Dead letters

Cory Doctorow
10 min readOct 10, 2021

Email could be the last federated internet technology — but it isn’t.

Vintage engraving of a dead letter office where postal officials struggle to decipher addressing information; captioned “Who is it for? A scene in the dead letter office experts trying to decipher an illegible address”

It feels like only yesterday that we were living through the Substack bubble, as mailing lists enjoyed a new renaissance (rebranded as “newsletters”), a tangible expression of the techlash and our collective disgust with the platforms and their attempts to enclose the internet and convert it to “five giant websites, each filled with screenshots of text from the other