10 into the fund today and in the future – when time travel is possible – some guy fires up the time travel machine to come get you. The money from the fund is the incentive to come get you.

                The funny part of this is that it is a far better investment in my future than any government plan out there.

          3. And we’ll still be surrounded by folk who think that Social Security can survive as is (retire at 65 with bennies for all eternity) without any modifications.

      2. Immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

        1. Don’t knock until you’ve tried it.

    2. You’ve been to Wisconsin it appears.

  2. How can anyone say the web is dead? It’s more webby than ever!

    1. Spiders love it (sorry!)

      1. I mean, the web is still clearly the core of the Internet, and most of the applications that have spread to mobile phones/PDAs, TVs, etc., retain a very web-like flavor.

        1. I still remember my first time on the web in 1997 or so. What a feeling of power at my fingertips.

        2. What the fuck is the internet?

          1. A series of tubes.

    2. All the “web is dead” talk I’ve read refers more to the fact that a) the web isn’t the source for most innovation now or for b) most growth now (mobile apps and social apps are, on both counts). The web, of course, remains the core even as innovation, growth, traffic and business itself moves to other things.

    3. He was foolishly comparing raw bandwidth, forgetting that one bestiality porn video has the same bandwidth as about a bazillion web page hits.

      1. He was also graphing percentages, not total bandwidth. Boingboing destroyed his bullshit argument:…

  3. Spoofer above.

    1. Damn – I commented on a spoofer. I feel dirty somehow.

      1. It was rctl’s stalker spoofer / troll. 7:32 was the only comment I’ve made on this thread.

        Don’t feel bad, it’s gone from repeating the same non-sensical bullshit it did with rctl to trying to pull a doppleganger on me. It hasn’t quite got the voice down, but that’s harder to tell with shorter statements.

        1. I don’t feel bad – I feel cheated. Like getting 23 cans in a 24 pack. That can drive one to drink (which is a good thought at the moment).

        2. The drinking, not driving. Be careful out there kids.

        3. Did the web admin delete all the spoofer posts? It seems so.

          1. Yup.

            1. In fact, I went and checked, and they deleted them from all threads today (probably just a complete delete via IP address). I wonder if they got banned, too.

              1. I believe so.

              2. I have something like seven comments in a row thanks to those deletions. So, thousands of years from now, historians will ask “Who the hell was he talking to?”

                1. You’re safe. At the rate we’re going, no one will be able to read in 1000 years.

                2. I just figured you’d finally gone completely insane. I guess we can’t rule that out yet, though.

                  1. This spambot is crazy sophisticated, taking our comments and reposting them as its own. I think it has a future in politics.

                    1. I was wondering where I read that. Some kind of handbag site.

                    2. fendi
                      acai berry

                      OK spam filter you can block it!

                    3. Perhaps I should try a relevant comment with a hyperlink. That often alerts the filter.

                    4. So far the bot has been repetitive, not stupid. I fear that is next.

  4. Spoofer below.

    1. Pull over – let me see some ID.

  5. Make up your mind – up or down?

  6. It’s spooftastic!

  7. For years I’ve been saying the same thing about Abe Vigoda, but here we are.

    1. No way! He is still kickin’!

    2. Good to see Lemmy is still with us.

    3. I just had the weirdest moment. There was a show called Fish.

      1. Did they spin off that character? I loved Barney Miller – the ultimate melting pot squad room.

        1. Me, too. Yes, there was a spin-off. I’m pretty sure I watched it for a while. Can’t remember a danged thing except that it was about Fish and his family.

          Another obscure Barney Miller spin-off was briefly on the air a while back about Harris. It was called Lightning Bug or something like that.

          1. That show (BM) had to have the cheapest production costs. Most of the show was filmed in a 30 foot square room.

            1. And Rope was a great movie. Good actors and writing are about all you need.

              1. That whole wasn’t supposed to be one continuous take, was it? And were those dudes supposed to be gay? That would be an anachronism because I’m pretty sure gay wasn’t invented until after color film came out.

                1. I think that was after talkies came out;)

                2. There’s nothing overtly gay about the murderers–just a slight touch of implication in the film. Leopold and Loeb were also rumored to have been homosexual, which affects the interpretation of the movie.

                  Rope was shot in a series of long takes to simulate a continuous take.

                  1. I like movies that do something outside the norm – all except Blair Witch.

                    1. Lifeboat was another Hitchcock “one-room” movie. The trick in it and in Rope are finding the Hitchcock cameos. I caught it in Lifeboat but not in Rope.

                    2. He was on the street after the opening credits (and before they entered the apartment for the rest of the film).

                    3. Yeah, I looked it up in frustration years ago, but I never spotted it on my own.

      2. I looked – it was on for 2 seasons. Yikes, I totally forgot it.

      3. One more and I’ll stop – there is a tropical punk rock band called Abe Vigoda and they have an album called Skeleton.

  8. You have to love Lemmy. For a guy who can’t sing myself, I can always look up to Lemmy.

  9. Gimme some Motorhead!

  10. Some things last for a long time, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never die.

    People still read comics. Shakespeare and Opera lasted for a long time, but I suspect the relevance of Shakespeare is fading for most people. Opera still has its fortresses, but give it another generation or two…?

    So, anyway, yeah, some people still listen to the radio, but I don’t think many of them think the future is radio, that’s mostly a nostalgia trip. The internet may go that way too, and sooner rather than later. It’ll still be around, but I’m not so sure it’s about the future anymore.

    I was thinkin’ about this playin’ Starcraft II. The best thing about Starcraft II? It’s a lot like the old Starcraft. It’s hard for people who remember before there was a Half-Life, how revolutionary the FPS was. Nowadays, they’re just adding eye-candy to the experience, but the big, new things? They’ve probably already been done.

    The internet will probably never be revolutionary again, and in that sense, it is dead. And revolutionary stuff like that doesn’t happen every decade. It might be a long wait for the next thing.

    If somebody invented a warp drive in their garage right about now, that’d be great.

    1. Well, you can at least say that Bill had a good run.

      1. He sure did.

        And you can watch just about everything he ever wrote on the internet too.

    2. It might be a long wait for the next thing.

      Cars will drive themselves in less then 5 years.

      We may not get hard AI but robots that do more stuff for cheaper are just around the corner.

      1. Paving the way to flying cars. No, I’m serious. If networked AI can get good enough to take over automobiles, one of the impediments–visions of people crashing into houses on a daily basis–to a flying car culture will be removed.

  11. I’m sure Warty has a video for this.

  12. That Wired article (cover story no less) could have been written by Charles H Duell, Commissioner of US Office of Patents.

    The conflation of the terms Web, Internet and Network so as to buttress the article’s assertions is very convenient, along with the forced disassociation of such with mobile methods of network access. If I’m ever a defendant at trial, I’d like to have the court address me as “the unguilty one” – that would really help.

    The gist seems to be that users have selectively chosen fewer, top down and walled garden approaches over more open source interaction, simply because they favor ‘working’ infrastructure over experimentation.

    Who controls these behemoths? “A bunch of megalomaniacs intent who want to own the entirety of the world”. Probably all corporations, too! Eleventy!!!

    What the article fails to address, however, is that the Googles, itunes, and Facebooks continue to be successful not because of their walled infrastructure, but because they continue to offer the kinds and quality of service that their customers demand, and that keep any outside challengers at bay.

    In short, when I start to suspect that my Google queries return answers more suited to Google’s bottom line than relevance to my initial query, I’m on my way to Bing.

    When Bing fails, we get to play “who wants to be a billionaire”.

    Yes, Facebook has half a billion users. Anyone remember the articles about the ultimate dominance of MySpace?

    Apparently we’re partying like its 1899.

    1. “Anyone remember the articles about the ultimate dominance of MySpace?”

      I remember when half the people on the internet thought the entire internet consisted of AOL’s homepage.

      1. And AOL bought Time Warner. What kind of crazy world was that?

      2. I remember when CompuServe was the internet.

        And Elite on an apple 2e was the best game ever made.

        You cannot talk to my awesomeness until you can tell me what a baud is.

        Oh yeah and i remember watching my parents play pong.

        1. I played Pong, fucker. And I mopped the floor with any adult within eyesight.

          Newfangled contraptions.

        2. I did play Ultima III on a green screen.

          That’s gotta count for somethin’.

          1. Still, we’re talkin’ tiny steps.

            My Grandmother lived well into her 90s. Born when horse and buggy was standard, she told me about the first time she saw an airplane–and then she lived to buy a ticket and fly to China. That generation saw some amazing things happen in their lifetime. She lived to see the internet, but it just wasn’t that impressive to her. Airplanes and television–that was impressive.

            1. Punks. I played Star Trek on an old HP 3000 mainframe. Nothing but textual descriptions as to what was happening. I believe it was written in BASIC.

              And yeah, I played Pong when it first came out too, as well as Computer Space. I was a mall rat very early on.

              1. I played Star Trek and Colossal Cave Adventure over a Silent 700. It was advanced, with thermal rolls of paper (no monitor) and an acoustic coupler.

                When we first played Pong, we payed a quarter at the game room. A couple of years later, we had a Pong machine hooked up to the TV. Which received something like five channels!

                1. I remember those as well. Tied up the phone line for hours at my friend’s parent’s house (his Mom worked at a University).

                  They had a special rate plan for the call in number, or the bill would have been insane.

                  You had to listen for that handshake tone, then slam the handset into the cradle.

                  Which sounds dirty.

        3. No way! Castle Wolfenstein ruled the Apple IIe

          1. Achtung! — I played Wolfenstein on my Commodore 64 no less.

            Also had my first internet experience on the C-64, bought a 1200 baud cartridge modem that plugged in the back and signed into Prodigy, talked to some dude in Montana or somewhere far away. Then my parents refused to pay the fee after the free intro period ended and I didn’t see the internet again until like 15 years later. Good times

    2. And it’s probably not over. I sure expect to see more innovation and spectacular startups in the next years. Of course, Google is to stay, and so are Microsoft and Apple. I am still not sure about Facebook (at least, in such a dominant fashion) and most all others.

  13. How can anyone say the web is dead? It’s more webby than ever!

    1. FUCK YOU bags!!!

  14. I have something like seven comments in a row thanks to those deletions. So, thousands of years from now, historians will ask “Who the hell was he talking to?”

    1. Ah, so the deletions aren’t all quite done yet, I see.

      1. I wasn’t paying attention earlier, but I assume this spoofing is a spambot grabbing a comment and repeating it to advertise male enhancement or something equally fictitious and useful?

        Insidious. And awesomely evil.

        1. Where can I invest in It?

          1. I’m sure the IPO will be announced here, possibly by me-not-me.

            1. I have seen one before – some kind of tech thing which makes sense it was replicating itself here attempting to fit into the conversation.

              1. Singularity’s next week, I guess.

                1. I think it was a anti-virus product. That always makes me assume the worst.

      2. Ah, so the deletions aren’t all quite done yet, I see.

        The spambots have evolved irony….we are fucking doomed

    2. Dissecting Reason comment threads will undoubtedly be a popular field of study in future millennia.

  15. Yes, Facebook has half a billion users. Anyone remember the articles about the ultimate dominance of MySpace?

    1. I already said that. If it’s a bot, can it be fooled by writing “Don’t buy fendi bags or burberry scarves” in every comment?

      1. What is the deal with this? How does re-posting someone’s comment on a libertarian blog look like a good marketing plan?

        1. Some bots just post links on random blogs so that they move up the page rankings on search engines.

          It doesn’t work here (on non-sucky search engines) because there’s a attribute on each link, but hey.

      2. Worth a shot.

        A cleverer move would be for the bot to steal text from another blog and post that here.

        1. I have often thought that was happening here. Someone would post something that made no sense to the blog entry or the other comments. I used to post here but haven’t in a while because of comments that were just bizarre. I want to know what other people thing about the topic, not who is leading the race for dogcatcher.

          Not that this comment has anything to do with the blog entry….

          1. Someone would post something that made no sense to the blog entry or the other comments.

            No, that’s just Max, Chad, MNG & Tony

            1. Maybe they are a bot;) Seriously, I have seen them before – they have a bag of talking points and they sprinkle them here and there. Things like “libertarians don’t care about anyone” – bunch o’crap.

              I see scarf/bag bot is infecting all of the blog entries.

              1. I blame threaded, nested, abominated comments.

                1. There used to be a few off-axis comments on H&R. Then libertarians became the boogey man and all hell broke loose.

                  1. That’s a good observation.

        2. Now you’ve done it. I expect to see Feministing posts reposted here any moment.

          1. Can bots read and learn or are they just mindless replicators?

            1. Would we be able to tell the difference between bots and Feministing posters either way?

  16. Technology is cyclical, everyone knows that. Soon I’ll be king again!

  17. By the way, “Citizen Norhing” really was me, but without my glasses on, like Superman and C. K. I’m better now.

    1. I was wondering. Thought it was a reference but I couldn’t find anything. With all the bot comments, one can never be too safe.

  18. Sorry about all that. LOL. I was making some caca porn with this spam bot I just met. And the splatterings left some stains on this Internet thingy. For real!


    1. Your honor, I rest my case. Stupid would be next.

      1. Stupid is as the power of one does, ma’am.

        1. Funny. Mommy teach you that?


      My God, it’s Disney!

      And it’s full of stars!

      1. It’s full of somthing.

  19. LOLZ that the video used blacks out Lemmy flipping the bird. If nothing else, _____________ is dead.

  20. Twitter can’t die because its too gay to have ever truly lived. Its in some weird, semi-alive proto-state. It lives the way mold ‘lives’

    Seriously, “Tweet?” Please tell me none of you use it.

    I always thought the word “Blog” was destined to die. It is possibly the dumbest neologism man has ever invented. I was convinced sooner or later someone would demand we use something more clever. It also just sounds awful. Its like a noise you might make right before you die from a stroke, “Honey, I feel faint… BLOGgggg!!!!…” thud.

    How about things that *should* die?? My vote: the use of the AutoTune. Thank you Kanye, T-Pain, Black Eyed @#)*$ Peas, for allowing the world to realize *you don’t need to be able to sing* anymore… just auto tune that shit! Its like a disease rotting the soul out of music. Its so bad that it can actually be funny when it mocks itself. I still want it to die. I thought it was going to die after that first big Cher song… but no, it was JUST GETTING STARTED.

    1. I hate to cheer you up, but my 17 YO Nephew responded “Oh God, NO!” when I asked him if he or any of his friends used twitter.

      “It’s for old people.”

    2. Death of Autotune?

      1. great minds think alike apparently

    1. False rape charge 100% probability

    2. His use of Twitter for defending himself makes me want his 15 minutes of fame to DIE.

  21. Shoot the Reason webmaster spikes style tags in comments and the next thing you know people are declaring the web is dead.

    I never realized the degree of thought leadership the commentariat here held.

    1. Shoot the Reason webmaster spikes style tags in comments and the next thing you know people are declaring the web is dead.

      I never realized the degree of thought leadership the commentariat here held.

      I think it goes back farther to the article they posted about 4chan.

      It has encouraged a degree of sloth and disregard among the locals.

      1. Seeing gifs of women getting humped by dogs, animated tentacle rape, snuff films of industrial accidents and people being intentionally pushed onto the tracks of subways has unhinged us.

        Don’t believe me?

        Read a John post written in the past week and you will see what i am talking about.

  22. How in the fuck could BOTH Internet Explorer AND Firefox be dead?

    Since Safari and Opera don’t actually exist, that would mean that we are all actually posting here using telepathy.

    Maybe the hard AI singularity happened, and we are all energy beings now, but we just forgot? Or maybe we are energy beings who went crazy, and our therapy is that we are tricked into thinking we are corporeal beings posting to message boards? That’s gotta be it.

    1. These are tech types, proclaiming that Firefox is killing IE and then Chrome is killing Firefox. It’s ridiculous in the first place because web devs still have to hack up their pages to deal with the 10-15% of companies that have IE6 installed. If that’s lasted nine years, I struggle with how good browsers appealing to different niches are just going to disappear.

      The more ridiculous claim is that OpenOffice or Google Docs would kill MS Office, as though users suddenly stopped caring about taking advantage of hardware, secure network drives, VBA, compiled add-ins, half-decent graphics, database integration, etc.

      It all sounds like a bunch of techies who merely admire the art of a product rather than its actual attractiveness trying to be the first to call a killer app, and in that sense the article misses the quarterly deaths of the iPhone.

      1. Doesn’t IE still have 70-80% of the market?

        1. 52% according to this.

          That sounds a bit low, but it isn’t completely unthinkable. The trend is also going badly for MS.

        2. You get different figures because how you measure the market makes a difference, and not just in terms of bandwidth or page views. I’m talking corporate intranets. Every last page I’ve seen is at least IE6-compatible, and in my previous workplace (a mega-bank) we were told not to install Firefox because it wouldn’t work with our corporate site.

          (Which illustrates perfectly the paternalistic nature of IT departments; I downloaded FF and, like other users decided to do 30 million times before, installed IE Tab.)

      2. Hah! I wish I could get users to migrate to IE6. I just finished putting in a hack for all my clients who are still using IE 5.5. I even have one client who still uses IE on his iMac and is very vocal if his browsing experience is sub optimal in any way.

        Tech types love Chrome & FF because they actually comply with most of the web standards. We can’t understand why regular users could care less about that.

    2. Don’t forget SeaMonkey. And Flock (ie, Firefox with social media already packed in).

  23. The bots add a nice surrealistic aspect to the comments thread. I can’t tell what’s a real comment anymore.

    But where’s the Loubot?

  24. Gillespie, this quality of YouTube selections is superior, esp. from such a pivotal year, and with such great optics to “boot.” And it causes your legend to continue to grow, despite your current hairstyle which apparently originated with the Monkees TV series

  25. Anyway: you all suck, and I remember wardialing in eastern 818 for my CGA porn renderings (sometimes unsettling as it turned out to be), so lick me

    here are lots of nice quality burberry scarves at a discount price for you.

  27. we are specialize in nice burberry scarf at a good discount. great welcome everyone order from us.

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