In Appreciation Of Web 1.0

I used to enjoy the internet. There was a time when it was something to be explored (Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was aptly named but poorly executed, by the way.) Back then there were standards and protocols but still the wild frontier. The www was creative, decentralized from corporate greed and educational. Now? I cannot stand most of what’s out there.

Corporate greed has taken over news sources turning them into deceptive ways to make money by selling your information. Good luck trying to find an article. The advertising is so pervasive it actually hinders the website performance.

Very rarely do I visit web sites, preferring the information come to me instead thanks to the old RSS feed protocols. Currently I am using Feedly, a service that aggregates my desired websites and sends them to my feed reader. Topics I care about, nothing else. Do you know how refreshing this is? Try it.

I don’t care for social media anymore, either. There is way too much noise, hype, and drama.

Bloggers have fancied themselves as unpaid journalists and come up with all sorts of marketing schemes. Usually involving gaudy advertising, e-mail newsletters and “buy my e-books!” It makes me want to avoid the internet completely.

There is so much noise and not enough signal out there.

And then I thought about what I do like.

My website is really nice. It is my own little corner of the web that is out there for anyone to see. But honestly it is probably only two people right now, myself and my child. Hopefully they will look back and gain some perspective from Dad.

I highly recommend setting up your own website. You control everything with no restrictions and no censorship.

I also highly recommend setting up your own private email address. Only family and chosen friends use it. It is very rarely used, sure, thanks to video and text messaging but it is available when all else fails.

I never give this private email to anyone except family and friends.

I don’t use Gmail, preferring to use MS Outlook instead and I let it collect my e-bills, news and the junk. The people you really care about will use the new one, so you won’t need to check the throwaway mail much anymore.

It feels good to have a notification mean something again. When you get a few emails and know that they are really for you. Or, if you don’t get any notifications, then nothing you really care about has arrived so no need to check.

Most days I don’t look at the web. I just go photograph something, write, text friends, call friends, and check email. That’s enough.

Khmer Empire Antiquities Part II

In May 2019 I had the opportunity to explore the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum to research and analyze the ancient Khmer empire artifacts from Cambodia as research for an upcoming book. It was my delight to explore similar artifacts from this Labor Day in Kansas City at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

There are a few similarities but also unique findings as well. As in Chicago it was in Kansas City that the description of these artifacts are incorrect. Minor points to help the general public understand but my way of thinking says that breeds ignorance. Let’s accept them for what they are instead of pandering, shall we?

As always though, I am grateful for the chance to explore more about this culture that has intrigued me since 1993 when I first discovered a book tucked away in the archives of a university library.

A partial bas-relief describing the Churning of the Ocean of Milk.
Sugriva the monkey king (end) leads smaller gods in this work.
Seated Buddha meditating for seven weeks. The serpent king lifts him up to prevent him drowning during a flooding storm. The artifact hosted in Chicago is more complete with the serpent’s head raised above and covering Buddha from the rains.
A pillar fragment with a heavenly maiden or devata in sandstone.
The crown on her head resembles the towers of the Angor Wat temple.
Except for the docents, we had the Nelson Atkins museum to ourselves.