Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Viznut Eternal September

“Today, the 16th day of January 2021, is the ten-thousandth day of September 1993” – viznut explains the concept of Eternal September:

In the beginning of the 1990s, the Internet had not yet been commercialized, and most of its users were academic. On-line discussion was disciplined and civilized (at least compared to the later standards) – except in Septembers. Every September, academic institutions got new students who took some time to adopt the new technology and the related rules of behavior.

In 1993, however, it started to be easier to access the Internet from outside the academic world. In the United States, America Online granted its user the access to the Usenet newsgroups in September 1993, and this was also the year when teenager-accessible service providers like and Freenet Finland were established in my country. Non-academic on-line behavior became an everyday phenomenon; September 1993 never ended.

The methods of user interface psychology, currently used for turning people into stupid and unattentive livestock for marketing use, could very well be used for opposite goals: to encourage wise and focused Internet use even when there is plenty of available online time. To select wisely instead of merely following the gut reaction.

Social media mechanisms could, for example, ask the users choose the best material from the last week or month – something particularly invigorating, interesting, important, transformative or otherwise worth attention. The algorithms could give good scores to the kind of content that speaks to many kinds of people across bubble borders. There could also be non-hurried discussion forums that would make the new messages visible only once per day, for instance. This would be a kind of environment maybe even worthy for politics.

Also posted to my blog January 18th, 2021.