- Internet & the Web
In the Pliestocine....
In 1995 Windows 95 made it easy for even the least technologically gifted person to enter the Great Information Super Highway.
Before that date you had to be a bit of a geek, or linked to a geek who hand held you, before you could enter Cyberspace.
Things weren't 'automatic'.
A User would turn on the computer and unless an' autoexec.bat' was created, the User would have to go click by click from a C:\ (Cee Prompt) to the Program they wanted to use.
Once the program came up they would click on 'Netscape' (if they were using Window/Dos stuff, or Konqueror if they were using Linux, etc) and when that came up, open the program which would connect to the Internet via a modum.
There would be the dialing, the funny squeaks, and then 'bing bing bing...whyiiiiiiiiiiiggggg' meaning you were connected.
Then you entered the URL of the website.
There wasn't any Google, there was no 'list' of anything. You had to know what site you wanted to go to; it's URL, or you went nowhere.
To put it coarsely, you had to know what you were doing to do it.
Geek vs Gatesware
Anyone could use Windows 95. Anyone could get on the Internet. They might have no idea what they were doing, but they did it just the same.
Where a Geek could read an I.P. and find out where you were (or what Proxy you were using) a Windows user couldn't and can't.
Hence, the Nigerian Scammer can connect via a Proxy Server in Stuttgart and call himself Hans. The trusting woman in Kentucky would never guess that the photos of her blond haired, blue eyed Aryan fiancé, (into whose Pay Pal account she's just deposited enough for a plane ticket), is laughing his head off in an Internet cafe in Ibadan.
Where a Geek is cautious, because s/he knows what s/he doesn't know, the Gatesware User absolutely believes s/he knows everything.
A Heads Up
Many Geeks who got on and have been on the 'Net for a few decades often adopted the persona of a white American male in his thirties. This is because White American Males in their Thirties get respect.
It is wise for Karabo Moroka to present herself as Ken Moore, (along with Aryan image) and mask the fact she is Zulu and lives in Joburg..
When Ken Moore enters a comment he isn't slapped down, he doesn't get the smarmy crap by some 'In Tell Lec Chew All' who knows everything about everything, (don't you know?) and hopes to be judged by the contents of the contribution.
As no one knows "Ken Moore" is actually Karabo Moroka the usual racism/sexism/chauvinsim doesn't play.
You might be a graduate of Podunk University, the person you are trying to slap down has a doctorate from Cambridge.
You might be a teacher at Minimosa Elementary, your foil might be a Principle of High Class High. You are making a fool of yourself, and you don't know it.
Sure, you can do this in Real Life, but on the Internet you can become an International clown.
Besides using false names and photographs or nicks that are androgynous, people can bait you. Just as our poor lady, standing up in the airport, waiting for her blond fiancé to arrive, you can be posting away to someone you think lives in London but is actually across the street.
It is an unfunny joke of the employee complaining about the Boss on Facebook when the Boss posts 'you're fired'.
Leave all possibilities open. Believe nothing 100%. Sure, if you have lunch with Bladerunner, and Forge and went to Airdog's wedding, you know who they are in R.L. But if you haven't had lunch with them, if you don't know more than a name or nick on the 'Net, be very careful.
Making a fool of yourself is the least of it.