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Why 1999? Tech folklore isn't about rationality, or even memory, and it's as partial as all other folklore. I can't do this justice nearly as well as Audrey Watters, but I think the reason why it's not 1996 is because the mid-90s were about as much noncommercial expansion of the web as the commercial side, while the most easily-reachable parts of the web had become dominated by market interests a few years later. As an old Usenet and Fidonet user, I saw the invention of the http protocol as open to so many uses. That's incredibly generative, but it doesn't really foster folklore.

Also: I hate the idea that pets.com is the model of what any emerging type of technology should be doing, or how we should be talking about it.

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