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The SETI screensaver shows us what the internet could’ve been

When I was twelve years old, I became obsessed with a screen saver. The screen saver pictured above, to be precise; you can watch its full glory here. It had multicolored lines that rose up inside a frame, like a kind of three-dimensional bar graph, and a whole lot of incomprehensible text and numbers that whizzed around above. My parents were slow to bring new technology into our home, justifiably cautious about both the financial outlay and its effect on our ability to do our homework. As a result, there were a couple of years when we didn’t yet have dial-up internet…

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