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.


@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.

@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.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.