Jason Scott Unearths Another Internet Time Capsule

Jason Scott, aka textfiles, is a master digital historian who works for the Internet Archive. Jason is the man behind the BBS Documentary, Get Lamp, and countless other pieces of digital history that are safely stored on his website but also on the Internet Archive.

His latest find is a 1996 documentary entitled “Life on the Internet” and is hosted by NPR’s Scott Simon. Scott describes it as follows in a twitter thread as:

It is well-made, narrated by NPR voice of Weekend Edition Scott Simon, and, after those of us perform the requisite oos and aahs of memory and nostalgia for the 1990s, is most striking for its off-the-rails naivety about the effects the Internet would have on society and life.

I was handed the VHS tapes over the weekend and I got all 13 done in a day and a half, and I wanted you all to see it as soon as possible. Scott Simon is, and I can’t emphasize this enough, a beyond sneering skeptic throughout the entire series. Nothing misses his contempt.

But once you wade past his sarcasm and disdain, you run into faces like James Gosling, who created Java, and the founders of Yahoo, before they got a chance to ruin everything.

Each episode is 30 minutes, the names are strangely spoken and not given title cards, but if you were there, you’ll get a rush of memories; and if you weren’t there, see how much we got it wrong.