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Wow, that was different.

Today I read an article on a Gemini[1] website, and used the email the author shared to write them a long-form comment on their work.

It struck me how foreign this once-natural interaction felt. I think it helped give a bit more form to my feelings around how social media has encouraged us to 1) let such platforms control how we share content, 2) use shorter messages, 3) have shallower interactions, and 4) forget historic data.

Fuck. I miss this. I miss really connecting to people.

[1] gemini.circumlunar.space

@tty One of the things I've found interesting getting more heavily into retrocomputing is that many of the people I correspond with still practice long-form email and many even do by-paragraph responses, a practice I haven't seen in nearly 20 years at this point. You're very right about the impacts our media have had on us and to think about what we've lost. Sadly, I wish the Gemini world didn't mandate TLS; the machines I love will never natively support Gemini.

@roadriverrail Do you have any ideas about what would be more feasible on older machines but still provide end-to-end encryption?

@tty Not purely as a function of software, no. You're talking about 8-bit architectures and 1 MHz clocks and some pretty hefty math to provide that kind of transport layer encryption. Maybe it'd work with custom hardware; at least then you could offload to modern chipsets. That's basically how TCP/IP peripherals work-- almost all the stack is in hardware.

@roadriverrail @tty Why not terminate/initiate the TLS outside the machine(s) in question? I don't consider inserting a TLS proxy "cheating", neiter for client nor server. I have explored this idea a little in repare.re/kabong/kabong.xhtml , and although that won't run on an 8-bit system, it does illustrate how straightforward the state machine is if you isolate away TLS.

@Steinar @tty Oh, I vigorously agree it's not cheating to do (see here: rhettaultman.com/retrocomputin). But at that point there's also no reason to write a native client for a retro machine at all. Might as well just shell in and use the Gemini equivalent of Lynx. And I think the mandatory TLS is just overstated.

@roadriverrail @tty Ironically, I'm a big proponent of mandatory TLS for Gemini, even though everything PKI makes me throw up a little in my mouth. 😆 All that, both pros and cons, are discussed more than enough elsewhere, though.

@Steinar @tty granted, I haven't browsed a lot of Gemini, but I'm not really sure what one can claim the mandatory TLS really protects.

@tty I'm sure they really appreciated your correspondence! It's usually nice for someone to learn that someone is impacted by what they share with the world

@tty Dang. I wanna start writing and replying to articles like this. I'm probably going to set up shop on some public gopher or gemini host soon so I can do that 🙂

@tty Hey, I had a very similar experience contacting a person who wrote an interesting text on their phlog. And that person replied to me! It was as cool as my first emails I had ever sent!

@pfm sending a friendly email and getting a friendly email back is.. really nice. And feels non-performative, since unlike social media, nobody else is listening in, and there's no follower counts or other popularity signals going on.

@tty The sentence "Sorry for the long answer," is depressing and a big part of what's wrong about status quo.

@tty As someone at times on the receiving end of such emails (I have no comments on my blog but a footer that encourages emails), I can say two things: 1) the interactions have been way more meaningful than possible in any comment form and 2) I've gotten 0 spam messages regarding my blog since 2013.

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