'User agent' is a great idea that has been weirdly perverted.

Nobody these days (even highly technical people) has a user agent. (Maybe @drwho does.)

A user agent is a piece of software controlled by the *user*, that performs the automatic tasks the *user* has instructed it to. It communicates with other user agents, automatically, on the user's behalf.

Today, the term 'user agent' means 'long, misleading browser-lineage-identification string'. It identifies one of ~3 corporations.

Imagine if we actually *had* user agents.

Like, imagine if our computers were doing things we wanted them to do, automatically, on the network. And, it was our computers doing these things, instead of a rental service like ifttt or google alerts that's selling info on the back end. Imagine if they stopped doing things when we told them to stop.

Imagine if non-technical users had this too.

'User agent' is basically 'daemon, but controlled by an end user'. And, it's a thing we really need & don't have.

@enkiv2 I remember I think it was the early 1990s, lots of talk about 'software agents'. They were sort of the buzzword term, the 'neural networks' of that decade.

I don't really understand even now what lab that hype came from, and why it went away?

@natecull @enkiv2

it came from an MIT lab, if I had to guess

and guess who usually buys up MIT tech in short order?

I'll give you three guesses and the answer is DARPA

if you told them that their high military personnel could develop tools that allow them reduce their cognitive workload during the late Cold War, they'd have thrown so much money at it that reality would have to compensate by re-tilting the earth a bit

@sydneyfalk @natecull @enkiv2
"IT CAME FROM AN MIT LAB!" sounds like the tagline from a 1950's B-movie

@Christian @sydneyfalk @natecull @enkiv2 That was a documentary.

Sophie's internet connection terminates, sounds of gunfire ...

@Christian @sydneyfalk @natecull @enkiv2

Who was the bastard who called that in? Alt-rights infiltrating the fedi by stealth.

Little do they realise we have an unpassable line of defenses hidden behind our CW's.

ec, mh, jort, geek, anarchy, food, nb, fursona, trans, solarpunk, dragon, maker, aecygzdgyg ...

Yup, there they go, washed away on a tide they'll never understand.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

cybrespace: the social hub of the information superhighway

jack in to the mastodon fediverse today and surf the dataflow through our cybrepunk, slightly glitchy web portal