“I nonetheless found the darknet command line calm and comforting. Not threatening at all. I suppose it had something to do with the rhythms of the interaction, for while I knew the machine was capable of unleashing unthinkable power, I also knew it would sit dormant forever, waiting for my fingers to hit the keys. There was a kind of deep, deep patience in that prompt and cursor, those courier incantations whose art I’ve now lost. And that deep patience–that sense of time, of scale, of sustainable rhythm–also seems lost now, bulldozed under by the broadband blast of streaming screaming everything.” Matthew G. Kirschenbaum —Darknet Nostalgia (Kirschenbaum)
Reading Stephenson’s “In the Beginning Was the Command Line” was almost a religious experience for me. Elsewhere, Matt acknowledges that using the term “nostalgia” to refer to the preservation and study of the cybertexts of just a few years ago trivializes this important cultural archaeology.
For some reason, the text of his permalink seems to be black on black — hit CTRL-A to select all the text on the page.