1990's internet

Something really interesting about the worldbuilding of Harry Potter that is never outwardly discussed but I find to be extremely likely and often think about is that

Harry and his friends are likely going to see the end of the Wizarding Statute of Secrecy within their lifetimes and honestly, it’s already on its last threads while he’s at school. With everyone so busy with what Voldemort is doing, the entire Wizarding Community fails to see what the Muggles are doing.

It’s the 90′s. Our 1990′s. The internet is starting to grow and comes into nearly every UK and US household. Video cameras are becoming thinner, sleeker, more user friendly, and above all, cheaper. By the time Voldemort is dead, the first camera phone is only three years away from being made.

Yes, these things don’t work in Hogwarts, or likely in the Ministry either, and maybe even the biggest Wizard towns block electronics, too.

But Muggleborns exist. They exist and canonically are able to do uncontrolled magic, with eleven years of life before their questions about how and why are even begun to be answered.

It’s 2015 and there are more than a few eleven year olds who have their own cellphones, which now almost all come standard with cameras. Or they have older brothers and sisters who have them.

YouTube exists in the modern world and anyone with an internet connection can post to it easily.

Even if the Ministry has a new special division to monitor the internet for leaks, they don’t REALLY understand most Muggle technology and this isn’t likely going to be any different. They won’t be able to get every video and picture and post.

It starts with a video of some kid blooming a flower in their hand like little Lily Evans did in front of her sister some forty years ago. People will just think these are pranks, tricks of editing and lighting like that one guy does with his Vines. But then some other kid sees it, and recognizes it as real because they can do this same thing, too, and no one believes them, either.

Muggleborn children start finding each other on the internet long before Hogwarts finds them.

Hogwarts is still, quite literally, in the Dark Ages. They’re too slow. They’re too outdated. They can’t keep up unless they change.

The world is different and a big secret like the Wizarding Statute of Secrecy isn’t going to stay hidden for much longer.

Maybe not even “19 Years Later.”

FINALLY!!

The X-Files fandom finally has the proper kind of internet to deal with new episodes! No early 1990′s internet for us!

Fuck yes! I want the new episodes to be gifed within minutes of airing, I want us all to go over set picks, promos, castings like we do with all great shows of today.

IT’S FINALLY OUR TIME AGAIN!

FUCK YES! OUR FANDOM LIVES ON STRONGER THAN EVER!!!

The Zero-Sum Economy

Today Beth Elderkin linked to an article about how in a desperate scramble to actually make profit, Snapchat is giving users the option to replay snaps for a dollar.

That seems like a bad move and counter to what first brought users to the platform.  It would look to outsiders as the action of a company in trouble, flailing to find a way to keep afloat.  But further in the article, all but buried at the end, was mention that the company was in a round of funding talks that would value Snapchat at ten billion dollars.

No, not ten million.  Billion.  With a “b.”

For the record, that’s more than the purchase price of YouTube, Twitch and Instagram combined.

Why does a company valued at a price that would rival the economy of a small nation have no solid way of turning a profit?  Why has Twitter continued to post significant losses, with its share price barely a few dollars above its initial offering? Why does a popular app get purchased by Apple or Google, then just as quickly disappears as though it never existed? And why are people saying the words “new tech bubble” is hushed, worried tones?

Keep reading