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Yesterday's News: OK, my silly experiment is o'er. You should now be able to figure out why I posted sporadically this month.

I remember having an intense dislike for Suck back when it was publishing (this stemmed from similar causes as with my once intense but now merely simmering dislike for Wired). However I'm really liking the unofficial "nine years later" RSS feed.

This has a couple causes. One is nostalgia for nine years ago, when the web was new and exciting. FishTalk or Annoying Hum--which browser plugin will conquer the desktop? Did you hear that some people are putting their journals up on the web?!?! What's next, copies of physics papers? It all seems sort of ridiculous, now that every compressed food-pill, government mind implant, and virtual sexbot has its own web site. As I once said to Pete Peterson II:

Funny how nostalgia depends on less information connectivity, less bandwidth, less knowledge, less sophisticated tools, scarcer resources in general. Instead of figuring out new ways to use our brains, we just use tools to make old jobs easier and wish there were more challenges. There are new challenges but we can't think of them.

The other is that I have become very interested in the idea revisiting old news, as a corrective to the arbitrary demands of the news cycle. This is why I have a Today In History on top of NYCB, so you can go back and see the foolishness of my previous self in daily installments. Old Suck is more entertaining than copies of pre-eWeek PC Week, but with its leaf-in-the-wind contrarianism it makes all the same mistakes as that more august rag.

Not only is this educational, it's just fun to watch people get it wrong, such as when Suck sorta-praises The Doom Generation and writes Kevin Smith off as a one-hit wonder, when as we in the future know that The Doom Generation only existed in people's articles about it, and that though Kevin Smith is indeed a one-hit wonder he has managed to pull off the same hit multiple times.

The same principle could apply to other types of news. I like Scientific American's huge "x years ago" archive, but they focus on the things that turned out to be important. I think there's as much to be learned from a regular dose of what people used to think was important. For a while I've been kicking around the idea of presenting an old front page as though the things on it still mattered, but I'm not sure where to start. What are news organizations with deep archives? CNN? Do they keep track of the old front pages or do I have to figure out for myself what the past thought was important?


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