I want to say a little bit about the motivations for creating this blog. I think what people are doing here on neocities, returning to an older form of the internet, rejecting not only web 3.0 and the delusions of the metaverse, but also web 2.0 and platform-based forms of the internet and the larger system of platform capitalism is an important and necessary thing. In the prealgorithmic web 1.0, there was a genuine equality between all the various parts of the internet. What connected everything was hyperlinks, the links you placed on your webpage could connect you to any number of other webpages, and each page. While web 1.0 was still a product of capitalist commodity production, there was a degree of relative autonomy to the early web: the kinds of pressures for surplus value extraction hadn't fully begun to creep in. The early internet was a product of university researchers given wide latitude to experiment, and the fundamentally open internet that came into being in the process was different from the private networks that preceded it like CompuServe, which were primarily vehicles for accessing services that you had to pay for. In many ways Web 2.0 has been a regression from the freedom and expressive possibilities of the internet. Rather than allowing for the techno-libertarian fantasies that were promised by the internet's introduction, the virtual world and its contents are largely mediated through social media platforms, which place limits on the kinds of expression. Even something as innocuous as Facebook's relationships flatten the terrain of relations between people. It assumes a certain narrow monogamy, banishing the multiplicity of human relations outside of the mainstream to the unthinkable "it's complicated."
This blog is an attempt to participate in this reclaiming of the internet. I have some hopes and plans for what I would like to include in addition to my writing, and seeing what everyone else has been cooking up and dreaming up on here has been electrifying, infinitely moreso than any of the dross Web 3.0 fantasies on offer. Making a personal webpage, a blog, a myspace account, is in many ways a way of making a digital home. There is something fundamentally stultifying and uncreative about standardized social media profiles, where everyone's account is laid out the same. The difference between using Twitter or Instagram and making your own webpage is akin to living in a standardized appartment versus owning a home, or better yet building your own home. You can really put down roots in your own digital home, spread out, be disorganized. Personal websites feel lived in in a way that a twitter account will never be. And the process of making a website is fulfilling in a way that the cheap tricks of social media gameification just aren't.
Why is it called Gridbug? Gridbugs are an enemy in the PC game Nethack. It is a dungeon-crawler/roguelike, there's a lot to like about it. Since it's been in development since 1987 nearly every conceivable thing that could happen in the game has been programmed in at some point, there's a remarkable interactivity to it. Another thing I like is the game's humor, it is very irreverent, self consciously gamey, and gridbugs are a good example of this. You're fighting bugs on this grid dungeon, why not call them gridbugs? I think Nethack is illustrative of the uneven nature of technological progress. While it features seemingly primitive ascii graphics, the range of interactivity allowed by the game is simply not possible with modern polygonal graphics. Playing Nethack offers a kind of gripping stimulation that most AAA games fall far short of.