Some uses of the net are so extremely obvious, messages so in tune with their medium, that it's impossible to imagine the net without them. Recipes, flamewars, pictures of kittens, porn.

So, it's startling to be confronted, in my daily news feed, with the first recipes posted to usenet.

Both because usenet had been around for over a year before someone thought to do that, and because the recipes posted are so simple.

Would anyone dare to post this recipe today?


Cook pasta for 2. Meanwhile, smash up a couple cloves garlic, sautee very lightly in 3 or 4 Tablespoons of olive oil. When the pasta is done, drain it and swish it around in the pan with this stuff a couple of times. Add more oil or garlic at will.

Maybe if compressed to 140 characters to fit in a tweet. Otherwise, it's too simple a thought to say. Surely someone said it before. And now we know when.

This may also explain why the first jokes posted to usenet seem so juvenile. Starting, literally, with a string of light bulb jokes. They are juvenile, but on this medium, they were being said for the first time.