Monday, June 18, 2007

New Internet Manifesto

We have been delivered from a time when governments of men turned the flow of information to their own ends. Remembering that time, we want to be anonymous and safe.

But it's different now. Our anonymity no longer protects us. It leaves us in a lawless state.

We need the next level, but we are not there, yet.

The next steps are simple and known to many, but it is not enough to state them or think them - we believe it imperative that we demand these things:

  1. The abolition of anonymity.
  2. The establishment of privacy and access.

Until these things are done, the next level will not be obtained.

Monday, February 26, 2007

That Great Coming Up Meeting

There were too many systems. We only needed one, but nobody was in a position. They couldn't work it out. Governments got involved. Nobody realized there was a trick to it, except this networking girl. She wrote a crawler that ran down every name that everybody had ever used in every system, from phone to phone to phone, and every name that everybody ever met and where and when and who. And what they had and what they gave away.

She cornered history. Everything connected up in just the right ways, so it all began to work the way it's supposed to work. And it all fed out of her hand.

For the first few days, people went around saying, Is that you? Is that you? Then they settled down to work.

She held it close for a while longer and then turned it loose, letting it float away on its own. And that became netside, as we know it today.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


When the eventual form of the system became known, long before it was realized, somebody had to figure out what its growth would be, over time, in bytes. Storing all transactions. For everybody. It turned out that the rate is surprisingly low. Well within available resources.

And there was no long-term accumulation. Long-term, information growth is zero. Most information is classified as personal, private. When someone dies, all transactions that can no longer be accessed by any living person, are no longer needed. What's left is negligible.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


> What are you doing?

> I don't know. What are you doing?

>I don't know.

To get where we are today, they first had to figure out how people could make money there. Money was important then. The first guy said, we'll count eyeballs. The second guy said, what's an eyeball worth? Nothing. Then, two other guys said, who needs eyeballs? Who would pay us money for eyeballs? Those two guys cornered the eyeball market.

They got everybody to sell them all the eyeballs they could find. You didn't get much unless you found a lot of eyeballs. But the two guys tinkered with it and got it adjusted so that everybody could make a living. Before that, you had to be funny, just to survive. But it didn't matter to the two guys if you were funny or not. They got paid either way. So, finally, they started paying for information by the bit. If she said hoo, and he said ha, and three other people tuned in, that was a transaction. She got paid. He got paid. Some people ate better than others, but everybody survived. Because, if you died, those two guys didn't get paid.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Going Worldside

Going worldside is a trip. It's unbelievable. Everybody sweats there. The world sweats. And nobody knows who you are: everybody has his own version of the system and you're in all of them, but none of them are you. It's incredible. It's easy to forget what it's like, being in an actual place and being anonymous. Stay netside long enough and you get a kind of bends when you go worldside, where the air is too rich in your lungs and a gentle breeze makes you think you could be losing your mind.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

FAQ writer

Somebody else thinks up the questions. I write the answers. Right now, I'm looking at this question: "Can I be anonymous, netside?"

And I'm thinking: who doesn't know this? But then, there's always a first time for every FAQ. Six month-old babies can go netside. Some are born there. But they don't know the answer to this question until they read what I write.

So I write: "You can change identities, netside, but they are all traceable back to you by accountable authorities and those you personally authorize."

And then I had a thought, so obvious that it had never occurred to me before: you can only be completely anonymous - worldside!

Worldside Too Long

I'm always saying things that anybody living knows. I imagine people who don't know these things; who don't know anything beyond a certain time in the past. And I fill them in, explaining everything in obvious detail, even though they aren't around to read it; and those who are, don't care.

I was thinking about this, just now, as I was logging in, after being worldside for several days, and I got amused when the guard kept asking me little chatty questions about what I'd been doing while I was away and how my mother is getting along.

I've been in a lousy mood all day, and I kept saying things like, "Nothing much," and "She's fine," so, naturally, more questions were posed, each one more pointed than the last. I interpreted this as a slight increase of suspicion on the part of the guard. And I thought about how I would explain this to someone who didn't know what was going on. And then, I got amused. Being worldside too long will do that to you.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Great Replication Blues

After the system replicated everything, people thought we'd all go totally virtual, right away. Some did. I knew a few. But most of us still need the real world. It's redundant, but it's real. I keep telling myself, it's not worth the effort. More and more, I feel pale and blinking, there; ironically, out of touch; but I can't give it up completely. I curse myself for being so dependent on the blue sky, like a dog gone blind.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


#: The best way I can put it is, back at the turn of the century, people thought the system was the problem; that you can't be private anymore because of the system. Now, we know that you can't be private without the system. That's what they used to call a revolution.

&: What do you mean by private?

#: You're acting like you just got off the boat.

&: I did.

#: There's no way I can explain this to you, if you don't already know what I'm talking about.

&: What do you mean by the system?

Saturday, September 09, 2006


"Don't call me 'Rory.'"

"You want me to call you 'Rorschach?'"

"I want you to call me 'Rorschach Abednego, the First.'"

"You think that's going to get you known?"

"It's a start."

"So, what kind of personality are you offering?"

"Whatever you want."

"That's not what I want."

"What do you want?"

"Something different from that."

"You want 'Ernest Hemingway?'"

"It's a start."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lift that Bale No More

After everybody got connected, in the twenties, attention turned to putting in basic services that everybody needed; like Birth Registration and Death Certification. Pretty early on, people realized that you can't be anonymous anymore. But it took a while to get over our fathers' dead bodies.

In retrospect, everything happened as fast as it could have. There was, of course, a lucky break: in the forties, an easy solution to the Fusion problem popped up. It was a triumph of String Theory. One highly linked physicist said, "Einstein wouldn't have known where to start."

That meant an end to work, as we knew it. Suddenly, whatever you needed, you could get, free. If you knew where to look. There was only one thing in short supply. Brains.

"I want more than that."

"More than what?"

"I want to put out a show."

"What's wrong with just words?"

"You know I'm not reading anymore."

"I know what you want."

"You probably do."

"You want to get frontal."

"I just want to get known."


"Why not?"

"Your mother. And my mother."

"They won't have to know."

"Haven't you heard? It's the New Age - everybody knows everything."

"And nobody cares. You just proved it."

"I proved nothing."

"You just don't want to get known."

"Not with you."

"Some people don't want to get known."

"You just want to get frontal."

"Not with you."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hail to the Brief!

On August 13, 2076, at 2:37 AM, Solomon Grundig was elected the 784th President of the United States. He was informed of this by his mother, who said, "Get up, you're the President, and you're late for school."

Solomon opened his eyes. He turned on his glasses. He said, "Whitehouse. Oval Office." The Presidential Seal came up with his face and name above it. His votecount was 267,000,000 and trending up. Solomon frowned. He said, "Get me my best pal."

The show changed. Solomon's best pal came up. He or she said, "Don't tell me, I already know."

"How do I know it's real?"

"'Cause I can see it, too; and besides, you can't spoof the Presidential Seal."

"How do you know that?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, last night, I had 47 votes."

"It must have been a show you put out."

"Yeah, but which one?"

"Does it matter?"

"I just want to know if it's real."

"OK - I'm your pal, I'll help you out - just say this: 'Show me the Kennedy Assassination X-rays.'"


"Just say it."

"'Show me the Kennedy Assassination X-rays.'"

The show changed.

Solomon nodded. "OK, I'm really the President."

"I don't know - your votecount isn't trending up anymore. In fact, it's trending down. Fast."

"What does that mean?"

"It means you're not the President anymore."

"Filch! I didn't even have time to stratify my constituency."

"Forget about it."

"I wanted to thank them."

"They're not voting for you anymore."

"What did I do?"


"Who's the new President?"

"Some kid from Des Moines. He put out a show called, 'Anybody but Grundig.'"