Monthly Archives: June 2002

a mr. halcyon would like to meet you..

for way too bloody long, i’ve not been particularly involved in anything digital, except what it takes to get by. hell, i feel unbearably lame in innumerable ways. all things digital used to be my playground, not just a topic of my academic masturbation. every once in a while i am reminded that i am not having enough digital fun, and today it was all thanks to a mr. halcyon.

this random digital stranger writes me to say that he was referred to me regarding random brainstorming about identity and authentication and whatnot… he sent along random links of his and i drool at the reminder of what i could be doing in san francisco right now – living an absurdist life, preparing for burning man like a normal person, being absolutely sexually and socially ridiculous. but, in the meantime, i will have to just have to fantasize while reading about this mr. halcyon’s ridiculous adventures…

Lifestyle as art in a webcam house
Experiments in digital initimacy and Globalgasm

Anyhow, i’m quite entertained… i like digital strangers, real or otherwise

ecclectic email spool..

Check out the random masturbation synonym generator

In NYTimes, there’s a nice little oped about our refusing to ratify an international women’s treaty that 169 other countries have ratified… Anyone wonder why we got kicked out of the human rights commission…

[cypherpunk login for nytimes: c1ph3rpunk/c1ph3rpunk]

Finally, some folks are seeing that instant messenger is just an open channel for surveillance and putting together encryption for it… Of course, those who are observing are not going to like that so very much…

Gays have officially assimilated, or at least they’ve turned very far right…

San Francisco Punks and yuppies. Are they really so different? … what would happen if two of this city’s most entrenched cultural archetypes-young bohemians and young capitalists-were to spend an afternoon together. And get drunk together. And maybe mix it up in, oh, a lighthearted little yuppie-punk smackdown-“dyed blond versus dyed black, Prada versus Ben Davis,” Would it improve civic relations? Would it build bridges?

[cypherpunk login for latimes: cypherpunk/cypherpunk]

Some teachers wanna teach math anyway possible… “Hector knocked up three girls in his gang. There are 27 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of the girls in the gang that Hector knocked up?”

And, as i continue to be anal about budgeting, the morning news has a nice little bit of advice

closing of internet

“A fire in a Beijing Internet Cafe has prompted officials to order the closure of 2,400 cafes around the city, ostensibly for safety inspections. The closures, however, coincide with a nationwide crackdown on Internet cafes meant to tighten government control of Web use. While the government encourages the use of Internet to promote commerce, it contends that the minds of children and teen-agers are being polluted with pornography and subversive material. The Chinese government requires Internet cafes to track customers’ Internet usage – a law not enforced by thousands of cafes. It is expected that only 200 of the Internet cafes closed will be allowed to reopen.”

Wow… what will this result in?

privacy workshop

i love getting academic compliments… four of us crazy grad students from 3 different institutions decided to put together a workshop proposal for CSCW 2002 and it was accepted!!! what’s even better is that this is a high compliment since we are all students and normally workshops are done but “established” people… so, we’re now starting the call for participants – how crazy? a bunch of folks gathered to talk about identity & privacy in order to focus on empowering users!

preparing for burning man

Ok.. i shouldn’t already be getting anxious about Burning Man, but i really can’t help it… For starters, Becky is in the process of buying a vehicle to get us across country. Unless a miracle happens today at the police-confiscated vehicle auction, we will be driving across in a big red van, and i do mean big. Now, although Becky thinks that this thing should be monochromatic, i know her well enough to know that she doesn’t really know what that word means. I mean, c’mon – her wardrobe is 1000 colors plus, so i’m hoping and praying that maybe we can make it into a nice little art car. Or better yet, an art car for the playa! As if that wasn’t enough, i’ve been tracking down fun places to visit on our trip across country. After Ming’s adventure, i’m just dying to go to the Crayola Crayon Factory, but i seemed to have found the home of kitsch located centrally in Chicago – a surplus warehouse of random kitsch toys and crap!! How great would it be to have that shit on the playa!?!?!

Now, if only our country doesn’t pass a resolution to invade the Netherlands….

documentary leads to arrest

One of my favorite parts of errol morris’ the thin blue line is that it lead to the uncovering of an innocent victim. The documentary was used to make people reconsider a legal case, eventually releasing from prison an innocent man. This case reminds me of the power of documentaries, in telling stories and creating social change. This is the same attitude that Cambridge Documentary Films has when it creates movies like Rape Is… to change the social attitude towards rape as a systematic tactic of power. Hell, this is the attitude that many documentarians have – tell real stories to make people reconsider social assumptions.

And then sometimes, the law gets involved… Apparently, HBO decided to air a documentary on a man who shared the drug ecstasy with his children. Horrified, it seems as though the police got involved and the man has been arrested for endangering his children (and not surprisingly, his ex-wife backed him). There’s something quite problematic to me about HBO doing a special that puts someone at risk with the law. Sure, what this man did might be illegal or problematic, but it was the documentary that got the police involved (not the testimony of the ex-wife who knew beforehand). I’d love to think that the documentarians were serving justice, but with the war on drugs the way it is, their actions are just propagating a truly fubared institution. I can’t help but wonder what the results of reality TV shows are – is everyone arrested for admitting their drug use, their illegal sex acts, their speeding? If someone comes out on TV and oral sex is illegal in their state, can they be arrested? Are they persecuting themselves? This seems like a very slippery slope…

[Afternote: a good friend of mine ran into similar problems when he was working at a newspaper… apparently, their paper got someone into trouble with the INS…]