The Gopher story is a perfect case history for Adversarial Interoperability. The pre-Gopher information landscape was dominated by companies, departments, and individuals who were disinterested in giving users control over their own computing experience and who viewed computing as something that took place in a shared lab space, not in your home or dorm room.
Rather than pursuing an argument with these self-appointed Lords of Computing, the Gopher team simply went around them, interconnecting to their services without asking for permission. They didn't take data they weren't supposed to have—but they did make it much easier for the services' nominal users to actually access them.
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Chris Aldrich brings me Cory Doctorow’s glorious paean to the ethic of gopherspace. My first access to the internet was via a dialup gopher server run by a public library in upstate New York; I adoringly went on to run a gopher server for awhile. boffosocko.com/2020/02/23/gop…
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