~aaa's blog

i'll share a thought or two when i feel like it

Dissatisfaction and the exile from the mainstream Web

January 19, 2021 — ~aaa

A very pretentious and somewhat emotional blog post written by me. This is sort of an introduction to the tilde.team community. Don’t judge, you were also 15 once.


I am a young person who started using online services at the time when they were already commercialized, privacy-intruding, flashy and extremely bloated. I soon started to think if there is an alternative ran for the people by the people. After a few months of getting familiar with popular sites such as Reddit and Instagram, it wasn’t very hard to see how the content sent there is really shallow and useless but made to make us addictive. Soon enough, I found out about the old Internet communities and protocols. IRC, Geocities, USENET and many other simple and open “spaces” for like-minded people to share knowledge and discuss.

Programming, Unix and Open Source

At the age of 11, before I actually started to use online services, I found myself getting into programming. My first programming language was QBASIC, actually what got me into programming was an old book about ZX Spectrum and similar computers. Could say that I am lucky. Anyway, after getting into BASIC, I decided to try something more “serious”. As I wasn’t discussing programming with my peers online, people that I could ask for advice were old farts (kek) like my IT teacher at the time and my parents who are software engineers, so everyone who I could have asked for advice recommended me C++. After learning C++, I have soon learned C, and a few years later, I have discovered Unix and open source software. Got introduced to Vim as well and became an annoying hipster. Now, this was something I was looking for. A huge but somewhat obscure rabbit hole separated from the flashy and shallow (ok, I am really pretentious) commmunities dedicated to consumerism and muh fake interwebz points. All I had at the time was an HP craptop that I shared with my brother. And he needed Windows so I just used WSL (yes I am that young). I have soon gotten an old thinkpad handed down, then installed Linux and FreeBSD on it.

Joining tilde.team

Digging down through the rabbithole of Unix and programming, I discovered pubnixes, public Unix systems that offer shell accounts to enthusiasts and usually offer a way to communicate with other members. This was perfect, especially for someone who’s not a person for flashy and crowded communities. Soon, I started using IRC and Discord (ugh) where I talked to similar people. On one of the communities, I have met some 9fans, on others hipsters with librebooted thinkpads. Later, I heard of the gemini protocol which I liked for similarity to gopher and I wished to join a pubnix. Then, I heard of tilde.team from a member or two. Visited the site and thought it was the perfect place to start at. Then I signed up. And now I’m here.

tags: open-source, freedom, pubnix, tilde