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[rocket boom] [♪ Rocketboom opening theme music ♪] Jason Scott Presents a brief history of ideas Hey, this is Steve Garfield from and we're at ROFLCon. Rolling on the floor. Just take a look around! Everybody is rolling on the floor laughing! They can't help -- well they all just got up. [Sound of kissing] The gift of Boston is Steven Garfield. The gift of Boston. My name is Jason Scott. Some people know me from running a site called, which is a collection of bulletin board system-geared text files, which has kind of expanded into something of a rather large site over the years. Got so much archive junk that people sometimes find it without having any knowledge of its historical context. It's been stupid crazy stuff. The telegraph -- which was great -- the telegraph operators included a lot of codes. This is a Western Union set of codes. Each one of these is a number that you use at the end of a message that you send. What you are seeing here is the WEAS network, that enabled them to simulcast all the way across the country. People are very quickly using that for multiple streams of communication to make life easier for themselves. What I am saying here, is that these broadcast mediums show very quickly that ideas can be transmitted instantaneously and plant themselves in brand new ways. The ham radio -- awesome -- the ham radio movement is the amatuer radio movement that allows regular people to broadcast. They used to have what were called RTTY art contests. What you could do, is you could hook up your computing device, and you could send signals over the air, and have them etch them out. The photocopier -- it is such a strong field to cover this technology for the first time. "You want it when?" is probably one of the most copied images in the world, pre-1990. The end of using the office equipment to propagate kind of subversive ideas, or weird ideas, or funny ideas. You know, cat hanging that says "Hang in there". This is the first computer bulletin board system. Computerized bulletin board system basically means that a computer hooked up to a phone line -- when somebody called that phone, the computer would pick up and give you a signal. Your modem would connect to it, and then you could use that computer. . . I have Expedition Amazon if anyone wants it! [Sounds of audience laughing] gotz gotz haz gotz haz lolz So what you see here, is the transition of wants to wants, and that is how software becomes warez, becomes warez with a Z. 1993: This is the USENET Traffic Flow. USENET was a decentralized BBS. People would have to express things to each other, and it was the idea that was called "netiquette." Here's a sample list of emoticons and abbreviations. So we don't tend to give each other long-stemmed roses via ask anymore to indicate we like them. [Sounds of audience laughing] And "H" for "Huh???" was a total failure. [Sounds of audience laughing] What I hope that I'm telling you here, what I'm showing you, is that, when we have this ROFLCon, and this meeting of minds, and this construction of ideas and stuff, it has a very long, a very storied history. It is normal. It is neat. It is wonderful. It is rich. It is delightful. It is sometimes stupid. It is sometimes fucking stupid. It is sometimes incalcuably stupid. [Sounds of audience laughing] But all of it is perfectly fitting into our history as people, and I am proud to be a part of it. [♪ Rocketboom theme music ♪]

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 213
Posted by: rocketboom on Apr 30, 2008

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