Unraveling Markovian Parallax Denigrate, the Internet’s oldest and weirdest mystery
Spam. It’s the Internet’s most resilient parasite. Millions of messages pollute the Web’s pipes every day. Grow a monster penis. Lose 20 pounds. Help out an African prince. You know the drill.
A lot of it is garbled junk, sentences that read like a computer ingested the Oxford English Dictionary and vomited it back out. The results are bizarre and often unintentionally hilarious, a favorite subject of forwarded emails or, in the age of Twitter, cult celebrity. Spam account @horse_ebooks boasts 120,000 thousand followers thanks entirely to the accidental and absurdist poetry of its tweets.
But back in 1996, users of the proto-Web community Usenet got spammed with messages that reached an almost transcendent level of bizarre—a weirdness so precise it implied the influence of a very human intelligence. [more]
I read this piece all the way through, and it really reminded me of this magazine that no longer exists, but was a cover-to-cover read for me in the late ’90s: Internet Underground Magazine. It had some awesome design for the era, covered edgy topics, and even inspired some notable early memes. It was a great magazine because it seemed much more invested in the culture of the internet than its much-more-heralded competitor, Wired, did. But it closed in 1997, the victim of low ad sales and a change in ownership. It’s too bad. Like Suck.com, they missed out on the good part.
It just hit me that The Daily Dot is the modern equivalent of this magazine, which just made my respect for them go way up.