“Hotwheels” — a postmortem

This is the story of my self imposed demotion, about two months late. I am honestly tired of writing, tired of justifying, tired of explaining: but will do so anyway as everyone I spoke to told me I owe whatever is left of the community an explanation.

After Infinity Next and my failed attempt to hack dynamic requests into Vichan “VFEC” at the speed necessary, I really lost the plot of what I was doing. I stopped posting or really communicating, as the 8chan that was was a site I didn’t want to be admin of. I recommended sale, or shut down. Jim wanted neither of those, so I let Jim’s company help me and we came up with Alacrity and sys.8ch.net to patch some of the technical problems.

My communication level was so low that I snapped at Ron for basically no reason because I was tired of what I perceived as pressure to continue to be a figure that I no longer thought exists.

I viewed IN as a Hail Mary to re-align 8chan with the ideals I founded 8chan on. Some people think it still could have worked, some people even think it’s my fault it didn’t work; I disagree but still apologize to both groups. I especially apologize to Joshua Moon, I ruined a good friendship in a frantic, misguided attempt to “save” Infinity Next. In his shoes (if I ever wore any) I probably would have behaved similarly and I don’t expect him to accept my apology or even ever talk to me again.

I don’t want to be admin not because of Jim, and not because of anything but reality. Reality took my naive idealized version of 8chan (having never run any website with more than ~100 concurrent users) and stripped it, with DDoS attacks, payment processor terms of service, the network effects of other sites, the murky definiton of child pornography, revenge porn, DMCA’s, clickbait journalists and the simple costs of bandwidth to something I never would have founded had the end result been before me at the beginning.

I wanted, at the beginning, an 8chan run by charity, with no advertising, no restrictions on content beyond legal, and with all software crowdfunded. After Infinity Next I took a good long look at the 8chan that was and it was no longer the 8chan I wanted it to be when I started it.

Granted, not everyone feels this way. Not everyone is an idealist. That’s fine. I was somewhat happy to see that many of the global volunteers were though, especially my good friend Lowcard. Jim has me helping with 8chan on a technical level only, since until recently it had an effective bus factor of 1. Jim is a really good guy and has me working on other projects also, things that I can be passionate about. I’m not sure that the 8chan that is deserves Jim, and it definitely doesn’t deserve the talented engineer that is Ron.

I have no other chans or solutions to recommend. In the last months the only posts I have made on any chan have been on 8chan to test that posting still works as part of my job as a technical consultant. I feel that the ideal, pure chan is not compatible with reality. I think that at its scale 8chan is the best that can be done.

That’s all I have to say.

~ Fredrick Brennan