Science Fiction Virtual Reality:  Email




Index



Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Dennis Payne <dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu>

Thu, 05 Sep 1996 12:49 -0400

The Giant's Game

The Giant's Game is one of the things I disliked the most in EG. IMHO I don't know of an interface you could give it that would allow for the abilities of it without being VR. The game however isn't described that way. The game also preaty much requires an AI.

Child's Play

I frankly thought the kids were fairly realistic. The only thing that bothered me was the long term planing which I decided was because of his genetic engineering. That seems to be the same that Manic Frog said.

On to Hollywood

After seeing Barb Wire the other week I not sure there is much hope for Hollywood. I think the best way to handle the battle room is to change to a VR setup. That way you could computer graphics without having to make the perfect person. The movie will probably end up being closer to the short story (judging from the description given on the list since I haven't read it).

Stealing?

I'm not posting this to the newsgroup boothj suggested. Not because I dislike the idea of a newsgroup but because I dislike taking over a newsgroup. If you want a newsgroup get one created for it. Would you live in someone elses summer home simply because it's not being used?

Dennis Payne

dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Sick Boy <boothj@rpi.edu>

Sun, 08 Sep 1996

On Sep 5, 5:49pm, Dennis Payne wrote:

> Stealing?

> I'm not posting this to the newsgroup boothj suggested. Not because

> I dislike the idea of a newsgroup but because I dislike taking over a

> newsgroup. If you want a newsgroup get one created for it. Would you

> live in someone elses summer home simply because it's not being used?

hell yes. if it's not illegal and i'm not messing things up and they're not

using it, then i see nothing wrong with it. on a side note, i'm project

coordinator for the electronics club and we've never used the group in my

time...

hey webbj (or anyone who keeps tabs on usenet), tell us about the alt.bigfoot

takeover!

boothj

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Bankim J. Tejani <tejanb@rpi.edu>

Sun, 08 Sep 1996 12:13 -0400

On Sun, 8 Sep 1996, Sick Boy wrote:

> On Sep 5, 5:49pm, Dennis Payne wrote:

> > Stealing?

> > I'm not posting this to the newsgroup boothj suggested. Not because

> > I dislike the idea of a newsgroup but because I dislike taking over a

> > newsgroup. If you want a newsgroup get one created for it. Would you

> > live in someone elses summer home simply because it's not being used?

>

> hell yes. if it's not illegal and i'm not messing things up and they're not

> using it, then i see nothing wrong with it. on a side note, i'm project

> coordinator for the electronics club and we've never used the group in my

> time...

>

> hey webbj (or anyone who keeps tabs on usenet), tell us about the alt.bigfoot

> takeover!

>

> boothj

Illegal or not, it's still wrong to takeover a usenet group that's not yours. It's unethical, and I won't have any part of it.

Bankim J. Tejani # tejanb@rpi.edu # http://lotus.stu.rpi.edu/

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Class of 1999

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

"The eyes of truth are always watching you." -- Enigma

The Roots of Evil and Prejudice: a. Religion b. Apathy c. Humans

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jean-Etienne LaVallee <lavalj@rpi.edu>

Tue, 10 Sep 1996 23:48 -0400

tejanb wrote:

> Illegal or not, it's still wrong to takeover a usenet group that's not

> yours. It's unethical, and I won't have any part of it.

Don't breath my air then!

I didn't tell you you could, did I?

Sure I'm not using it right now, but that doesn't mean you can just go and breath it all up on me.

Get a bloody grip.

It's a solution.

More than you've offered.

Etienne

/__ /\ / ___/ /\ / |\/ __ /\ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

\ / / / /\ / / / /| |/ /\/ / / Jean-Etienne LaVallee /

/ / / __// / / / / / / / / / reply to: lavalj@rpi.edu /

/ / / /\ / / / / / / / / / / lavalle@cat.rpi.edu /

/____/____/_____/_____/_____/ / http://www.rpi.edu/~lavalj /

\ \ \ \ \ \ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"I'm a limitless person, living in a sadly limited world." - H.E.Ellison, "Levendis"

"All we're waiting for is something worth waiting for" - KMFDM, "DOGMA"

"I beat my machine, it's a part of me, it's inside of me"- NIN, "the becoming"

"Christmas IS carnage!!!" - Ferdinand the Duck, _Babe_

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Bankim J. Tejani <tejanb@rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 09:12 -0400

Jean-Etienne LaVallee wrote:

>

> tejanb wrote:

>

> > Illegal or not, it's still wrong to takeover a usenet group that's not

> > yours. It's unethical, and I won't have any part of it.

> Don't breath my air then!

> I didn't tell you you could, did I?

> Sure I'm not using it right now, but that doesn't mean you

> can just go and breath it all up on me.

> Get a bloody grip.

> It's a solution.

> More than you've offered.

> Etienne

>

Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

BTW: Air is free.

Bankim J. Tejani # tejanb@rpi.edu # http://lotus.stu.rpi.edu/

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Class of 1999

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

"The eyes of truth are always watching you." -- Enigma

The Roots of Evil and Prejudice: a. Religion b. Apathy c. Humans

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Agent Webb <webbj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 10:53 -0400

Bankim J. Tejani reported:

> Jean-Etienne LaVallee wrote:

> > Don't breath my air then!

> > I didn't tell you you could, did I?

> Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in

> class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't

> matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

>

> BTW: Air is free.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So are these newsgroups, champ.

Well, free with the purchase of tuition ;)

-Agent Webb-

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Dennis Payne <dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 12:30 -0400

> Anyhow ... I contend that Newsgroups which are not being used are in fact

> wasted disk space. We are optimizing the usage of that space. Do not

> try to bring a "real world" example into this, as I challenge its validity

> on the grounds that the net and the "real world" are two completely different

> entities. Think of the net as a commune, not as a privatized world.

> If you were living in a commune, and you had no room to sleep in, but someone

> else went on vactation, there would not be a problem for you to crash in

> the empty room, that is the purpose.

"Real world" example are very poor for most comparison with the net. However if you have a room with bathroom written on the door you don't expect to find Computer Science I to be taught inside. The reason newsgroups have names is so people know where to look for things. Now if you removed the bathroom sign and put Computer Science I that makes sense. The same applies in the net, however, users can't change the names and are forced to go through CIS (formerly ITS). After (or perhaps before) one must also get yourself removed from the mailing list which considering how long it took to remove one of mine :) No one has done this (and no I do not expect it to work).

Now why don't we just settle the arguement with we disagree and move onto discussions of class material.

Dennis Payne

dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu

payned@rpi.edu

PS mick I appear to be one the list only once now.

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Drathos <gruelk@rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 12:46 -0400

> that last line is no small matter. every class i've ever taught, i've

> had students say "the great thing about school is e-mail accounts are

> free." (three difference universitiues) ...

>

> this, of course, is unbelieveably UNtrue ... rest assured that we

> pay as much for access as your typical .com user -- the fees are simply

> buried in tuition, "student fees" and the like.

actually.. i must disagree with this... i personally have 4 accounts

that are completely free.. one of which is a commercial e-mail provider

(juno.com)...

> and, incidentally, we are subsidizing faculty e-mail usage ...

> unless they are charged user fees i don't know about. at Bowling

> green, this was not the case.

with all the money rpi is sapping from us? i should hope there's no

other fees...

,-----------------------------------------------------------------------.

| ///, //// |

| Drathos \ /, / / |

| (gruelk@rpi.edu) \ /, _/ / |

| \_ /_/ / |

| I watch the world go round and round \__/_ / |

| And see mine turning upside down /<<< \_\ |

| -Genesis (Throwing It All Away) /,)^>>_._ \ |

| (/ \\ /\\\ |

| May your way be green and golden... // ```` |

| ((` |

`-----------------------------------------------------------------------'

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Bankim J. Tejani <tejanb@rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 14:12:10 -0400 (EDT)

Jean-Etienne LaVallee wrote:

>

> tejanb wrote:

>

> > Illegal or not, it's still wrong to takeover a usenet group that's not

> > yours. It's unethical, and I won't have any part of it.

> Don't breath my air then!

> I didn't tell you you could, did I?

> Sure I'm not using it right now, but that doesn't mean you

> can just go and breath it all up on me.

> Get a bloody grip.

> It's a solution.

> More than you've offered.

> Etienne

>

Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

BTW: Air is free.

Bankim J. Tejani # tejanb@rpi.edu # http://lotus.stu.rpi.edu/

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Class of 1999

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

"The eyes of truth are always watching you." -- Enigma

The Roots of Evil and Prejudice: a. Religion b. Apathy c. Humans

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:23:12 -0400

> Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in

> class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't

> matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

Hmmm ... I think this totally depends on your perception of a newsgroup. Is it really something that someone "owns"? This to me, reeks of the "new wave" of attitude towards things netly. That is, let us use the same paradigms that we have in the "real world." (Which, IMO, blows so much chunks ... but hey.) No longer do people view the internet as a brave new world, but rather, something to be conqured and colonized. I mean, sure ... there are a lot of people who think that the net is some sort of frontier world, but they're just fooling themselves. It is like the "alternative craze" ... by the time it became a craze, it is by definition no longer alternative, so all the kids who got all punked out were just making fools of themselves - making mockery of the whole concept.

the net is like punk. it was something raw, full of energy and life, had philosphical paradigms that challenged those of the mainstream world. then some corporate fucks found out about it, and made the masses think they were being "cool" by joining it ... but the masses are a lot more easily entertained, so it watered down the product.

Anyhow ... I contend that Newsgroups which are not being used are in fact wasted disk space. We are optimizing the usage of that space. Do not try to bring a "real world" example into this, as I challenge its validity on the grounds that the net and the "real world" are two completely different entities. Think of the net as a commune, not as a privatized world. If you were living in a commune, and you had no room to sleep in, but someone else went on vactation, there would not be a problem for you to crash in the empty room, that is the purpose.

> BTW: Air is free.

IMO, the more the masses hold to the sorts of opinions as your other viewpoints, the shorter time it will be until the big corps start charging us for "air usage" or something wacky like that.

They'll monitor it with the microchips the CIA put in our brains and mark us with the UP

<<CALL CLEARED>>

fnord

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:24 -0400

webbj writes;

> BTW: Air is free.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So are these newsgroups, champ.

Well, free with the purchase of tuition ;)

--------

that last line is no small matter. every class i've ever taught, i've had students say "the great thing about school is e-mail accounts are free." (three difference universitiues) ...

this, of course, is unbelieveably UNtrue ... rest assured that we pay as much for access as your typical .com user -- the fees are simply buried in tuition, "student fees" and the like.

and, incidentally, we are subsidizing faculty e-mail usage ...

unless they are charged user fees i don't know about. at Bowling green, this was not the case.

so across the board, "the net is free" arguments, even for us .edu-ers, is nonsense.

i'd be happy to hear counter-statements; hell, i'dbe happy to learn somehow that i'm *wrong8* ...

mick@rpi

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Tony Mrazik <mrazia@rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:42 -0400

> Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in

> class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't

> matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

Actually the argument is like saying "If you aren't using your car can I borrow it?" I am not going to go through every message to find it, but Jesse has said that he is a part of the organization (project coordinator of the Electronics Club). Is it necessary to get the president of the club to say something? I don't think so. One of the buzzwords in industry the last few years has been empowerment, which, loosely defined, is taking it upon yourself to get something done that needs to get done.

Tony

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:50 -0400

> upon yourself to get something done that needs to get done.

which begs the question ...

did we settle the fact that this "needs" to get done? just out of curiosity, of the 43 people sybscribed to the class list, how many have contributed to this newsgroup?

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Agent Webb <webbj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:53:20 -0400 (EDT)

Bankim J. Tejani reported:

> Jean-Etienne LaVallee wrote:

> > Don't breath my air then!

> > I didn't tell you you could, did I?

> Your argument is like saying, "You're not using your car while you're in

> class, I'm going to take it." Anyway you put it it's theft. It doesn't

> matter if it's disk space on a server or a car, it's theft.

>

> BTW: Air is free.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So are these newsgroups, champ.

Well, free with the purchase of tuition ;)

-Agent Webb-

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:55 -0400

> so across the board, "the net is free" arguments, even for us .edu-ers,

> is nonsense.

Well, my counterarguement starts by saying that you are mixing up definitions and meanings for the term "free." I gave up a long time ago thinking that the net should be (monetarily) free. Being of the thought that gov't should stay the hell out of ppl's lives, it is hypocritical of me to think that the NSF should subsidizie the internet the way it does. Do I like paying money for something that I think should not cost anything ... no ... however, I realize that w/o some sort of cash, the net would not be able to exist. (on a side note, i think that once the big corps dig their claws in full bore, the prices will be gouged extraordinarily, but ....) ...

However, this is not the correct usage of "free" in a lot of "free net" arguements. The free is as in "freedom." Freedom to do, say, be, act, etc as and how you want. This was the root (pardon pun) of netiquette ... if I thought that jester@wizvax.net was being an ass, I could mail postmaster, or root@wizvax and let them know. Back in the day, SysAdmins cared about such things. Now they care about making $$$ (not true across the board, i know ... but a lot of the users i complain about come from the big ones ... AOL, compu$erve, MSN, etc).

So, the arguement that "this newsgroup is free" means more "free to use, as long as the 'proper users' do not seem to mind. If, say, the prez of the Electronics club sends a note to one of us, saying, "Leave our group" and we continue, we are being bad. Then, they could mail our sysadmins who would take care of us as they saw fit.

j

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 15:56 -0400

> how many have contributed to this newsgroup?

Roughly the same # that have contributed to the list w/ any sort of regularity. That is, it is the same # minus the poeple who had some sort of pretentious morality issue.

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:24:26 -0400

webbj writes;

> BTW: Air is free.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So are these newsgroups, champ.

Well, free with the purchase of tuition ;)

--------

that last line is no small matter. every class i've ever taught, i've had students say "the great thing about school is e-mail accounts are free." (three difference universitiues) ...

this, of course, is unbelieveably UNtrue ... rest assured that we pay as much for access as your typical .com user -- the fees are simply buried in tuition, "student fees" and the like.

and, incidentally, we are subsidizing faculty e-mail usage ... unless they are charged user fees i don't know about. at Bowling green, this was not the case.

so across the board, "the net is free" arguments, even for us .edu-ers, is nonsense.

i'd be happy to hear counter-statements; hell, i'dbe happy to learn somehow that i'm *wrong8* ...

mick@rpi

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:50:22 -0400

> upon yourself to get something done that needs to get done.

which begs the question ...

did we settle the fact that this "needs" to get done? just out of curiosity, of the 43 people sybscribed to the class list, how many have contributed to this newsgroup?

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:55:38 -0400

> so across the board, "the net is free" arguments, even for us .edu-ers,

> is nonsense.

Well, my counterarguement starts by saying that you are mixing up definitions and meanings for the term "free." I gave up a long time ago thinking that the net should be (monetarily) free. Being of the thought that gov't should stay the hell out of ppl's lives, it is hypocritical of me to think that the NSF should subsidizie the internet the way it does. Do I like paying money for something that I think should not cost anything ... no ... however, I realize that w/o some sort of cash, the net would not be able to exist. (on a side note, i think that once the big corps dig their claws in full bore, the prices will be gouged extraordinarily, but ....) ...

However, this is not the correct usage of "free" in a lot of "free net" arguements. The free is as in "freedom." Freedom to do, say, be, act, etc as and how you want. This was the root (pardon pun) of netiquette ... if I thought that jester@wizvax.net was being an ass, I could mail postmaster, or root@wizvax and let them know. Back in the day, SysAdmins cared about such things. Now they care about making $$$ (not true across the board, i know ... but a lot of the users i complain about come from the big ones ... AOL, compu$erve, MSN, etc).

So, the arguement that "this newsgroup is free" means more "free to use, as long as the 'proper users' do not seem to mind. If, say, the prez of the Electronics club sends a note to one of us, saying, "Leave our group" and we continue, we are being bad. Then, they could mail our sysadmins who would take care of us as they saw fit.

j

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:56:55 -0400

> how many have contributed to this newsgroup?

Roughly the same # that have contributed to the list w/ any sort of regularity. That is, it is the same # minus the poeple who had some sort of pretentious morality issue.

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Drathos <gruelk@rpi.edu>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 17:46:57 -0400 (EDT)

> that last line is no small matter. every class i've ever taught, i've

> had students say "the great thing about school is e-mail accounts are

> free." (three difference universitiues) ...

>

> this, of course, is unbelieveably UNtrue ... rest assured that we

> pay as much for access as your typical .com user -- the fees are simply

> buried in tuition, "student fees" and the like.

actually.. i must disagree with this... i personally have 4 accounts that are completely free.. one of which is a commercial e-mail provider (juno.com)...

> and, incidentally, we are subsidizing faculty e-mail usage ...

> unless they are charged user fees i don't know about. at Bowling

> green, this was not the case.

with all the money rpi is sapping from us? i should hope there's no other fees...

,-----------------------------------------------------------------------.

| ///, //// |

| Drathos \ /, / / |

| (gruelk@rpi.edu) \ /, _/ / |

| \_ /_/ / |

| I watch the world go round and round \__/_ / |

| And see mine turning upside down /<<< \_\ |

| -Genesis (Throwing It All Away) /,)^>>_._ \ |

| (/ \\ /\\\ |

| May your way be green and golden... // ```` |

| ((` |

`-----------------------------------------------------------------------'

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 20:17 -0400

> The reason newsgroups have names is so people know where to look for things.

Well, the thing here is that since everyone knows that the spin-off newsgroup for this list is rpi.union.electronics (or whatever it is), they don't have to go searching for it, right? And since no one else has posted to that group for an excessively long time, obviously they don't go searching for it either. Like i said, historically, the way things are found to be problems is if someone views their "personal space" being infringed and reports it to a higher authority. Kind of like one of the 17th century philosophs (the exact one eludes me ... locke?) who stated that government should have no authority except to step in when someone infringed upon the rights of another - but until that point, everyone had the right to do whatever they pleased. I contend that since no one seems to be using this newsgroup, there is no one who is having their rights infringed upon. Thus, we have the ultimate right to do as we please. If/When someone from the electronics club feels that their rights are being infringed upon, then it becomes inherently wrong for us to use their group.

> Now why don't we just settle the arguement with we disagree and move onto

> discussions of class material.

That would be cool if the issue was resolved, but there still seems to be content as to the validity of the newsgroup. Also, I didn't see you putting up any class-related ideas in that last message there, champ. not that i'm putting up any right now either, but i'm not trying to take the moral higher ground. i'm just slinging mud and loving it.

j

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 20:42 -0400

> putting up any class-related ideas in that last message there, champ

i guess i disagree with this premise. seems to me we're talking in class about virtual technologies and communications, and the effect of technology on social systems and power structures.

we're reading about it in the fiction. were *doing* it here online. it's already apparent that a select few in the class -- those most experieinced with and/or most comfortabe with the technology are either A) leading the discussion on the list or B) taking it to another forum entirely ...

this is technological elitism -- and there is utterly nothing wrong with that. if you got the skills, use'm to your best advantage to subvert the dominant paradigm. Isnt that part of the Hacker's Ethic? The Cyberpunk Code? Promote Decentralization? Information should be "free" (both definitions)?

This is partly skewed by the fact that the traditional "center" of the classroom, the instructor (David, and in a lesser sense, me) simply isn't taking part in the decision. At noe time has either of us said "You may not have a newsgroup" or "We will move from list to newsgroup" or anything in between. So what happens (from my perspective) is not a de-centering (democtratization or anacrchy) but a re-centering (from traditional teacher-centered control to leadership by the technoligcal elite.

Sort of like in _Neuromancer_ ...

or is it?

is it different somehow? Many hows?

Devil's advocating (or not),

mick@rpi

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Jester <gentrj>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 21:17:58 -0400

> The reason newsgroups have names is so people know where to look for things.

Well, the thing here is that since everyone knows that the spin-off newsgroup for this list is rpi.union.electronics (or whatever it is), they don't have to go searching for it, right? And since no one else has posted to that group for an excessively long time, obviously they don't go searching for it either. Like i said, historically, the way things are found to be problems is if someone views their "personal space" being infringed and reports it to a higher authority. Kind of like one of the 17th century philosophs (the exact one eludes me ... locke?) who stated that government should have no authority except to step in when someone infringed upon the rights of another - but until that point, everyone had the right to do whatever they pleased. I contend that since no one seems to be using this newsgroup, there is no one who is having their rights infringed upon. Thus, we have the ultimate right to do as we please. If/When someone from the electronics club feels that their rights are being infringed upon, then it becomes inherently wrong for us to use their group.

> Now why don't we just settle the arguement with we disagree and move onto

> discussions of class material.

That would be cool if the issue was resolved, but there still seems to be content as to the validity of the newsgroup. Also, I didn't see you putting up any class-related ideas in that last message there, champ. not that i'm putting up any right now either, but i'm not trying to take the moral higher ground. i'm just slinging mud and loving it.

j

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Mick Doherty <doherm>

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 21:42:10 -0400

> putting up any class-related ideas in that last message there, champ

i guess i disagree with this premise. seems to me we're talking in class about virtual technologies and communications, and the effect of technology on social systems and power structures.

we're reading about it in the fiction. were *doing* it here online. it's already apparent that a select few in the class -- those most experieinced with and/or most comfortabe with the technology are either A) leading the discussion on the list or B) taking it to another forum entirely ...

this is technological elitism -- and there is utterly nothing wrong with that. if you got the skills, use'm to your best advantage to subvert the dominant paradigm. Isnt that part of the Hacker's Ethic? The Cyberpunk Code? Promote Decentralization? Information should be "free" (both definitions)?

This is partly skewed by the fact that the traditional "center" of the classroom, the instructor (David, and in a lesser sense, me) simply isn't taking part in the decision. At noe time has either of us said "You may not have a newsgroup" or "We will move from list to newsgroup" or anything in between. So what happens (from my perspective) is not a de-centering (democtratization or anacrchy) but a re-centering (from traditional teacher-centered control to leadership by the technoligcal elite.

Sort of like in _Neuromancer_ ...

or is it?

is it different somehow? Many hows?

Devil's advocating (or not),

mick@rpi

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

David Porush <porusd@rpi.edu>

Thu, 12 Sep 1996 15:13 -0400

At 4:24 PM 9/11/96, Mick Doherty wrote:

Mick is definitely right about the Net NOT being free., except you all are not subsidizing faculty e-mail usage, except insofar as 80% of the university's operating budget comes out of your tuition in general.

They just keep faculty salaries reduced to cover the cost.

(-:

dp

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Brian Mardirosian <mardib@rpi.edu>

Fri, 13 Sep 1996 08:47:57 -0400

Let those that can't make the grade have

>the web and the other cheesy things ... that's all mind candy anyway.

>but don't ruin the rest of the place for us.

> On the other hand ... All those big graphics that the "little

>people" (to be pejorative) load up really slows down the backbones.

>Maybe it is just me, but despite us having a T3 here rather then the T1

>we had back when I was a freshman, everything seems a lot slower. There

>is a lot more in the way of "net lag" over "site lag" on anything you

>connect to. Oh well. I suppose we'll just have to deal.

> Then again, there is my very theoretical idea of having a new

>"internet worm" that would go through and destroy all the hardware for

>every ".com" address in existence. Besides the fact that it could never

>work out, I think its a noble quest. :)

Well, your type of people were the ones that had control of the Internet for quite some time. What happened? Obviously, you didn't care enough to stop the commercial rush and buzzword explosion, or at least guide the move so that it wouldn't interfere with your activities. The web is still a new environment; TVs weren't wonderful pieces of technology when they first were released. Instead of complaining and rolling your eyes at the whoel situation, get involved.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Brian Mardirosian (518)276-7317

EMAC major, CS minor mardib@rpi.edu

Rensselaer Poly. Inst. http://www.rpi.edu/~mardib

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Rat in the Hat <gentrj@rpi.edu>

Fri, 13 Sep 1996 14:38:06 -0400

> Well, your type of people were the ones that had control of

> the Internet for quite some time. What happened? Obviously, you didn't

J> care enough to stop the commercial rush and buzzword explosion

Hmmm ... well, I think "my kind" of people (what is this? Northern European mongrels? Americans? Net-Elitists?) ... tried .- remember the big todo about AOL "getting on the net" ... I see that as the utter start of the downfall. Imagine if we lived in a country where only about 1% of the p[opulation knew how to drive. Now, give keys and a car to the rest of the population without any sort of training whatsoever, and you get .... Blood on the Highway! That is akin to what happened. No matter what the "old fogies" wanted, there were too many people, too quickly .... once the big corps decided there was money to be made, a few nerdy computer scientists were going to stop them.

I remember my junior year of high school ... now 5 years removed. (or is it 6? I forget how to count) ... anyhow, two of my great loves at the time, computers/net stuff and punk rock were being invaded by mainstream america. They were being watered down and rehashed and all that other good stuff. I said to myself then, "It'll be okay ... 3 years from now people will have moved on - it can't get any worse then this" .... well, now "alternative music" is the norm and can refer to just about anyone who feels the desire, and we have the obvious problem s w/ the net. Isn't life ironic.

> The web is still a new environment; TVs weren't wonderful pieces of technology

Is the web really what we want though? I don't know about you, but I don't want mind candy on the net. If I wanted that, I'd watch tv. I use the net to learn and expand my mind. Looking at pretty pictures and other stuff is what people who are looking to be entertained do - but then again, we are the generation raised on TV. We all want to be entertained.

I wonder ... how visionary Gibson will be. A classmate noted that Gibson paid too much attention to brand names - "Hitachi this" "sony that" ... I noted that I always felt it was to create the mood. The megacorps had taken everything over. Everything is owned and copyrighted and controlled. Like the discussion in class about ownership of thoughts .... its getting bad now (and it can't get any worse, ha) .. imagine what things will be like 10 years from now if they continue. One thing that I didn't see noted in his book - perhaps becasue it wasn't as much of an issue then ... that is the legal system. Right now it is a joke and getting wore each day. If someone were to break in my house with the intent to do something bad (generally true of peopole breaking in), and I were to harm/kill/maim him in the act, they would be able to sue me for a lot of money - the precedent has been set already. Too many "frivoulous" law suits are abound, and in this PC day and age, everyone wins, except no one really does. I would like to know what Gibson would have described as the legal system of the day if he had so thought of it at the time. Or perhaps there isn't one anymore - maybe the corps have allthe justice under control. Maybe Sony copyrighted murder, and Aztechnology (for you shadowrun ppl) has exclusive rights to grand theft.

The web seems too much a tool of the man. Notice there was really no need for it until mainstream folks came on the net. They need entertainment from their good shephards. These are the kind of people who help to allow the sort of distopia found in Gibson's work, IMO.

j

Jeff Gentry jester@rpi.edu

RPI CompSci Senior http://www.rpi.edu/~gentrj

"Fifty years of programming language research, and we end up with C++."

* Unsolicited advertising will be proofread at the cost of US$5000/hr, *

* 4 hours min. Mailing of such will be taken as acceptance of these terms. *

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Fri, 13 Sep 1996 19:38:33 GMT

lavalj@rpi.edu (Jean-Eteinne LaVallee)

#ifdef ON_SOAP_BOX

>I remember my junior year of high school ... now 5 years removed.

>(or is it 6? I forget how to count) ... anyhow, two of my great

>loves at the time, computers/net stuff and punk rock were being

>invaded by mainstream america. They were being watered down and

>rehashed and all that other good stuff. I said to myself then, "It'll

>be okay ... 3 years from now people will have moved on - it can't get

>any worse then this" .... well, now "alternative music" is the norm and

>can refer to just about anyone who feels the desire, and we have the

>obvious problem s w/ the net. Isn't life ironic.

This happens to just about anything. It's a function of language really. We like to say certain phrases, the phrase passes through a particular segment of society for some reason or another and soon it gains momentum. For a brief period the phrase is only used by a few people and then people who aren't a part of the originating society pick the phrase up and it becomes the over used norm. Beavis and Butthead, Wayne and Garth, Bill and Ted are all excellent examples of this (my 50 year old, conservative, technical manager, father actually says "kicks ass" to mean "great" and he hates B&B).

This is actually a linguistic meme, or social construct. It happens to everything. And everthing usually falls out of it's meme fascination period. Look at pet-rocks, they're just stones...

The fact that his happened to the net is probably the best thing that could have happened. Think of the amount of Net tech that has been developed that benefits the Net community of "old farts" like you and I, jester. I still get away with some of the shit I used to do when I had a arpa/internet account that I "barrowed" from my father. It's just now some of those activities have greater reprocussions.

>Is the web really what we want though? I don't know about you, but

>I don't want mind candy on the net. If I wanted that, I'd watch tv.

>I use the net to learn and expand my mind. Looking at pretty pictures

>and other stuff is what people who are looking to be entertained do -

>but then again, we are the generation raised on TV. We all want to be

>entertained.

The Net is better than TV. Websurfing is a hell of alot better than watching TV, you get to choose the info you want to see when you want to see it. Ever done research paper sourcing on your TV? How about entering gradschool or applying for a job? Maybe even playing a game on TV with other living people? I've done all that in just the past week. The net is a reflection of the real world, but at the same time it's a subset of the real world. A subset we can manipulate and shape. It's like Never-Never Land and Play-Do and a Library all slamming together. And that has a shit-ton (what ever that is 8^) of potential beyond "sit-click-click-click" of the TV world.

>I wonder ... how visionary Gibson will be. A classmate noted that

>Gibson paid too much attention to brand names - "Hitachi this"

>"sony that" ... I noted that I always felt it was to create the mood.

>The megacorps had taken everything over. Everything is owned and

>copyrighted and controlled. Like the discussion in class about ownership

>of thoughts .... its getting bad now (and it can't get any worse, ha) ..

>imagine what things will be like 10 years from now if they continue.

I think Gibson saw Cyberspace as a construct of purely corporate influence and failed to notice that educational, private, and government influences would play just as big a role. This is actually understandable given that Neuromancer was written in the mid 80's age of meglo-corps. Look at GE and IBM and Exxon then, they were all huge and the foreign business infrastructure was starting to take a good dig into the world of industry. Sony will be around forever, because they go for every market they can get their technology into.

And it's still pretty similar today, I have a custom computer yeah, but the processor is Intel(c) and the video card is Matrox(c) and the monitor is Sony(c) and the mouse is Logitech(c), etc, etc. Someone has to make the technology, someone has to come up with the standards.

This follows a similar thread I've been watching in a few of the OS advocacy groups. The big debate is WindowsNT versus UNIX, which is better? There's alot of WinNT bashing here because it was made by Microsoft and they're too big an powerful a company to buy anything from, EVEN IF IT'S BETTER. And there's the arguement that UNIX is free and was developed by the computer community. This is true too, but that community took over 25 years to develope UNIX and it's still full of problems from archane interfaces to old standard support. WinNT took a third of that time to develope and serves the needs of everyone from power hungry programmers to domestic users to first timers. But it was developed for financial gain and that's obviously bad, no one should make money in this world...

>One thing that I didn't see noted in his book - perhaps becasue it wasn't

>as much of an issue then ... that is the legal system.

He does brush on this stuff with the Turing Police but it is underdeveloped and fuzzy, kinda like the InterPOL is today.

>The web seems too much a tool of the man.

Have you been checked out for paranoid schizophrenia? "A tool of the man"???? Who is oppressing you on the web? check out our friend boothj's page sometime. Looks like "TheMan" is leaving him alone.

>Notice there was really no

>need for it until mainstream folks came on the net. They need entertainment

>from their good shephards. These are the kind of people who help to

>allow the sort of distopia found in Gibson's work, IMO.

WHAT!!!!?????? I think corruption is the cause of Gibson's dystopia. Not the innundation of the masses into the Net. And what good shepard has given them their entertainment? Mark Andressen? NCSA's Mosaic development group? Yeah, those turds are "TheMan." I knew it. Geeks controlling everything, we're in trouble. Bring me back the beaurocrats and neophites of the FCC, these geeks are opressing me with their web technology.

CORRUPTION. The second oldest form of employment. And this has been going on for a long time on the Net. My dad tracks telephone phreaks and net service hackers. He's been doing it for over ten years. The types of guys who use C64's with 300 baud modems soldered to the joystick ports as a means to STEAL telephone service. So you and I can pay extra for it. And not just that, there's a reason credit card interest is 16% and it has nothing to do with "TheMan" trying to get more money out of us. THAT's where the dystopia in Neuromancer came from, just like the dystopia in westerns comes from. Always about the Billy the Kid's of the world trying to steal from a bank. It's the same idea. Neuromancer is actually very much a western style story. Case is a "cowboy" who works the illegal side of the data software world.

Corruption will be anywhere. The net had it before the mainstream folks hit and their arrival really hasn't done much to the occurance of it other than provide for more victims.

#endif

l8r,

Etienne

/__ /\ / ___/ /\ / |\/ __ /\ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

\ / / / /\ / / / /| |/ /\/ / / Jean-Etienne LaVallee /

/ / / __// / / / / / / / / / reply to: lavalj@rpi.edu /

/ / / /\ / / / / / / / / / / lavalle@cat.rpi.edu /

/____/____/_____/_____/_____/ / http://www.rpi.edu/~lavalj /

\ \ \ \ \ \ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"I'm a limitless person living in a sadly limited world." - H.E.Ellison, "Levendis"

"All we are waiting for is something worth waiting for." - KMFDM, "DOGMA"

"I beat my machine, it's a part of me, it's inside of me." - NIN, "the becoming"

"Christmas IS carnage!!!" - Ferdinand the Duck, _Babe_

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Tony Bartling <bartla@rpi.edu>

Sun, 15 Sep 1996 06:54:44 -0400

Listen, guys, I hate to be a jerk here, since this _is_ an open forum, but it also is an open forum with a direct relationship to a class. As much as Prof. Porush loves to go on tangents in class, I don't think that it is necessary to this degree in the mailing list/newsgroup/whatever happens. I mean, let's face it: it's just plain annoying to get 70 messages every time you check your e-mail.

Sorry to whine,

--Tony

[return to message index]


Re: Ender's Game and Newsgroup

Rat in the Hat <gentrj>

Sun, 15 Sep 1996 14:51 -0400

> EVEN IF IT'S BETTER.

Well, you'd havea good arguement, Etienne, if Microsoft could ever make something that actually was better then UNIX. Write back to me when they have. I got NT 4.0 and it still does not compare to a good ride through a UNIX box. Ahhhh the joy. Of course, I've never been big on GUIs, and I never liked the Mac (and therefore the MS) GUI much, so it has a big downer going for it in my book off the top.

> He does brush on this stuff with the Turing Police but it is

For once, I must agree w/ Mr. Payne ... I think that one point that Gibby was trying to make was that unless you screw w/ the corps somehow (which would bring their own hired guns, the Turing Police,etc) ... you're pretty much on your own. Its a dark future, boyz and girlz.

> Have you been checked out for paranoid schizophrenia?

No, i'm afraid of the results. :)

> check out our friend boothj's page sometime. Looks like "TheMan" is

leaving him

> alone

(doh, sorry about the >80 column there) ... I don't really want to tell stories that Mr. Booth may not want public, but suffice it to say that his page was oppressed by "the man" ... several men, actually, wait no, that was .... i sense a great disturbance in the forcse.

> Re: corruption vs. the unwashed masses getting on the net

You are right about Corruption, Etienne. But in the case of the net, I contend that this is a chicken/egg thing. The unwashed masses getting on gave the power to the geeks in charge, and thus brought the ability for corruption to ensue.

In this case, (pardon the pun), i'm referring to the big corporations (who thus have world governments in their pockets), as "the man" ... not necessarily, say, the US Gov't. I mean, come on ... do you really think that the reason private en cryption was close to being banned has to do with Terrorism? Do you really thnk that there is enough "porn" on the net to steal away our kids to prostitution or something? Of course not. But they are good ways for those w/ power to pass laws to keep those out of power further out. haves and have nots. That is the root of so many wars throughout history it is not even funny. The other biggie is nationalism, but that doesn't really apply here.

Sure phreaks were stealing phone service, and kids were logging on to the highspeed university machines (1200 baud! woohoo!) illegally ... But, as you've noted - this thing has always gone on. Granted, an arguement could be made (and i'd prolly agree) that today's society is a distopia - but, most would say that we're doing fine. Therefore, something greater must have gone on to change that.

Look at all the big "cesspools" of countries - Russia in the early 20th century, Germany a few years later, France at the end of the 18th century .... were those situations caused by peasents stealing bread from the nobles - thus making bread more expensive? No, they were caused by the nobles (in Germany's case, the nobles are the WWI allies) not giving any bread at all to the peasants, thus forcing them to steal until they got soo pissed off that they had to overthrow.

Corruption on the part of the "little people" is only going to be around when the "big people" do not satisfy their needs. Corruption on the part of the "big people" will always be around (power corrupts ...), and thus the needs of the "little poeple" will never be met, and thus, there will always be corruption across the board.

j

[return to message index]




© 1996. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. All rights reserved.
Class web site created Fall 1996 by:
Ted Cooper, Brian Mardirosian, Tony Mrazik, and Sarah Takatani.