Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Darwinian internet

The internet is rapidly becoming unusable.  Website designers continue to load them up with popups and ads and autoplaying videos, stuff few of us want.  They have to monetize their sites, and I get that, but this ain't the way to do it.  It's my bandwidth, not yours, and I don't want to watch your video.  Also, many of these third-party ads are infected with malware.  It simply isn't safe to not use an adblocker.

(I've gotten malware before from what should have been a completely safe site.  I was lucky, and was able to recover the data, but it still scared the crap out of me.)

Then there's the fact that designers are trying to make their sites work across a wide variety of devices, and you've got a recipe for disaster.  When you try to be all things to all people, then you end up serving none of them well.

Some sites won't let you visit without turning your adblocker off.  Well, I'm not doing that.  I don't need to read your site so badly that I'm willing to risk malware.  Instead, I'll do more things like what I recently did: install Ublock Origin in addition to AdBlockPlus.  I'm using both simultaneously now, and the combo seems to do the trick.  Except for the website, which gets stuck in a never-loading loop.  Still haven't figured out what to about that yet.

This Darwinian struggle won't end any time soon.  Sites and users will be in a never-ending struggle with one another, similar to how militaries constantly come up with new weapons to breach an opponent's defense, which then requires new defensive innovation, which then spurs the need for better weapons, and so on and so forth, forever.

Is there a solution?  I don't know.  All I know is that the internet was pretty uncluttered back in the 00's, and I'm kind of nostalgic for it, even taking into account the relative lack of content.

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