20, 15, 10, 5 year retrospective by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow published an end-of-year retrospective in his blog, where he put links from 20, 15, 10, 5 and 1 year ago, from between December 24th and January 7th.

Actually, he puts these back links in every post he writes (which is really cool). But the longer time period of the retrospective post makes it possible to get a pulse of these different years. Here I did a small selection of the link titles that resonated with me. (Go to his blog if you want the actual links)

20 years ago: 2003

The year I first arrived in Japan, and the internet was waking up. The music industry still thinks it can win the fight against piracy, and people are writing new blogs everywhere.

  • #20yrsago The music industry STILL owes you $20!
  • #20yrsago New metaverse game launches
  • #20yrsago William Gibson has a blog

15 years ago: 2008

I had just finished my master degree, and was playing Mafia online like there was no tomorrow. Other than that, my mind is quite fuzzy. Cory’s links are also all over the place (Still music industry stuff, though).

  • #15yrsago From Nazi collaborator to Fortune 500 – companies that got rich on the Reich
  • #15yrsago History of guerrilla knitting at 24th Chaos Communication Congress
  • #15yrsago Motley Fool: litigation isn’t a business model, sell RIAA short
  • #15yrsago Resigning from Napster takes more than 30 minutes
  • #15yrsago One-armed man arrested in Belarus for clapping

10 yeas ago: 2013

I had been in Tsukuba for 2 years, and everything was smooth sailing. The calm before the storm, since 2014 would bring Gamergate as a prelude to the alt-right flooding over the internet.

  • #10yrsago Dad hires in-game hitsquad to kill his son’s characters
  • #10yrsago Telcos lobby North Carolina to make community Internet illegal, then abandon the state to second-worst Internet in the country
  • #10yrsago Anatomy of a patent troll who wants $1000 from every scanner user in America: patents are totally, utterly broken
  • #10yrsago Gary Gygax explains why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Christmas

5 years ago: 2018

Smack dab into the middle of the Bolsonaro, Brexit and Trump years, everything is going to hell, everywhere. The links tell that story well.

  • #5yrsago Jeff Sessions encourages courts to continue practice of fining poor people for being too poor to pay their fines
  • #5yrsago American inequality is unequally distributed, and got lumpier after the Great Recession
  • #5yrsago 2018: the year that America’s ISPs hiked their prices
  • #5yrsago For 20+ years, Japan’s largest companies have been riddled with corruption and fraud
  • #5yrsago Hoaxer with a history of fake bomb threats SWATs and murders a random bystander over a $1.50 Call of Duty bet
  • #5yrsago Scotland is still a financial secrecy exporter, laundering billions for Russia’s crime-bosses and oligarchs

All in all

This was an interesting way to reminisce about the past 20 years. I should probably write my own end-of-the-year retrospective (at least one in my work website…)

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