Re: Guest Post: Step Away From The Internet

1

Couldn't get past the headline.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:28 AM
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Anyhow I think I've mentioned before that prior to spending a ton of my time online I 1) read sci-fi books constantly and 2) was I think thirteen years old or younger, so although I am nominally of the prime get-off-my-lawn generation my actual experience with the omnipresence of electronic chattering is closer to that of the kids these days.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:31 AM
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Shame on me for wasting time writing short declarations of what I am doing and sharing pictures of my kid with people I am in tenuous contact with; I should do this once a year at Christmas and instead waste my time watching Who's the Boss? and Magnum P.I., the way God intended.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:32 AM
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There's no need to insult Magnum P.I. just because your feeling are hurt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:33 AM
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Nothing on earth will make me watch that video. I do sort of think that internet stuff is not particularly good for me -- I'm very vulnerable to "just one more" kind of thinking, and to checking and rechecking for new content in various places that might have generated some since the last time I looked. But it's probably mostly competed with reading novels, rather than anything more productive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:34 AM
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I'm trying to think when I first got access to Usenet, and I think the answer may be 1993. Egad.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:34 AM
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5 is me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:35 AM
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Especially the checking and rechecking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:36 AM
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5 is sort of me, but I've gotten so incredibly much out of the internet that it seems like a net positive. My books never joked back with me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:36 AM
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Oh my lord. I did hit play on the video. Is the whole thing in doggerel? Any length whatsoever would be tl;dw.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:36 AM
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If Thomas Magnum wants me to treat him with more respect, he should have either given me a ride on his helicopter or accepted my friend request.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:37 AM
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re: 2

Yeah, I started using BBSs and the like fairly heavily from age 17, because I worked for a small IT contractor that also ran a BBS and provided internet services. In other, 'get off my lawn' stuff, I also remember installing a web server but not being sure what it'd be good for.* And installing the first version of Linux.

I don't think the internet makes any difference to my social interactions, and if it does, it's positive. I tweet or communicate on Facebook with people I've known for decades, but who I can't see often because we live in different countries.

I do sort of buy the idea that the internet has buggered up [slightly] my ability to concentrate for long periods, though.

* I'd have sworn it was 1991, but wiki says that wouldn't really be possible, as the first non-CERN sites were after that. It was definitely no later than October 1992, though, as that's when I stopped working for that company and went off to be a philosophy student.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:37 AM
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6: I just checked the usenet archive and there are (reasonably embarrassing) posts from me from January 1993, so I think I'm correct in thinking I first got on usenet in 1992. My first email address was I think late '91 or early '92, but I was counting BBSs in 2.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:40 AM
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9: Yeah, specifically this place has accounted for an awful lot of the fun I've had over the last decade. My life is largely work, you guys, and family, and you guys fit better into interstitial bits of time than full-size friends in the real world would have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:41 AM
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In other, 'get off my lawn' stuff, I also remember installing a web server but not being sure what it'd be good for.*

I remember trying to convince the law firm where I worked (where "worked" means "often failed to show up and took naps in the storage room until they fired me") in IT in summer '92 that they should get on the internet. They did not so much find my pitch convincing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:42 AM
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OP:1, 2 , 6
Comment: 5


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:43 AM
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1992 was when I first saw a website: I remember it being displayed in a booth at the Edinburgh Science Festival (it was a stage by stage frog dissection, downloading very slowly due to being image-heavy) and thinking "hmm, an amusing little toy but I can't see it being of any serious use" which in retrospect is right up there with "the aeroplane and the tank will in warfare at best be nothing more than adjuncts to the man and the horse" and my only excuse is that I was a fourteen-year-old kid and not the Chief of the French General Staff.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:43 AM
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I'm not going to watch that video... I can tell you are trying to Rick Roll me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:44 AM
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Anyhow needless to say spending time on the internet has been absolutely crippling to my social and romantic and professional lives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:45 AM
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17: wait, what? NCSA Mosaic didn't get released until '93.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:46 AM
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I was a fourteen-year-old kid and not the Chief of the French General Staff.

New sitcom idea: Doogie Foch


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:46 AM
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I probably saw my first website in 1994 or 95? I think it was before I left for college. I sent my first email in college, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:46 AM
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My undergrad school was only giving email addresses to a select few, but when I went to study abroad, the school in the U.K. gave me an email address and usenet access. I only knew one person in the U.S. with an email address, so I didn't correspond much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:48 AM
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I don't remember seeing my first website, but first email was in 1989. They brought a class of us 8th graders to check out the high school computer facilities, gave us all addresses on the VAX machine, and we spend the better part of an afternoon emailing dirty jokes to each other. It was mind blowing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:49 AM
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20: really? Maybe 1993, then. (It would have been April; that's when the science festival is.) It was pretty early on in the web: I remember they had a list of only about 10 websites that you could choose to view.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:54 AM
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I'm pretty sure that I managed to waste about as much time pre-internet as I do now.

My attention span might have decreased a bit, but overall I think the intertubes have been a net positive.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:55 AM
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And one of them was herpy.net.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:56 AM
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27 to 25.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:56 AM
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Back before the internet I use to hang out in the library and read a shit-ton of magazines. So I've always been into short-form content, now I just get it more efficiently.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:58 AM
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25: it was under development in 1992, so maybe they were showing an unreleased beta version or something. That would square with the only ten websites thing; within months of the release there were orders of magnitude more than that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:59 AM
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The first time I actually saw the internet (as in, both learned about its existence and saw somebody using it) was during the first gulf war, when my friend was ircing with people in Israel while they were got scuds launched at (well, vaguely near) them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:00 AM
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||

Jesus fuck, will somebody please go and kill these bastards.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:03 AM
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When I set up that web server, it was literally a case of our technical director [big title for a firm that only had 4 staff] came and said, 'We should find out about this web thing they've come up with at CERN'. We already ran a BBS, and a Gopher service, and provided a usenet gateway to our clients. I don't think we did anything with it other than put up a placeholder home page, which may not even have been public. It didn't seem to offer anything over Gopher which we also tried at the same time, or a few months earlier.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:09 AM
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30: that would make sense, I suppose. And explain why it was on display at a science festival...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:11 AM
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I'm curious as to the extent that Boko Haram is armed with weapons and ammunition from Qaddafi's old stockpile.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:15 AM
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I am able to go offline, sometimes for extended periods, so I'm not convinced it's addictive. Gives me very reinforcing interactions of a kind that would have been hard to come by before.

My father would have adored the internet, sites such as this one would have been an enormous blessing to him, surrounded as he was by so much indifference and incomprehension, to the range of his interests and what he had to say about them.

There was a dos-based version of aol, not upgraded after about 1995, but still operating for some years. It permitted the 386 laptop I had to use, inter alia, usenet. Dialup.

I had a T1 line and fairly advanced pc at work, and used the web from there in the late nineties.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:15 AM
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A few months ago I thought to reconnect with someone I "knew" via a usenet group starting in '90. It was a pretty good group, as these things go, but she always stood head and shoulders above the rest for being knowledgable about the topic, a good writer, clever, and capable of occasionally being quite affecting with her writing. We just had a brief exchange, but it was nice to say hello to someone again after all that time and space.

Which is to say, (1) from the OP.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:16 AM
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20: I still remember going into one of the computer labs in early '93 (IIRC between spring break and Spring Carnival) and there was Mosaic sitting on the desktops. It's funny, I don't recall any of the first websites I saw, except for a vague image of photos on a kelly green background. No idea what the photos were (exotic animals and/or places?), but I can picture that green.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:18 AM
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Before the internet, say during the first Gulf War, I used shortwave radio as my alternative, out-of-the-cocoon news source.

Which has essentially vanished, at least in the old analog spectrum, due to the internet. After about seventy years of performing that function.

I knew people who had listened to German broadcasts during the war, just to get outside the bubble--well aware that it was counter-propaganda, just looking for perspective.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:20 AM
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5 also describes me, but I find it really does get in the way of work. The power went out a few days ago, and it was my most productive few hours in a long time, and it motivated me to download this program, which basically cuts off your internet access for the length of time you specify.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:20 AM
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This video comes at a particularly unpersuasive time for me, as last night I was working on a frustrating problem and feeling very bad about myself for not being able to make progress, so I posted a whine it in the Other Place (so much for "curated" online presence), and then a friend found me on Google Talk and very kindly reassured me that she's a professional in the field and the reason why I was having trouble is that this problem is Hard, and here are a few things I could try to get around it.

It was exactly what I needed, and there was no way I could have gotten that kind of reassurance that quickly (or really, at all) without online social media. I would have just felt bad for a while, and then buried the thought.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:23 AM
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I faintly recall that we called them "bulletin boards" at CMU, but they were actually usenet groups, and the more serious geekscomputer scientists would try to correct people, but no one cared. Everyone was issued an email on arrival (and had been since, I dunno, '87? Maybe earlier?), and more or less everyone used the computing facilities, so the hard core users were a distinct minority.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:25 AM
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Dammit


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:26 AM
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I used the internet at my dad's college when I must have been 11 or 12. I would print things out there and bring them in to school because almost no one else had access to it.

The worst thing about the browser that came with Windows 3.11 (what was it called? WinWeb?) was that there was not a clue as to whether a website was still loading, or had stopped mid-loading, or didn't exist, or what.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:27 AM
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(This is a friend who would never have been a close friend - or really a friend at all - if not for extended social media usage.

Then this morning another friend answered the question more directly.)

Folks here might be able to help with it too, now that I think of it. The problem is that every single internet thing I try to do through my Mac's UNIX Terminal breaks. I understand that this has something to do with "ports", and that I'm supposed to be using a different port from the default ones because my ISP blocks some of those, but I don't really understand what this means and how to fix it.

Is one of these going to help me understand the problem?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:27 AM
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The problem is that every single internet thing I try to do through my Mac's UNIX Terminal breaks.

Can you tell us what actual commands you're running? (You don't need to say what sites you're trying to reach or anything, just whether it's telnet or ssh or wget or whatever.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:31 AM
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Played Zork before there was a Zork II

Was on Compuserve for at least a decade, mostly downloading bullshit from ? washington.edu ? Spent some years trying to sideways off Comp to command-line messing around. Tried to get to Taiwan which had good files. Nothing illegal, there wasn't much legal to steal. More like 'c' and assembly libraries;unix for dos, perl

I remember Gopher, and something text-menu starting with a "W" that I can't find on Wiki...like "Whosis" ?

Joined the Internet Chess Server as it opened Jan 1992, and remember the move to Carnegie in July. quit ICC summer after 9/11. Got one game out of thousands worth looking at, beat an IM with a wild 2 knights. And maybe a Schleimann where I got two rooks to white's 2nd rank ('b') pretty early in the game. Okay, and the one where I sacrificed Q and both rooks to mate with knight and bishop, but that was just a combination.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:32 AM
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I may have been more interested in BBSes if I'd had a connection fast enough to put words on the screen more quickly than I could read them back in 1991-2. I was interested in programming a bit earlier than that but didn't connect to networks.

By college I wasn't especially interested in computers for anything social except the occasional email. I had some classes that set up usenet groups for discussion instead of listservs. I didn't get into the social internet until 2004 and blogs. Coincidentally, I started reading more non-book stuff around then (magazines, Slate, etc. for about a year before looking for blogs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:34 AM
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Internet grumpusness to tcp problems in fifty comments. Nice. On the original topic, I think some things are getting run together. There are such clear and huge benefits to being online and being comfortable socializing online. But if you don't often want to shout at people with their heads buried in their phones, it's likely that you need to get your head out of your phone--there's a lot of too-much/not-here with the internet and smartphones.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:36 AM
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Surprisingly on topic, this video of Netanyahu.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:37 AM
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re: 45

Yeah, what 46 said. There are some quite techy people here, so it will probably be an easy (hubris!) fix.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:38 AM
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47.3 - WAIS.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:39 AM
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My sister has no internet because she gets enough of it at work an because she has two young boys. It is remarkable how nice it feels to be at her house. Having the entire option removed and everyone present feels great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:45 AM
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I guess I also used my dad's connection to work to play Go through the terminal on some UNIX system in the 80s. I used telnet to search library catalogs and magazine databases from about 1993 to 2003 when telnet access got turned off.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:46 AM
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Don't you get internet through your phone regardless?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:46 AM
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On my flip phone? Nope. (The two young boys are relevant because there is an entire class of argument she doesn't want to have, and no internet removes them all.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:50 AM
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Our young boy gets homework assignments that require the use of the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:53 AM
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I managed to watch the whole video, with a bit of forwarding through a few parts. The moral is, if you use Google Maps to get around, you'll miss meeting the love of your life?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:53 AM
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Don't you get internet through your phone regardless?

Since the work I'm doing is on my laptop, not having net access on the laptop seems to be sufficient distraction killer. Having the phone available actually makes it easier to turn it off on the laptop--it's there if I need it! But not calling to me in quite the same way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:57 AM
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The moral is, if you use Google Maps to get around, you'll miss meeting the love of your life? get routed through really sketchy parts of town that you'd probably best avoid?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:03 AM
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I have such a ridiculous schedule, the only way I can really connect with anyone is through the internet. I would be so isolated if I was only able to rely on in-person communications.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:06 AM
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Obligatory:

1. The guy who went off the internet for a year and found it just as easy to schlub around and neglect friendships in other ways.

2. The geographic and/or parental barriers so many kids have in connecting with peers outside of school or internet:

When I arrived at Sabrina's house at the edge of a picture-perfect cul-de-sac in this idyllic community, I casually remarked how odd it was that no one was outside. She looked at me strangely and asked me where they would go. I knew that, at fourteen, she didn't have a driver's license, so I asked her if she ever biked around the neighborhood. She told me that doing so was futile because all her friends lived at least ten miles away.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:09 AM
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Been trying to find my second computer ( spent some time with a mainframe in 1971) at Wiki.

Boss was Australian who had to back and forth for immigration reasons; imported silk stuff; spent like a madman and went bankrupt three times in the 70s. Fucking just had to have a mini for inventory and accounting cause they were cool. Also a live telex. And a Carrera

IBM, floppy, no display typed directly to printer. 1973 or 74.

Also had access to a IBM 51XX series in the mid-late 70s, which is what we played Zork on. 5 inch display.

$11k-$20k in 1970s dollars. Insane.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:10 AM
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My dad had an IBM System 6, but I wasn't allowed to touch it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:12 AM
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49: I was just telling Blume the other night (VSOOBC!) about a friend of my parents from their commune days who was something of a trendsetter on that score, in that she was known to pick up a book from a side table and start reading it notwithstanding the fact that she was in the middle of a conversation with invited dinner company sitting in her living room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:17 AM
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Personal internet history: Nothing until college in 1988, when I got my first email address and could do things like find out if friends at other colleges were online. Read Usenet some (although not, I think, until I left MIT, I think I noticed it as interesting first at U of C) but hardly posted anything. Left for Samoa in November 1992, and was very puzzled that Newsweek in either 1993 or 1994 suddenly had a Neat Internet Things graphic in each issue, because I couldn't figure out why anyone who wasn't a hardcore nerd would have heard of the Internet.

Got back from the PC and spent a year and a half doing admin work at Time Inc. which involved having internet access, but was unclear on the point -- I don't think I had an email account, and there wasn't much that I was finding that I was interested in. I didn't really start communicating with people I didn't already know online until maybe 2000 or so? I'm not sure exactly when, but I was already working as a lawyer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:21 AM
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I managed to watch the whole video, with a bit of forwarding through a few parts

something hilarious about a VIDEO about the benefits of proper old-fashioned analogueness. "Why can't we all watch authentic, handcrafted television?"


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:23 AM
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I did finally watch that fucking video last night because so many people had linked to it, and then had to go round commenting on each of them about how shit it was. My teenage daughters said, "who the fuck would walk with a stranger to show him the way? if he's wandering around not knowing where he's going he's probably an idiot and to be avoided". FFS. Being incompetent will lead you to meet the love of your life? Supposing there was someone much better for you in the comment section of an eclectic web magazine and you just IGNORED her??????


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:24 AM
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67 - why not a fucking puppet show? And travel round from village to village putting it on?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:26 AM
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Yes, it really annoyed me.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:26 AM
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Puppets fucking is pretty much always hilarious, it's true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:27 AM
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47 Played Adventure before it was Adventure, so there. (And Zork, for that matter.)

Was on the "internet" when it was the Arpanet and before TCP/IP. I like to read (like Sifu Tweety in 2), and always have. I also like being in social groups but I don't seek them out the way a true extrovert would. I couldn't stand to actually listen to the video, but if the internet quiets down noisy extroverts a bit I'm all in favor of it.

If I wasn't on the net right now I'd be working reading a book, most likely.

I think heebie should copyright "offalawnism."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:34 AM
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65: I was famous for going to parties and reading something off the bookshelf. I don't think I ever did that in a dinner party setting. Or at least, not in the same anti-social way - admiring one's friend's bookshelves and leafing through a volume or two isn't anti-social per se.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:38 AM
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I'm very vulnerable to "just one more" kind of thinking, and to checking and rechecking for new content in various places that might have generated some since the last time I looked.

Looking through the Jim Henley twitter page made me very glad that I haven't gotten into twitter -- because I would find it unbelievably distracting. I'd see a line like, "Just cause Kirsty MacColl died doesn't mean anyone can just take her place. It's not that simple." and it would get stuck in my head for the rest of the afternoon.

But it's probably mostly competed with reading novels, rather than anything more productive.

Reading novels sounds much more productive than playing civ, for example.

... you guys fit better into interstitial bits of time than full-size friends in the real world would have.

That is moderately true for me as well, but I remember Megan making this as an argument for getting away from the internet -- that's it's just good enough to be a replacement for having a circle of RL friends, but that most people would be happier with RL friends.

I like the fact that this place does count as a weird amorphous group of friends, but I do have occasional days when I wonder if that's good for me.

Personal internet history:

Messed around on BBSs some in HS, but mostly for door games -- I never thought of them as a social outlet and wasn't really online until college. The two internet groups that I first got really attached to were both related to tabletop role-playing games (one mailing list, one usenet group). When I went to college I mostly stopped gaming and I missed it, and reading smart people writing about gaming was comforting. In both cases I just lurked, and it never would have occurred to me to join in.

waste my time watching Who's the Boss? and Magnum P.I., the way God intended.

Obligatory xkcd (particularly the hovertext).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:39 AM
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Reading novels sounds much more productive than playing civ, for example.

This is the wrongest thing on the whole internet that wasn't put up by somebody in the pay of Putin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:40 AM
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... if you use Google Maps to get around . . .

I'm sure I've linked to this before.

A study conducted in Tokyo found that pedestrians exploring a city with the help of a GPS device took longer to get places, made more errors, stopped more frequently and walked farther than those relying on paper maps. And in England, map sales dropped by 25 percent for at least one major printer between 2005 and 2011. Correlation doesn't prove causation--but it's interesting to note that the number of wilderness rescues increased by more than 50 percent over the same time period. This could be partly because paper maps offer those who use them a grasp of geography and an understanding of their environment that most electronic devices don't. In 2008, the president of the British Cartographic Society, Mary Spence, warned that travelers--especially drivers--reliant on electronic navigation gadgets were focusing mainly on reaching a destination without understanding quite how they got there. And Tom Harrison, a cartographer in California, told me recently in an interview that he feels digital technology usually does a clean job of directing travelers where they want to go--but without quite showing them where they are.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:44 AM
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I do still think that the internet is just good enough to prevent people from making the effort to get real life interactions that would sustain them a lot more.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:46 AM
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I'd say the difference is that with a paper map I work out a route first, while looking at Google maps I head vaguely in the right direction and check if I'm going wrong every so often.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:47 AM
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That seems the opposite of the way I use my phone when I use it to navigate, at least locally. I often don't know where I am exactly (or at all), but once I know where I am, I will pick my own route. I never follow the turn-by-turn directions in my own area.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:47 AM
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79 to 76.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:48 AM
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81

Megan, stop trying to contaminate us with your extroverted, "fun"-having priorities.

I just went out (this was the R7 outing) with some of my closest high school friends, and noted to the wife that not only would my paths not cross with any of them these days, if we didn't already know each other, but it's actually unlikely that we'd become friends (Unf excepted) if our paths did cross. Kind of a sad thought.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:53 AM
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I was living off the Bayswater Road in 1986, and the newsagents on Queensway stocked *everything* including BYTE which I would read without understanding the same way that I read all sorts of strange things. And that had a column of stuff exerpted from their conferencing system (bix?) full of people talking about stuff about which I had no fucking clue (I remember superb puzzlement at the word malloc and thinking it was probably some lost piece of Tolkein furniture). But there was something about the tone of those conversations, the unmediated urgency, that fascinated me. And the Independent had a hot shit IT department, which gave us all email addresses, with bang paths, by about 1987. So by 1988 at the latest I was dialling into The Well from the office.

I remember following the attempted coup against Yeltsin over the internet somehow in ?1991 and writing something about it. And telneting into info.cern.ch and wondering what exactly was the point, but seeing there was really going to be a point to it sometime.

It is extraordinary sometimes to reread what I wrote then, when you had to spend the first 400 words of any article explaining that computers could in fact talk to each other down telephone lines.

But I don't think I have been part of any properly organised grouping for a while except perhaps this one. And even here I am mostly an intermittent lurker. I just fear Facebook would eat my life if I let it; and I do think that spending a lot of time online has damaged my capacity for sustained concentration.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:57 AM
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"All sorts of strange things" - I also find American bow hunting magazines irresistible.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:58 AM
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Heh. I am far less extroverted than I used to be. But a old friend has moved close (two houses down) and having her over is great. Now four of the six of us from college are here. If I can just get one of the other two here, I bet the holdout would capitulate. Why does he need a career anyway? His wife is a doctor.

(Oh. I wrote that without quite thinking, but it is Anand, so maybe you wouldn't mind being in the same grouping as him, Ogged.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:59 AM
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It's not really what people think of when they think of the internet, but the shift from phone culture to email/texting culture is a huge improvement in my life. I don't enjoy speaking to anyone on the phone other than my parents and my sister (at various times I've had one or two friends in that category, but there's no one there now). Other than that, I don't mind speaking to people on the phone for work, but it is never a pleasurable interaction, and now I don't have to do it any more.

Something about talking to people without seeing their faces sucks all the pleasure out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:59 AM
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83: I'm with you there. We don't subscribe to Outdoor Life any more, but I kind of miss it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:02 AM
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You have all already reacted to this because time zones.

I could maybe use a behavior modification program to cut down on my use of the phrase "I mean." Though yesterday someone linked to an article about why people shouldn't use the world "so" and I got cranky about it since human language use does involve filler words.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:02 AM
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86: It's the kind of thrill you get from wondering "What would it be like to care about that stuff?"


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:03 AM
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Sometimes I edit comments here to take the filler words out. More than half the time, I look at the edited version and think "That's not exactly what I meant" and put them back in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:04 AM
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88: Right. It's a whole world of passionately interested people with factions and gear and traditions. And then you realize, or at least are reminded, that rockhounds, and doll collectors, and hackysack obsessives (maybe not the hackysack guys, I don't know if they exist) all have their own worlds, and they're all out there happily bickering about hammers and gravity-operated eyelids and side-kick technique.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:07 AM
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85, definitely. I hate speaking to people on the phone, except close family, and, if I'm honest, not even really then. And I'm a fairly social person, generally.

We now live near several friends, for the first time in several years, and one of those friends is about to move even closer to us [not to be near us, it's coincidental], so that there'll be three families within about 100 metres. It's pretty great.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:13 AM
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I used to read drumming magazines, even though I'm not a drummer. Partly because, in the late 80s, the writing for Rhythm was pretty good. But also, because it was a way of reading about music from a perspective that was completely alien to my own.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:14 AM
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77: I think there's a lot of objective evidence for this. E.g. I'm pretty sure high internet use correlates with depression, high in-person interaction with friends correlates with good health and longevity. Of course it can be a selection effect, with misfits seeking out the internet and tall, attractive people with gleaming smiles seeking out real-life friends. Possibly the misfits were even worse off before the internet.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:15 AM
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Nothing until college in 1988, when I got my first email address and could do things like find out if friends at other colleges were online

College is a good place to spend your time fingering your friends.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:18 AM
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I want a random magazine service that sends me a vaguely special interest magazine once a month. One month it's Vogue, next month it's Wired, month after that is some birding magazine, then a philately one, and so on. I love dipping into odd little interest groups I know nothing about.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:20 AM
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Predictably, the moment I most wanted to throw my laptop through the window* was the one that was like "and then spending time on the internet will keep you from having BAYBEEZ."

*and then run weeping into the street to grab it, comfort it, and nurse it back to health so I could resume making soulless love to it as my pathetic substitute for dancing in the rain or whatever it is people do.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:22 AM
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Obviously, obviously me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:22 AM
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full-size friends

HEY.

No, I'm kidding. I'm not THAT sensitive.

I think the reason this horrible video poked at me a little, btw, is that twice in two weeks people I chat with fairly regularly and never see in real life were dicks to me in slightly psychotic ways, and I had that feeling of "wait, do I even know you people?" and thought seriously about reducing my time online. Ok not seriously but with a certain urgency.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:26 AM
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And Tom Harrison, a cartographer in California, told me recently in an interview that he feels digital technology usually does a clean job of directing travelers where they want to go--but without quite showing them where they are.

This seems totally bizarro world. I mean, the one thing GPSes do well, that paper maps alone can't do, is tell you exactly where you are. Conversely, if you know where you are, you're almost certainly better off with a paper map to get where you're going, unless you're in an urban area.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:34 AM
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And now I will make soulless love to this comment thread.

But yeah, 77 is my fear. And then 90 makes me feel better.

My internet biography is like...Vic 20 at some age or other (hence my neato skeeto Basic joke in the OP), Zork, email in 1991, obsessive IRC for a few years which really was kind of compulsive and bad and uninteresting, LiveJournal where I met some really good friends, opera blog 2005-2010 or something, compulsive facebook posting, this place...etc.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:38 AM
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99: in this country there is viewranger, which gives you ordnance survey maps on your phone. That seems to me the perfect cross over, until the beetroots run out. Beetroots may be the finest auto typo for batteries in history


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:41 AM
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But those people in 90 are happiest when they get to bicker in person. That's why they have shows.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:42 AM
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re: 99

No, I know what he means. I pulled off the M40 the other day, and drove 'cross-country' to Oxford, via Watling, Stadhampton, and Nuneham Courtenay. The satnav gave me no information about what the names of the little thatched villages I was whizzing through were.

Sure, if I'd stopped, and then did a bit of zooming or whatever, yes. But while driving, that information wasn't presented to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:42 AM
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Watlington.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:44 AM
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101.last: Actually, with a pair of electrodes, you can run a perfectly good clock off a beetroot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:47 AM
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Agreed with 102. The GPS "map" has a bunch of words on it which could be towns, neighborhoods, bodies of water, streets... And the labels on the map appear and disappear at will depending on how crowded the map is, how fast you're going, etc. Everything aside from the layout of roads is not reliable.

There COULD easily be a GPS that overlaid my location on an easy-to-read and consistent map. Some people surely have those. But even then t is inherently focuses on where you are.


Posted by: cryptoc ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:53 AM
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104 mothertlucker had like florty goddamn dicks.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:54 AM
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Back in immediately post college days, I both read and socialized more--mostly due to more free time as an 8-5 working singleton with lots of free evenings.

I also remember some of those decisions to socialize as more forced--I tried to do stereotypical "meet people" things and was frustrated and self-doubting after they went invariably awry. Part of it was confidence; not being an extrovert in a world of purely extroverted contact is bad for the rest of us. (Also, yes, a thousand times, to disliking phone conversations. Conference calls are those but worse by a factor of a 100--boring subject that you must strain to focus on, your screen and work before you, but if you look at them you lose track of the conversation. Ugh.)


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:55 AM
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I just fear Facebook would eat my life if I let it

I don't. The quality of my Facebook feed is far too bollox for that. How is it you people - a group I really don't know very well in person - manage to have far more interesting things to say than all my real-life acquaintances and loved ones?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:01 AM
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||

Orange post title, yo. Jim Henley is availing himself of the free market to pay for medical treatment, like the libertarian he totes is.

(No, seriously though, if you know Jim, go look. If you have money, give money probably. Even though he's going to U of C for treatment, okay?)

Boy, the system where people have to do this to pay for medical care is sucky, sucky, sucky.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:03 AM
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No, I know what he means. I pulled off the M40 the other day, and drove 'cross-country' to Oxford, via Watling, Stadhampton, and Nuneham Courtenay. The satnav gave me no information about what the names of the little thatched villages I was whizzing through were.

I guess I was thinking GPS enabled phones, or maybe handheld GPSes, rather than satnavs. I certainly find Google Maps easier to read than the A to Z.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:09 AM
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No, I get it too - with a GPS you can see your immediate environs very accurately, but a map gives you a better overview of how everything relates. (Like people in London who only use the Tube.)

Here's a good anti-technology anecdote: friend just found out today that her 17 year old is sleeping with her boyfriend (her own bf, not my friend's!). Which is fine and not surprising. So she asked the daughter about contraception - oh, it's ok, she's using an iPhone app! Argh shit.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:15 AM
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iAphram.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:17 AM
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I never follow the turn-by-turn directions in my own area.

For years a supposed advantage of Android phones over the iPhone was supposed to be the turn-by-turn directions, and I was skeptical, but also reminded myself that I was probably just being a fanboy/sour grapish, and maybe I'd love it as soon as I got it. But no, iOS 7 has turn-by-turn that is, by all accounts, roughly as good* as Android, and I freaking hate it. The only time turn-by-turn is of any use to me - at all - is inside somebody's stupid cup de sac development, where you're basically navigating spaghetti. Otherwise, I want an overview so that I understand the geography/topography, not some context-free, hypertext adventure.

That said, I've always loved maps and have an excellent sense of direction, so I think I'm an outlier on this.

*in terms of function/interface; set aside map data, although I've said before that has Google sent me astray plenty often


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:17 AM
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My sense of direction is of no use at all because it was developed for flat places with only square intersections.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:19 AM
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Though yesterday someone linked to an article about why people shouldn't use the world "so" and I got cranky about it since human language use does involve filler words.

Remember the other day when I mentioned my MIL going on crankish rants? This was one of them, a few weeks ago, and it was so obvious that she had just heard a segment on stupid NPR, felt that the shape of the argument was one that fit her prejudices (the English language is forever in decline, people don't know how to write/speak these days), and so she adopted it as her own. I'm pretty sure she'd never given "so" a thought in her life before, but now we were supposed to share her offa-lawnism on it. Feh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:22 AM
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90 is one of the ways in which I'm non-misanthropic. I tend to have a dim view of people as a whole, but I do love that people get into these things.

Part of what bugs me about mass culture (at least these days) is that it seems to try to mimic that engagement artificially - suddenly we're all supposed to have an opinion about X, and be quite invested in it, but it's always fleeting bullshit. It's not that I think celebrity gossip hasn't always been a thing, and waves of pop culture fascination, but I think that the PR people have caught onto the natural human desire to geek out about things, and now tailor their product to tap into it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:27 AM
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112: oh Jesus Christ!
113: but you'd still have to coat it in spermicide


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:30 AM
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110: Halford gives all that money to the other Libertarian cult, so he can suck it up for the U of C in this case. Scientia crescit! Vitia excolantur!*

*This is a hilarious joke. Just so you know.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:30 AM
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||

Oxford meetup: where and when on Thursday are we meeting? I'll need to leave by 2:00.

|>


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:34 AM
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46: About half of this was from a few months ago, so I'm working off an unreliable memory for that part.

Basically I tried to use mail and mailx to send an email to my gmail account. I figured there was no point in thinking about anything more tricky until I could get my computer to do the very basic task of sending an email.

Then that didn't work and a bit of googling turned up the suggestion that I needed postfix (which I enabled) and that I should use the telnet command to figure out if port 25 worked at all for me - and it didn't.

So I tried a few alternatives and got to the point where my computer could say "Hello, Internet" but still couldn't send an email. If this still sounds like the sort of problem I should be able to solve easily with a little coaching then I'll go back tonight and document what I've done so far more carefully.

More recently I tried to run a Selenium test (browser automation) that I'd exported into a Python script. I managed to install the Selenium module into Python but when the script finally ran it also didn't know how to get to the internet and the error code was very uninformative. I didn't feel like going through the same flailing troubleshooting process with very low expectation of success, so I gave up and whined about it on the internet instead. But maybe that's an easier problem than sending an email somehow?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:35 AM
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110.3 is very true. Sent a few bob.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:35 AM
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I'd be perfectly happy to be sent away with "RTFM" if I just knew which manual to read - but I don't even know that.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:37 AM
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112. Is that a barrier method?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:39 AM
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Well, not perfectly happy.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:40 AM
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I found this which I think should work probably, with a little googling but would say that, yes, as it turns out, sending mail in the modern era of spammy spam spammers is surprisingly harder than you'd expect. In general the FM you should R (to start with) when you're working on command line stuff is the man page, but I dunno how postfix's is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:46 AM
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126: Thanks! I'll check out the postfix man page and see if that helps.

For the page you linked, this part, I think, is where I need to figure out how to learn more background info:

This solution assumes you have a mail server at home and at least one other mail server out there on the Internet, one which does not have port 25 blocked. That part is crucial to this solution. It is the external server[s] that will accept incoming mail and forward it to you. In DNS terms, your MX records will not point to your home server, but to your public server.

Is there somewhere I can start playing with this stuff, where things are likely to work the basic way so I don't have to learn everything all at once? This is literally the first time I've tried to do anything on the internet through the command line that involved actually understanding vocabulary like "mail server," "DNS," "MX," and "port." (I've used mailx before on the UNIX servers at work, and managed to send stuff out successfully, so it really is the connection part that I'm having trouble with. But I have much less control over the servers at work for security reasons so I wanted to play around with stuff on a computer I basically control.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:06 AM
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Then that didn't work and a bit of googling turned up the suggestion that I needed postfix (which I enabled) and that I should use the telnet command to figure out if port 25 worked at all for me - and it didn't.

Port 25 is the one port that pretty much every ISP blocks the shit out of, and rightly so.

If you want to play around with servers, web servers like Apache or nginx are much easier, and its ultimately a more useful skill.

Although, if you want to check out something new and exciting, you could try the Docker tutorial. If you can figure that out, it becomes a lot easier to run services that other people have already done much of the configuration grunt-work for.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:39 AM
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72: Adventure? Ah, that brings back memories of how I was involved in getting Adventure installed on the Brown computer system back in the pre-internet days.

Back in 1977, a bunch of friends and I were invited to a party by some women at Wellesley.* The next morning, I got to talking with the woman who had lent me her floor to crash on, and she showed me a transcript of this game she had been playing - Adventure. I was interested in playing, so some time later, I talked to a friend of mine up at MIT, where they also had the program. He was able to get me a listing of the source code of the program (in Fortran), which we transported back to Brown. Then three friends and I split up the listing to type in, so that no one person would know all the secrets of the game. We had to translate certain portions of the program, since we were running a different version of Fortran than the one the program was written in. But we eventually got it debugged and working to the point where it became semi-viral around the computer lab.

Kids these days, with their simple "Download" buttons, just don't know how good they've got it.

*Insert longish story about how I really fell for a blonde woman I was dancing with, but then she left before I thought to ask for her number. I spent a couple of days tracking her down through mutual friends, only to find out that she already had a boyfriend. Looking back, I want to shake the 20-year old me and say "Dumbkopf - why are you chasing this unavailable blonde? Why not ask out the nice nerd-girl gamer who let you crash on her floor for the night, whose number you already have?" All of which goes to show that while I may have had more face-to-face interactions without the internet, I wasn't necessarily using them any more effectively, unlike what the video suggests.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:02 PM
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You have been eaten by a grue.


Posted by: Opinionated Zork | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:00 PM
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In my freshman year, 1981, a friend at another college said there was this really cool way to talk for free by typing into computers. It required a 10 minute walk to the computer lab, and a ridiculous amount of setting up accounts, typing alphanumeric strings to reach the other address, etc. We were able to send words to each other, but only if we were logged on at the same time, and there were regular glitches and "system down" sorts of error messages every time we tried. I gave up after a few attempts, and I concluded that computer networks were never going to catch on. Didn't get back to email until about 1996.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:18 PM
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131: The criticism makes sense if you assume it's by people who are adept at in-person interactions, for people who are socially adept in that way, and that they don't think the rest of us really count as people one might value interactions with.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:24 PM
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132 to 129


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:24 PM
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120: Just saw this. I have sent a message at the Other Place as I am not great at checking threads right now. I will show up when and where you want me!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:56 PM
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Wow, I can't remember how to get more than a few moves into Zork. You can't move the grating, you can't open the door of the house....


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:02 PM
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The trapdoor is under the rug, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:13 PM
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xyzzy


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:21 PM
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Thanks, Paren, I'll check there, and will check back in thus thread as service permits. About to board my flight now.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:57 PM
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I rode around in a Tesla a couple months ago, and really liked the map display, which was maybe twice the sice of my laptop screen. I still prefer a paper map, especially because there are lots of place I go where my smart phone is dumber than a rock.

My son has recently learned that his smart phone cannot survive being run over in the Costco parking lot. So he's running around actually talking to people. (He got home from college at 1:30 am last night. We expected his at or soon after 6 . . .)

We all had VAX terminals, and email addresses, when I went to work at my old firm in 1990. Intranet, but we could contact people in the other offices. I'm sure someone is tracking lost productivity to Facebook, but it's probably hopeless.

I'm going to be able to use the internet to avoid attending a client meeting in Baghdad later this month. People who want to whine about the loss of interpersonal contact the internet is causing can go sit on an IED.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:01 PM
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For some godforsaken reason, everyone Buck's writing about is all hot to fly him cross country so they can talk in person. You people build large parts of the internet! What do you have against using it? Irritating as fuck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:19 PM
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I'm with the people wanting to fly Buck around. The internet is good for a whole lot of things, but there's still a lot of communication that works better in person.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:46 PM
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I'm sure it's my own neuroses talking, but the thing where companies fly people across the country to have a conversation always strikes me as the height of insanity and environmentally reprehensible.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:51 PM
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I don't have a good answer to the environmentally reprehensible part, but it's not insane. There are plenty of things that can be handled through email/phone/videoconference, but you don't get the same nuance with any of those that you can get face to face.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:59 PM
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I'm with DaveLMNOP. Communication works better in person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:01 PM
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I've only been on two flights at somebody else's expense. Both trips were to Columbus, Ohio. My life in the regional jet set.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:02 PM
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140, 141: We probably covered this, but H-G and I got a large addition to her house built with four in-person visits. Hooray, internet!

And, on a semi-related note, Megan should know that I have introduced the idea of affirmations into our family in an effort to stop our children from being assholes to each other (and, to a less extent, to others). I'll let you know how it goes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:03 PM
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Huh. 146 to 144?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:04 PM
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146.1: But that's the thing: you need both. Meeting in person not only gets you better communication in the meeting but also strengthens your subsequent phone/online/email communication.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:13 PM
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147: the face-to-face meetings were essential. I don't think work relationships need to be exclusively face-to-face, but I see why you fly someone in now and then.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:30 PM
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Also we are part of a group that already has a large shared set of social understandings about written speech, which meant that email was less fraught than it otherwise can be. Plus we skyped.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:34 PM
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149, 150: Yes. You couldn't possibly do what we did with zero in-person interaction, but it took a lot less than it would have under non-Unfogged circumstances.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:57 PM
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I'm about to start a project in which I only expect to meet the client a single time, but it's just landscaping on an existing building project - the hard decisions (in both senses) are already made.

I'm going to take this opportunity to bitch:

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I have 6 clients who owe me a collective $6250, only one of whom is plausibly a deadbeat (and worth less than 10% of the total). Three of them are genuine, IRL friends. WTF, so-called friends? This is driving me insane. I have never - ever - had a situation like this. I mean, I've had situations like this that were worth 25% of this amount; I don't think that's the same.

I would bitch on FB, but these 3 so-called friends are FB friends, so I can't exactly. Not without being insanely passive-aggressive.

How bad is it? I literally only have 1 project I can work on, because all of the others are for people who owe me money. Sometimes I want a paycheck.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:07 PM
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||
speaking of the internet helping people: does anyone in the D.C. area have a connection with folks who might teach bronze casting classes?
|>


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:14 PM
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I blame Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:15 PM
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154 to 153.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:16 PM
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When this was a free country, bronze casters ruled the land. Then Obamacare crushed them all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:19 PM
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153 -- Thanks. That monumental equestrian sculpture of me to be placed on the mall isn't going to build itself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:21 PM
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The "might" seems odd. A guy might or might not finish drywall, for example. But if a guy is casting bronze and showing people how, he probably is sure that is what he does.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:27 PM
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These people have a regular class in lost wax casting, it seems.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:31 PM
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Fucking wax. So hard to find.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:32 PM
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160: maybe you just aren't using the right fly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:33 PM
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Patuxent Lapidary Guild also appears to offer classes in Lost Wax Casting, although you have to wear a tunic and refer to yourself as "but a meek apprentice smithee, m'lord."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:40 PM
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153: I might could do, if D.C. area includes Baltimore area. That is, my housemate is capable in bronze casting and may still know people in the area. He's out of town at the moment, until the end of the week. Perhaps email me with more details (sculptures large scale, small scale?) at the linked address, so that I remember this request for information -- housemate's not back for a few days.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:45 PM
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I did not expect that somebody would know a guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:48 PM
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Man, I really should have refreshed the thread before commenting, no? I'm sure there are many other sources for bronze casting instruction findable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:21 PM
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Do you actually want to learn how to cast bronze, or just want someone to do the work for you? I'm pretty sure most people outsource that shit these days. (I mean you kinda have to unless you want to set up your own foundry etc.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:41 PM
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Finally got 8196 again! 120276 points.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:50 PM
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Er, 8192.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:51 PM
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the former


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:53 PM
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167: You are history's greatest monster.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:00 PM
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166: There are foundries to be found where you can do the work yourself -- with other people, since it's not possible, or at least very dangerous, to pour bronze alone -- but the preliminary steps, before the pour, are things you could do yourself. With a lot of effort.

This seems like a pretty good explanation of what I accompanied my housemate to do before the actual pour. It was really interesting, painstaking, tedious. You totally need access to the equipment, of course. Exciting stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:03 PM
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Unfortunately, my DC-area bronze-casting acquaintance passed away a few years back.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:48 PM
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one of my favorites from the international lexicon...

Greek Saying #11: "Θα μου κλάσεις τα αρχίδια."

Literal English Translation: "You'll fart on my testicles."

What the Greeks really mean: "You can't do anything about it."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:52 PM
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oops wrong thread


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:52 PM
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172: Did you have him bronzed?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:12 PM
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(Then it turns out I can forgive the internet anything because it has things like this.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:10 PM
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That's awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:45 PM
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173-4: I don't think there could be a wrong thread for that.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:50 PM
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Apart from the message being misplaced - commuters were antisocial readers on public transport well before the advent of the smartphone - there is a weird conflict in tone between the painfully oversincere content and his English accent. That was five whole minutes without even the hint of self-deprecation, cynicism or joking ... the whole thing is like they hired an English actor to read a certain kind of American script.

In fact without doing any actual checking or research I'm getting an English evangelical Christian vibe here. And, you know, asking people to take a break from the internet is better than declaring gay people should be set on fire or whatever but perhaps gets across the sense of weirdness?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:44 PM
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My closest friendship, currently, is with someone I met because 1) she happened to have lunch with me and one of my supervisors when I started my last job because she was in town for a conference and was "networking", 2) after lunch I happened to run into her somewhat randomly when she was leaving the building where I worked and I was outside helping someone catch a cab and she gave me her business card, 3) I ran into her months later when I was walking to work and it turned out she was going to be in town for a few months and in our brief conversation she suggested that we have lunch sometime but we didn't exchange contact info right then, and 4) a few days after that I emailed her using the info on her business card.

I'd score this for in-person meeting vs. the internet, except it's extremely unlikely I'd ever have called her phone number, and we initially made all our plans to meet up by email until we realized we prefer the phone for catching up with each other as we haven't lived in the same place since then and aren't about to write long letters.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 12:11 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions folks, I'll be looking into them. Except the lapidary guild one. That's too weird, and I've heard unsavory things about guilds from Tyler Cowen.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 3:53 AM
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I watched the video primarily so I could say "stfu" repeatedly in my office. This "o toxic internet" rings particularly hollow on the day where a nice guy I wouldn't know otherwise raises a lot of money to seek better cancer treatment.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 7:16 AM
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Been busy so have not been checking in, plus apparently dead thread but this is why we have the internet. Broad access to things likea WikiHow on "How to Stop a Wedding."

In reality though, halting a wedding from going ahead is a very delicate situation that can easily backfire on you and spoil a significant day.

...

8: Enjoy life with your stolen bride or groom. Be cautious, however, as someone who is likely to walk from a wedding may be afraid of commitment, and insecure in relationships. This could pose problems for your relationship.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 7:47 AM
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From the link in 183.1:

When the reverend, marriage celebrant, or judge asks if anyone should object to the marriage, step forward between the first few rows of seats in the back of the room. Boldly but smoothly raise your hand and say, "I object."

Do they even do that anymore? I can't recall ever hearing a call for objections.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 7:51 AM
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184. If the US is anything like the UK on this, the default official ceremonies still include it, but since people are now more or less allowed to make up whatever they want to happen at their wedding, it's probably possible to leave it out. When the ceremony is essentially reduced to "Ubi ego Gaius, tu Gaia" prefaced by random selections from Palgrave's Golden Treasury, it's hard to see how you'd fit it in.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 7:59 AM
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179 - nah, there are plenty of that sort of people here too.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:00 AM
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129: Ah, that brings back memories of how I was involved in getting Adventure installed on the Brown computer system back in the pre-internet days.

Yes, some early diving into depths of computers was when I ported Adventure to a Univac at work (but at least I had the digital file and did not have to retype--it did take some assembly language work to get to run, however).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:03 AM
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185: I know it isn't in the default Catholic wedding ceremony here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:04 AM
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In reality though, halting a wedding from going ahead is a very delicate situation that can easily backfire on you and spoil a significant day.

Surely if you spoil a significant day by halting a wedding, you've succeeded.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:05 AM
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What if you spoil a day but don't halt the wedding?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:13 AM
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184, 185: Anticipated in the "Warnings section", but no countermeasure suggested:

In many weddings in this day and age the officiant does not ask if anyone objects.

Also, Your 'beloved' may hate you.

and Seek psychological counsel. What you are suggesting is rare, not normal, and will cause life-changing memories for everyone in the room. You may also want legal counsel -- if you make any negative remarks about another person you're likely to be sued for slander.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:13 AM
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135

>N. E. OPEN WINDOW. IN. TAKE ALL. MOVE RUG. OPEN TRAPDOOR

Of course this being an adventure game you have to loot everything else the House before you go down through the trapdoor or you are so dead.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:20 AM
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Maybe you can take an ad on the back of the church bulletin ("Attn. Karen: David is a huge he-slut who is also dating a lawyer in Jacksonville. I'm the one who really loves you.")


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:22 AM
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193: Or per a few threads back, hack the church's welcome sign.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:25 AM
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I liked the part that was, paraphrasing, "you should think really hard about your speech! Remember, they've had months to prepare this--you don't want to come in looking like a last minute slacker!"


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:33 AM
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equestrian sculpture of me

Well I've heard plenty of people brag about that but never so indirectly.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:20 AM
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194: Or put up a weathered pinterest sign.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:49 AM
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Goddamnit, you all, DQ sent me that link, to be an actual post. For this blog. Which you leeches require that I feed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:51 AM
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Well use it for a new post then. Rather than a tag end on a dying thread. Bonus opportunity to abuse premature linkers in the OP. So I see it as providing you an opportunity for value-adding content enhancement.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:58 AM
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The pictures are good too. (But I guess I should save that comment for the real post.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:59 AM
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Folkblogging is hard work.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 10:00 AM
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I'm being folktrolled.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 10:08 AM
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Folkrolled.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 12:29 PM
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Folkrolled, better.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 6:36 PM
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204: Good find. Thought of that too late.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 9:48 PM
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