Web Surfing

This page is Copyright John N. Shutt 1998–2012, 2015–2021. Here's what you're allowed to do with it.
Last modified: 15-Feb-21.

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Contents (more detailed):

Contents (most detailed):

About this page


Surfing the web in its earliest, formative years, I greatly enjoyed finding pointers from other people's home pages to stuff they thought was interesting.  I found some of my favorite pages that way.  So it seemed only fair I should do for others like I'd have them do unto (unfor?) me.

The web has changed a lot since then.  The age of university student home pages gradually gave way to an interregnum of propaganda and paywalls; for a while, it really looked as if knowledge would become purely a privilege of the rich, until (believe it or not) Wikipedia came to our rescue — fending off that particular dystopia, not through the quality of its output, but by making it difficult for special interests to dominate the flow of information.  To this day, Wikipedia protects us from that dystopia while nudging us toward another; and honestly our modern social media seems in some ways rather a step down from the hand-coded university-student html pages of the early years.  But this page has slowly grown through it all, and so far (as of the date at the top of this page; knock wood), I still have the pleasure and honor of offering readers the hospitality of this humble web resource.  Welcome to my surfing page.

That said, this page is honestly no more than a hotlist with delusions of grandure:  when I find a URL that I want to hang on to, for whatever reason, I (usually) put it here.  Making it globally available being one way for me to contribute to WebCulture.  Since I'd be putting in the effort to maintain my "hotlist" anyway, I can get the satisfaction of contributing at little-to-no extra cost (in theory).

It's still just my hotlist, though.  Traditionally, major web indices —a classic example being yahoo started a lot like this page, with grad students trying to organize their own growing collection of links, and they just kept growing.  That's not my goal here.  I sincerely hope you find lots of fun and interesting stuff here, and I'm making it available to you in the hopes that you will, but it isn't intended to be a web index per se.  Some of the pointers from here are to other people's pages that are pretty comprehensive, such as FAQs, but these pointers are only here because I decided I wanted them.  Every pointer on this page is here on my sufferance.

Because there are lots of different reasons for me to want to keep a URL, and all of them end up here, you'll find an enormous range of variation in the quality of the stuff here.  IMHO, some of it's really neat, some of it is just barely worth saving, and most of it is somewhere in between.  Deciding which is which is left as an exercise for the student.

About the timestamps

After about a year as a web publisher, I came to appreciate just how often pages on the web move around.  Nothing seems to stay put.  Of course I'd update a URL when I noticed it was out of date, but I didn't even know how long ago I'd last tested each URL.  So I instituted the following time-keeping system.

Each entry has one or two dates on it.

The first date is the last time the URL was changed.  If this date is recent, either I've just added the pointer, or I've just changed it because I discovered the target page had moved.  If this date is old, I haven't changed the URL in a long time.  At this writing a few of these dates go back to 1995, though most (if not all) of those will eventually be supplanted by more recent urls using https.

The second date, if any, is a more recent time as of which I know the pointer still worked.  If there is no second date, that's because it would be the same as the first date.

If the first date is old and the second date is recent, you're looking at a fairly stable URL:  I put it in a long time ago, and it was still working pretty recently.  If a stable URL like that doesn't work for you, there's a good chance the problem is only temporary.


Physical places

Subject catalogs

Selective lists

Search engines

Other resources





Other media


Science fiction/fantasy





Other arts


Computer science

Extra-paradigm science





Programming languages


Science generally



Religion and Mysticism



Creative reality

Oxymoron: a juxtaposition of words that narrowly misses being self-contradictory, thus conveying its meaning with precision.


Other ideas

The Net

Understanding the Net

Web Spinning

Other stuff

Singular home pages






Really miscellaneous

Broken pointers