白云泉 One consistent theme in my 32 years online has been friendship.
be neighborly. Be kind. (this doesn’t mean nice because being harsh can be a kindness sometimes)
up until 1993, online was generally friendship-based. Heavy leaning towards academia, military, global mindset.
commercializing this big and wonderful set of experiments was in some people’s minds of course: commercial online service existed alongside the internet but until 1993 they were separate entities.
there was no crossover.
on the internet, before dot com existed, i used the opportunity to gather groups of people together to discuss things.
at age 17/18, I was very interested in children’s rights, particularly how they are treated in social institutions such as schools, psychological reform hospitals, detention, etc with an eye to empowerment, self direction.
so I started a discussion group in march 1991, first by hand, then i asked a sysadmin from a college i didn’t even go to if he could host my list on his university’s LISTSERV. This allowed it to be promoted more widely, with the first major appearance in a directory of academic lists,
“October 17, 1991 Y-RIGHTS and CHILD@hamp appeared in Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters, and Academic Discussion Lists”
but soon in many others.
Y-RIGHTS (youth rights) was a meeting place and springboard for a number of successful ventures, all non profit that i’m aware of.
UNICEF joined early and i worked with them on disseminating some things and they joined in discussions.
some men’s rights groups launched from there, including a father’s rights group that formed after i kicked a guy out for being really misogynistic : i assisted him in starting his own group focused on his needs so he could leave mine.
i did the same for taking children seriously, a libertarian parenting theory whose members broke my role about speaking plainly when possible as there was a variety of ages there and talking “in academic talk” exclusively was one of my no-no’s and they wouldn’t listen.
so i helped them break off and formed TCS which still exists almost 30 years later. David Deutsche the quantum computing theorist was a cofounder of that with Sarah Fitz Claridge. She flew from England to visit me at my home with her kids. I found the girls to be unruly : empowerment within an institution is important for the growth of both but the public face reflects its true values and in this case it was imposing.
Another by 1995 was the formation of NYRA – national youth rights association which had a legal focus (drinking age, voting age etc) which was interesting but that specific (USA centric activism) wasn’t my group’s focus and by helping the two Matt’s establish their own groups separate from mine, they grew into their own which still is active today.
and so there’s a lot of these same themes, none of which were dot com profit motivated. it was still too soon for that.
By the mid-late 1990s at the start of dot com (yahoo, google, enron) i’d already passed on the y-rights group and others i’d formed to trusted people and left them all.
i had a job in pharmaceuticals at that point and was learning stocks with my excess funds.
i didn’t invest in dot com through. i knew they’d mostly bust.
instead i invested in africa, a spice company, a small natural gas transport company in the usa nobody was looking at but i was, and several indexes.
the dot com crash happened and i was ok as i’d invested “contrarian”.
Little did i know that a man i’d corresponded with on investing style turned out to be Kenneth Rogoff, a member of the G-30, a think tank group of international economists.
he’s the one that told me when i asked about my style of investing that said it was contrarian, neither fully warren buffet nor george soros reflexivity but a decent mix of both.
he knew austerity was coming and said my way of thinking was ready for it. So it did me ok. it was enough to decide to do a house in florida thing instead of a monastery, which is where i’d been considering.
I did made decent $$$ in Web 2.0 days. 2007-2014, i mastered google’s way of thinking then and was raking in $800/month regularly in ad revenue at its peak a few years. But then they closed the loopholes i’d been profiting through. Alas.
Most of us never became billionaires. Very few do. Those that do almost always had wealthy family to fall back on.
They need that cushion to fail on which they do until they succeed. They never tell that part of their successes nor of their other angel investors. That kind of wealth is a rich mans game. I learned how but it’s beyond my life station and not my personality anyhow.