Simple Question: When did you first go on line?

Spot’s Stupid Filter post got me thinking, as I read the links, about how I got started with the internet, and so I wondered how other Denizens of The Sword got their start.

My first email address was at UNT when I was a doctoral candidate there, and that was in 1993, but I didn’t get internet access until a job I had gave me a T1 line in 1997. I got a dialup connection at home in 1998, but it was not until 2004 (!) that I finally got a high speed connection at home.

When I was reading about the internet going back to 1984, my mind got kind of boggled. I don’t remember even hearing about “the internet” until about 1990, and frankly, the concept didn’t register with me as something exciting then.

So, what’s your intertubes history?

The StupidFilter Project: Because the internet needs prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.

The Wall Street Journal reports on one Gabriel Ortiz, who has a noble project under development.

[A]n open-source filter software that can detect rampant stupidity in written English.

Using a statistical approach similar to Bayesian analysis, Mr. Ortiz has created a filter that uses his library of baseline “stupid” and “smart” texts to evaluate the intelligence level of new comments.

The StupidFilter manifesto:

StupidFilter was conceived out of necessity. Too long have we suffered in silence under the tyranny of idiocy. In the beginning, the internet was a place where one could communicate intelligently with similarly erudite people. Then, Eternal September hit and we were lost in the noise. The advent of user-driven web content has compounded the matter yet further, straining our tolerance to the breaking point.

It’s time to fight back.

Visit the StupidFilter site here, and have a go on the online demo here, where you can type in your own or paste in someone else’s comment, and the filter will evaluate it for stupidity.

The StupidFilter Project: Because the internet needs prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.

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