Sedona, AZ – Oct 5th, 2020

I wanted to call this post something else, but today in the shower, I had an idea: there are so many layers of myself that I have discovered over the last few years, and yet so many more that I haven’t even begun to peel back.

The reason I'm writing this post came to me in a sort of backwards direction. The internet is a place that we can make whatever we want it to be. In the 90s, while I was too young to fully remember, from what I’ve read and can vaguely recall, it seemed like a place where anything went and there wasn't much to do. But it had communities and disparate places where people hung out. AIM and other chat apps were all a big thing. I remember creating my AIM account in 8th grade, which was in 2003, at the library where I would stop by while walking home from school.

The early 2000s brought things like Google (when they said "don't be evil"), MySpace, and subpar browsers (no Chrome or chrome-inspired improvements). It was becoming a bit more centralized. Google launching Gmail marked the beginning of consolidating internet activity. As more people started visiting the internet, with email being a key identifier, Google's push paid off. Now, almost 20 years later, it’s apparent that was a smart move.

The technology has improved immensely over the last 10-15 years, with the launch of the iPhone being a strong driver of connecting people to the internet. The incentive to mine data and attention of everyday people has become the 21st-century gold rush. This has led to crypto and NFT scams, ads, monopolies, dozens of web frameworks, and spammers. Yet, it has also connected the world.

I can now call my mom, who is across the world, with virtually no lag or delay. When I was born, my parents would send each other cassette tapes to communicate, and long-distance calls were expensive. Now, distance is no longer a factor in connecting with someone. Whether they're in the same building as you or on the other side of the planet, the internet has eliminated a huge constraint on our ability to connect.

But even with all these advancements, it feels like we’re the loneliest we've ever been.

All this to say that it comes with deliberate thinking and from a privileged position to be able to write a post like this and bring forth some change from my little corner of the world. This change is nothing big; I’m just going to start blocking the big search crawlers. There’s no gold mine of information here, just some little life updates, some notes on technical topics, and maybe some photographs. But if I can block stuff, why shouldn’t I?

I’ve started blocking the crawlers on my homepage too. The only search engine I’m allowing to crawl so far is Kagi. I use Kagi and would want others to find me easily.

Here’s the robots.txt file; you can use it if you're interested in this.