Tripping over the p0rn

Reading a thread at the SA forums tonight, which began with the question : “Did you ever find porn in the woods as a child?”
My immediate answer was “Yeah! I did!” And apparently dozens of other goons did too, leading to the positing of a magical Johnny Pornoseed who long ago in a more idyllic age travelled the byways of North America and charitably scattered dirty pictures in the forests for pubescent males to discover and cherish. Astonishing. Something I’d never thought about as a common experience, hadn’t really thought about in decades, but there it is : finding porn in the woods is something that many many young men have experienced.
And what a joyous, revelatory experience it is, too! Explains the fervor of a lot of Green Party members, I reckon.
One SA Goon said this, which is so evocative for me of my teenage hunger for porn :

Has anyone noticed that smell forest porn always has? Kind of musty, but unlike any other kind of smell in the world. It always smells exactly the same. The forest porn smell….
I will never forget the smell of rained on porn mags that have been dried up. For me, it’s the smell of porn.
What’s f–ked up though, is that to this day, my brain associates the smell of ferns with porn. No lie. We hid our rescued stash in a small cave that was hidden by a blanket of ferns.

The reason I talk about this, though, is because it reminded me of what I like to think of as one of my more amusing off-the-cuff comments, one of the proud random snapshots from my life that I like to remember when I’m in need of proof that I’m not a complete moron.
It was Edinburgh, Scotland, in the winter of 1998, I think. Me and Rick (of whom I’ve spoken many times before) and the Bearman and Stiffy The Magic Austrian were living in a B&B in Portobello, which is a grey concrete seaside suburb of Edinburgh (which we customarily referred to as Edithburg, just to be annoying), perched like a frozen dog turd on the southern edge of the Firth of Forth.
For some reason, while drinking the cheap Hungarian wine (‘Blood of The Bull’) that fueled my joyous and aimless unemployment at the time, I’d gotten it into my head that I was infallible at finding sexy bits in novels. I’d sit down with Rick or Barry and make them riffle through the book of their choice. I’d melodramatically stick my finger into the flying pages, and 4 times out of 5, stop the cascade on a page that contained some sort of sexuality. It was downright spooky. But an amusing party trick.
So. One afternoon we’re walking back from downtown Edinburgh, which was only couple of kilometres away, through the shortcut alleyway which bore a sign that designated it, colourfully enough, as the ‘Fishwives’ Causeway’. Some way along the narrow, high-walled, piss-reeking, dogturd-littered alley through which we meandered, I spied a flash of colour to the side, investigated it, and discovered it to be a Nudie Magazine. Huzzah!
Says I off the cuff, as I reach in under the vines to peel it off the asphalt, breathing deeply of that magazine-that’s-been-rained-on scent, unmindful of possible cooties : “Not only can I find sex passages in books, I can find sex books in passages!”
Much hilarity ensues, hindered only by the lack of a laff-track and rimshot.
Having actually written the little story down, I now realize how lame that comment actually was. I swear to god it was funnier’n hell at the time…
Proves, I guess, how deeply unexciting the day to day existence of being a World Traveller can actually be when you get right down to it (at least if you did your travelling with us)…remind me to tell you the tale of Ailsa the Hogmanay Girl sometime, just to balance things out.
So : you ever discovered woodland porno?

Now I'm going to have to think this over again…

What Jeff has to say about Megnut’s article is very interesting, if a touch erudite for my beer-and-sausages self. Indeed, I wonder if those are the sorts of underpinnings from which she was working when she conceived the piece, and that I just missed the deeper nuances in my rush to poo-poo it.

Simply put, the structure imposed by the grammatical rules of timestamps, permalinks, etc., results in paratactic information exchange. Each day adds another level of and then. . . which had been largely lost in conventional hypertext documents. In hypertext, there doesn’t have to be a then, only rhizomatic patterns of connection. Blogging imposes a structure which makes hypertext more functional as a medium. The first generation “link blogs” are entirely paratactic, compared to the hypotactic, subordinating [dare I say tree-like] nature of first generation personal home pages. Hypotaxis was derived from print literacy. Link blogs are in essence far more oral and conversational.
[more]

If so, I owe her an apology. This, I can see flowering into something interesting. If the structure imposed by the grammar of blogging (as I think Jeff is describing the subject of Meg’s piece) does indeed move us back closer to the roots, to the orality of the storyteller as he tells the tale of the hunt, lit by the light of the campfire (my image, but the one that strikes me each time Jeff talks about this stuff), then I’m much more interested than once I was in the implications of mechanics.
Thank you, Jeff. And Meg, regardless of whether or not she was thinking these sorts of Big Thoughts when she wrote the piece, for giving us grist for this kind of discussion.
As my old pappy used to say : faskinatin’.

We won't deny our consciences

Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression. The signers of this statement call on the people of the US to resist the policies and overall political direction that have emerged since September 11 and which pose grave dangers to the people of the world.
We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers. We believe that all persons detained or prosecuted by the US government should have the same rights of due process. We believe that questioning, criticism, and dissent must be valued and protected. We understand that such rights and values are always contested and must be fought for.
We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do – we must first of all oppose the injustice that is done in our own name. Thus we call on all Americans to resist the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral and illegitimate. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world.
We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage – even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City and, a generation ago, Vietnam. We too joined the anguished questioning of millions of Americans who asked why such a thing could happen.
But the mourning had barely begun, when the highest leaders of the land unleashed a spirit of revenge. They put out a simplistic script of “good v evil” that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media. They told us that asking why these terrible events had happened verged on treason. There was to be no debate. There were by definition no valid political or moral questions. The only possible answer was to be war abroad and repression at home.
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That there is such a ragtag group of signatories (Kasey Casem? Starhawk?) is perhaps more revealing than anything else about this declaration of dissent. Still, heartening, and hopefully not totally pointless.
In light of recent revelations and discussions about covert plans (which in reality have been about as covert as a waterbuffalo in an elevator (a little teeny glass elevator, the kind that go up the outside of the building)) and first strikes : Would you sign?
Edit : If you’re still not sure whether you’d sign or not, have a look at this book-in-progress by Douglas Kellner. Might help.

[This] is an experiment in writing contemporary history as it evolves, circulating a first-draft condensed from various media sources. As more material comes out, I plan to keep up with new information and various interpretations of the emerging Terror War and New Barbarism to help produce an eventual book on the topic, one that documents the conjunction of Bush’s theft of Election 2000, the September 11 terror attacks, and the consequent Bush administration responses and their global ramifications.
[more]

[via the perpetually humbling wood s lot]

What I really meant to say was…

No, I’m not recanting my earlier lambasting of Meg for that article folks are talking so much about. Although in true wonderchickonian fashion, I tacked rather heavily into the tradewinds of hyperbole – hard ‘a port, Mr Qeeqeg! – and it’s entirely possible that my surprise and disappointment at reading a piece quite devoid of blood and juice, in tandem with what may fairly be described as my impatience for this efflorescence of creativity to mature…well it’s possible that my rain dance was a little, shall we say, intemperate.

Starting at the unforeseen concluding exclamation of the so suddenly scornful old man, Stubb was speechless a moment; then said excitedly, “I am not used to be spoken to that way, sir; I do but less than half like it, sir.”
“Avast!” gritted Ahab between his set teeth, and violently moving away, as if to avoid some passionate temptation.
“No, sir; not yet,” said Stubb, emboldened, “I will not tamely be called a dog, sir.”
“Then be called ten times a donkey, and a mule, and an ass, and begone, or I’ll clear the world of thee!”
As he said this, Ahab advanced upon him with such overbearing terrors in his aspect, that Stubb involuntarily retreated.
“I was never served so before without giving a hard blow for it,” muttered Stubb, as he found himself descending the cabin-scuttle.

Over at Jonathon’s, where Meg responded to his excellent translation and elaboration of my rant into calm and well-crafted English prose (thanks, mate!), one of Jonathon’s other guests has weighed in on my bare-breasted, blood-streaked ululation :

The arrogance and hyperbole astounds me. The weblogging “community” would do well to learn some humility as they go forward into this bright Utopian future he describes.

I responded :

f–k humility, let’s dance.

For a split second after I pressed the submit button, I regretted that a bit, but now, as I sit back with my cup of green tea, it’s growing on me. So much so, I think I’ll make it the new tagline of the week.
Why on earth should I be humble? How is that going to help anyone? It’s a dance, my friends, and if you don’t care to join in, you can help call the tune. If you don’t care to do that, well, pour the drinks or something, while the rest of us whoop and holler and kick up our heels for the sheer joy of it, for the pleasure of creation, of comradeship, of life. Humility just doesn’t enter into it.
Not for nothing do I have this quote on my little website :

“I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it: we must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and soul. It may be that we are doomed, that there is no hope for us, any of us, but if that is so then let us set up a last agonizing, bloodcurdling howl, a screech of defiance, a war whoop! Away with lamentation! Away with elegies and dirges! Away with biographies and histories, and libraries and museums! Let the dead eat the dead. Let us living ones dance about the rim of the crater, a last expiring dance. But a dance!”

Although that paragraph was written almost 70 years ago, if you replace the word ‘book’ with the noun of your choice [hint], you can perhaps see where I’m coming from, or where I’m going, or something.
But I’m getting off track again, as I so often do.
I do not begrudge Meg her mild fame or her position of influence, or any of the other people who make up the oft-derided, oft-denied, semi-imaginary ‘a-list’. And nor, when it comes down to it, do I disagree with much of what Meg had to say, because, at the end of the day, it was pretty mild stuff.
Where I do part ways is at pretty much the same spot as Shelley and Jonathon : the tools, the technology of it all, the minutiae of the format, these are not the common ground from which the communities and friendships and creative ferment that blogspace is fostering spring. This, to my mind, is a dangerous misconception that will ensure that what we are doing remains on the sidelines of the new mediaspace, a diversion of the geek and the technofetishist.
The fertile common ground is the common ground we share as humans : our creative urge, our need to find like-minded people, our need to challenge ourselves and others, our need for play and conversation, our fascination with the New.
Now I sound like a freakin’ hippy here, so I’ll add in to that list ‘our need to argue, to engage in combat, to breed divisiveness and segregate ourselves into tribes over infinitesimal differences of opinion or lifestyle’.
But the tools? The tools are just tools, for goodness sakes. Meg says, over at Jonathon’s :

… what I was trying to do in my article was simply point out that we can’t define this thing based on the content we’re outputting…

I understand that she was talking about the format, dumbing it down for non-bloggers and the non-technical (I mean come on : is there a single person who has ever had a blog who needs the concepts of permalinks and posts explained to them?) But my argument is that we can, we must define this thing based on the ‘content we’re outputting’ (and that phrase reminds me that she was the director of development for Blogger, because the mechanical sound of it reminds me of all the coders and business types that I used to work with in Sydney at HyperGlobalMegaNet, who were good and kind people, but not precisely, uhh, lyrical), not on the tools, or on how it’s temporally arranged or permalinked.
A couple of things seem pretty clear to me : one, that the article was written for non-bloggers. It talks (in simple terms, yes, but nonetheless) about technical things, that dollars-to-donuts, your average web-user already knows and understands about blogs, and your average non-web-user doesn’t give a rat’s ass about, or even understand. Or want to, for that matter. So what audience is it intended for? I’m uncertain.
Two : the article is written by a technologist (who is certainly more than that, and is not a one-dimensional cartoon, and is from all accounts a really nice person, but) : someone who seems to apprehend what’s happening out there through the lens of technology, of Product Development.
I’ve worked with folks who do this. Some of my best friends do this. But this is not the kind of article that’s going to excite anyone. And it’s not likely to even interest people who don’t already know what a blog is and what it looks like, anyone who’s not a technophile already. “Permalinks? Datestamps? What the hell is this geeky crap supposed to mean?” would be Joe Sixpack’s response, I’d say. It strikes me as odd that the outpouring of praise for Meg’s piece comes from the very webloggers who already understand intimately and work daily with the very concepts she painstaking explains. Have so many people lost sight of the fact that the vast majority of humanity just doesn’t give a sh-t about blogging, and probably never will? But at the same time, that same majority loves poetry and music, stories and songs, all manner of art and craft. But they don’t care about the technology, even if we do. And we already know a blog is bite-sized, permalinked and temporally arranged.
Jonathon said :

Which is not to say there’s no place for an explanation of the mechanics of weblogging: tools, posts, links, time-stamps, permalinks… But wouldn’t it be better to leave those prosaic details for later? And to start by mapping out an imaginative vision of the medium’s potential?
To focus attention on the magic and mystery of blogging. To acknowledge (paraphrasing Burningbird) that the key to weblogging is people, not a format. To admit that—five years on—we’re only just starting to realize what might be possible. To stress the communal nature of the activity. To celebrate the amplification of meaning that occurs when smart, creative people collaborate. To invite newcomers to join a grand adventure, a networked version of Hesse’s Journey to the East.

This is what I’m talking about. What I’m trying to figure out is who the piece was intended for, and why. It doesn’t really seem to serve anyone’s needs, and perhaps this is why I reacted so strongly. Meg says, again over at Jonathon’s, “I tried to look beneath the content to the tools and format that enable us to make connections.”
I understand where she’s coming from, and I respect that, but I think she has it ass-backwards. I’m a technologist too, or at least I used to be, and I am as certain as I’ve ever been about anything that you need to look beneath the tools and the format to what she calls the content, and what I think of as the people. A blog is not a container for content, or the product of some cleverly designed software tools : it’s a person. That’s the bedrock of this thing we’re building.
Meg also says “I wasn’t saying that’s all there is to blogging, I was just saying that’s one piece of it,” and of course she’s right, and it was my mistake to imply, if I did, that that’s what she was saying. It would seem that Meg and many others around the traps do feel that what she wrote about is the most important piece. I would call it the least.
I’ll also say, for what it’s worth, that my ranting of a couple of nights ago was meant to stir a little reflection, and not intended as an attack on anyone. I get carried away sometimes.
It was arrogant and hyperbolic indeed, in the same way it would have been if I hand-edited the HTML and uploaded it with a command-line FTP client.

Doppelganger

Holy crap. Zeldman looks an awful lot like I did 10 years ago or so. Right down to the biker jacket…
Neat. More pics of members of the Cabal™ can be found here. I like pictures. There were some surprises there for me – some of them folks look nothing like I’d expected.
Just in the interests of disclosure, here’s an old snap of me in my biker days :

Not really. Although I did once own a motorcycle...

What's Going on?

Godwin’s Law aside, this, compared and contrasted with this, despite attempts to debunk it here, is a little scary, I’d venture…
One poster on the (admittedly shrill) forum linked above says :

If you can’t stand up and silently protest in this country without being led away by police, the game is over for America.

I would be inclined to agree.

Never one to give offense, me.

There’s praise a’plenty. And some canny marketing too, methinks. Oh, yes. But I’ll weigh in as well, since that’s what it’s all about, right? Here… We. Go!
How tedious is this, how perfunctory and lacking of any sense of the mad, wild spirit of creativity that is tearing through the souls of (fill in the names or pseudonyms of your favorite bloggers here)? Sorry, Meg, but this piece strikes me as soulless, by-the-numbers, and regrettably keen to dumb things down as much as possible, custom-designed for Big Media to understand and quote it. Calculated to be Just what the Market Wants. My ungracious guess is that it’s just what the publishing industry would like to read, before the Blogroots -related book comes out. Antithetical to the spirit of what so many of us, you included, I thought, were doing…
(And almost as uninspiring as the radio appearance recently of another blog luminary, which, I’ve got to say, was one of the things that resulted in my lament a while back about how deeply I’m being disappointed of late by some people in the blogosphere for whom I’ve developed a sort of lame-o superheroesque respect.)
Take a breath.
If you people, you A-listers, you pioneers (and I bow in respect to the Old Blog Guard, but some just don’t seem to get the New, in much the same way, ironically enough, that Old Media don’t seem to get La Kottke or whatever archetypical high-traffic blogger that they happen to pick out of their very small grab-bag when a url is necessary for street-cred in their latest in-depth analysis), if you can’t muster the juice to sing a soul-stirring song about this beautiful web of voices we’re collectively weaving, then I suggest you step the hell back, and point your fingers to those of us who can summon the muse and weave the hymns that will bind the New Tribes together.
[Edit : I’ve just suddenly become aware that this piece was written for a Techo Journal, and that my guns-blazing attack may be Quixotacular. Nonetheless, I’ll fight to the f–king death arguing that the defining aspects of my writing here (or Golby’s or AKMA’s or Shelley’s or Jonathon’s or Eeksy’s or that of multitudes of others) are not Time Stamps or Permalinks. Lead, damn it, or get out of the way.]

A Wee Drop of Whine

Time for another Wonderchicken Laundry List Of Annoying Things About Living In Korea© :

  • Local elections are being held today. This is good, because for the last week or two, every time I’ve walked to the subway station I’ve had to run a gauntlet of literally dozens of people bellowing ‘annyong hashimnikka’ (‘hello’, basically, in formal mode), bowing and chanting in unison the name of their candidate and his number on the ballot. There’ve also been roving A/V trucks with airbrushed posters of these grinning bryll-creamed bribe-mongers roaming the beehives, stopping several times a day, and declaiming over their tinny loudspeakers to the mock-ecstatic, worshipful rent-a-crowd the marvellous things they’d do for the community if we’d just vote for them. I assume they’re passing out ‘Vote For Me’ envelopes containing money, too. That sort of thing happens here. If one of those pinstriped, corrupt jackals promised to get rid of the omnipresent piles of reeking garbage and institute a city ordinance banning the horking of phlegm at every third step, I’d worship the bastard. Not likely, though. Too busy making plans for large-scale graft.
  • Five times, today. There is an intercom built into every apartment in this beehive. A special one, with no controls, volume or otherwise. What it really is is an outercom, I guess. You can’t shut it off, or even turn it down, and at predictably inopportune moments (which are best left undescribed perhaps), this tiny speaker will fire up and one of the guards in the guardhouse down by the parking lot will begin to yammer on endlessly (in Korean, of course) about the o-ring vendor that will be in the parking lot for the next 17 hours, just in case you really really need to buy some washers, now don’t forget, that’s O-RINGS and you know that reminds me of a story….I’m waiting for one of these guys to get liquored-up and start singing un-turn-offable karaoke into each and every apartment in the complex, until a certain fierce-looking foreigner stomps into the guardhouse, wrestles him to the floor and gently pummels him into sweet silence…My relatively peaceful day has been interrupted five times already by this demonic device.
    That’s enough for today. Just had to vent a bit. Thanks for listening.

  • Worth it?

    I’ll think I’ll stick to the Fart Jokes and Wacky Tales henceforth. Might be best to leave the Big Thinkin’ to the Big Thinkers, yeah?
    My tragic flaw is that I’m not clever enough to figure out if I’m being made fun of or not. And I hate like hell to be made fun of, ya know?
    Edit : Like the big drunken boor that I pretend to be but secretly am (Mossman is really made of Moss, how boring is that?), I’ve sent abusive and angry messages to someone (psst..that’d be AKMA) because I thought I was being made fun of. My outrageous and pathetically demonstrative response arose in its entirety out of my sad and deeply personal unresolved childhood hurts. I apologize, sincerely, a thing I’ve been doing in response to blood I’ve drawn or hurt I’ve inflicted since I was a young man.
    How many times can an apology be offered before it becomes a mantra? And how f–king sad is that?
    I’m sorry, AKMA.

    Daypop goes the chicken

    I’ve made the Daypop Top 40 (#32, rocketing upward, screaming like a mechanical weasel strapped to a solid fuel booster), and I haven’t the faintest idea why. (Other than my good looks, debonaire manner, and staggeringly huge bribes, of course.)
    How nice for me. Can I have my A-List Secret Decoder Ring Now*?

    *nah, I didn’t think so.

    Identity

    [Further to my not-terribly deep musings about anonymity here and this discussion linked here…]
    AKMA is toying with thoughts about identity, integrity, accountability, and anonymity. I know I am probably getting into water that’s deeper than that in which I normally care to wade, or hotter, or something, but let’s press on my mental zit and see what pops out, shall we?
    He says :

    I started with the premise that “identity” functions as a principle of continuity. That is to some extent a constructed principle; I’m not the same person I was thirty or even fifteen years ago, not by a long chalk.
    […]
    At the same time, what about people who decide (for plausible or pernicious reasons) to cultivate more than one “identity”? That is, what about people who deliberately disrupt the continuity that ordinarily characterizes our identity? When a blogger chooses to keep his or her “real name” concealed, so as not to be associated with the observations contained in the blog, he or she may be evading accountability in a way that warrants criticism.

    Here, before we even get to the parts that I wanted to talk about, I have to stop, scratch my noggin, spit and ponder a bit. There is something to be said, certainly, for the idea that ‘identity functions as a principle of continuity’. I understand this to mean that the primary persona that the world-at-large identifies as me (and mark that word ‘primary – I want to come back to it) exists and is generally agreed upon as a result (if not in whole, at least in part) of the fact that it has been to some degree consistent over time. In other words, people have certain well-founded expectations and assumptions about me based on the behaviours I have publicly exhibited over time, and are reasonably safe in basing guesses about my future behaviour on those observations they have made.
    This public identity is unitary and unique – the very word ‘identity’ seems to point to that. And this is as it should be : if we could not make reasonable guesses about the behaviour of the people with whom we interact, if we were totally unable to predict their actions and reactions, we’d be in a fine mess, now wouldn’t we?
    But it seems to me that the leap from this to discussion of integrity, accountability, and anonymity misses an important step. I am strongly drawn to the idea that we harbour a multiplicity of selves, of personas within us, any one or more of which may be our current interface to the world, rather than a single ‘identity’. I’m reminded of the quote from Antonio Tabucchi’s Pereira Declares Jonathon used back in February :

    Well, said Dr Cardoso, it means that to believe in a “self” as a distinct entity, quite distinct from the infinite variety of all the other “selves” that we have within us, is a fallacy, the naive illusion of the single unique soul we inherit from Christian tradition, whereas Dr Ribot and Dr Janet see the personality as a confederation of numerous souls, because within us we each have numerous souls, don’t you think, a confederation which agrees to put itself under the government of one ruling ego. Dr Cardoso made a brief pause and then continued: What we think of as ourselves, our inward being, is only an effect, not a cause, and what’s more it is subject to the control of a ruling ego which has imposed its will on the confederation of our souls, so in the case of another ego arising, one stronger and more powerful, this ego overthrows the first ruling ego, takes its place and acquires the chieftainship of the cohort of souls, or rather the confederation, and remains in power until it is in turn overthrown by yet another ruling ego, either by frontal attack or by slow nibbling away. It may be, concluded Dr Cardoso, that after slowly nibbling away in you some ruling ego is gaining the chieftainship of your confederation of souls, Dr Pereira, and there’s nothing you can do about it except perhaps give it a helping hand whenever you get the chance.

    I’m not sure if I’m willing to go all the way to ‘Confederacy of Souls’, but hopefully you see what I’m getting at here.
    Now, although I will grant that continuity is a principle of identity, I’m not sure that ‘identity’ is the scab we need to pick at here. Taking as seriously as I do the possibility that there may not be a singular me as much as a multiple one, AKMA’s connection from ‘identity’ to ‘integrity’ feels tenuous to me.

    I’d like to make a connection between “identity” and “integrity,” so that I can work with that stipulated continuity as a lever on ethical problems. […] That would go along very nicely, so that “integrity” could stand both for “morally reliable behavior” and “personal coherence.”

    It’s possible (or, given my track record, likely) that I am misunderstanding, here, in which case see! look at my ass hanging out there in the wind!, but, like Jonathon, the me-as-multiplicity explanation meshes better with my lived experience than any other. I am a boozy wild-eyed country-boy, yes, but I am a reasonably urbane univeristy professor as well. I am a tender and considerate husband, but a merciless opponent to those who attempt to harm to me or mine. I am an occasional misanthrope who donates to charities. (I am the wonderchicken!) I am a multitude, integrated better on some days than others.
    Am I displaying less ‘integrity’, in the sense that I think AKMA is using it, when one of those people that is me is temporarily to the fore, as opposed to another? For some people who know me there is more continuity, for example, in the ‘stavrosthewonderchicken’ persona, which first appeared on Metafilter in November 2000, than there is in the ‘Real Me’, the corporeal one, which has lived here in Korea since August 2001.
    Are these two people identical? No, not precisely. But then, none of the ‘souls’ swarming within me are coterminous at all points, either. There is overlap, there are spiky bits that stick out and poke you in the eye, if you’re not careful.
    The question becomes : is the ‘wonderchicken’ subsumed within the ‘real me’, and if so, which ‘me’, or vice-versa? Or is stavros just another of the continuous, predictable, real elements of myself, the one which is my primary interface to the web, in the same way that ProfessorMan is my primary interface to the world at work, and AngryGuy is my primary interface with people who try to f–k with me?
    The next question that pops up is : does the fact that I do not use the name that I was given by my parents, in my writing here and elsewhere make me ‘anonymous’ for the purposes of my interactions with people on the internet, in any real sense?
    I don’t feel that it does. Although AKMA is right to suggest that “we may want to take a few minutes to ponder whether pseudonymity doesn’t involve ethical hazards that we conceal when we take them for granted,” and to observe that pseudonymity opens a door for “the malevolent blogger who uses pseudonymity as a device for trolling, flaming, baiting, and generally propounding outrageously offensive codswallop†”, I suggest that these behaviours, like any others, would through their continuity over time lead to an ‘identity’ every bit as valid as the one that the Evil Blogger used in his or her real, corporeal, life.
    Of course no one would be listening by then. If an Evil Pseudonymous Blogger blogs on a website and there’s no one around to read it, does it still make a sound?
    † I’d just like to mention that I love the word codswallop. It sounds so dirty

    Blogroots is live

    I hope this turns out to be as interesting as I hope it will be. I’m not sure how it is meant to tie into the book, and I would be very disappointed if it has been created as a promotional tool.
    But, given the healthy lack of obsession with commercialism and the teen spirit evinced by the folks in charge, as far as I’ve seen, anyway, I suspect this will not be the case. I’ve been checking damn near daily to see what blogroots was going to be since I first heard about it, and I just found out it was up and running from a Metatalk post.
    *sigh*
    Ah well, I’m happy to have a new place to drone on endlessly about my ever-so-important ideas! Whee! Go go gadget codebase!