inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #0 of 367: Reva Basch (reva) Wed 20 Oct 99 09:22
    
Please welcome Indra Sinha, author of "Cybergypsies: A True Tale of Lust,
War, & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier." Indra is a native of India and
a longtime WELL member now living in the UK. His book chronicles his own
experience with online addiction, as well as his encounters in the early
days of the Internet with hackers and virus writers, fantasy gamers -- and
real life.

Indra's interviewer is Elizabeth Lewis, a six-year Well veteran who has
been online since the early 1980s. She works in virtual community
development and management, has extensive experience as a host/moderator,
and has written for Wired, SmartComputing, PC Novice, MSN's Underwire and
other publications.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #1 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Thu 21 Oct 99 18:46
    

Hi, folks. I received Indra's book last Friday and have been reading it as
much as possible ever since. I believe this is "fiction" that is thinly-
veiled, more autobiographical fiction than not. Would this be true, Indra?

To start off, would you tell us about your? Who you are and what your
background is? And then tell us about the book in general, why you wrote it,
and who you hoped the audience would be.

There's a lot of rich material and issues to delve into as we progress. The
book is controversial in some ways, especially in the description of "cyber-
addiction." Yet most of us would recognize periods of obsessed or frenzied
online activity. Perhaps some of that is good, and some isn't. In your case,
it ended up affecting your life negatively, although it obviously had some
benefits or else you wouldn't have a book. :-)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's tell everyone about you and the book,
and then move on from there.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #2 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Fri 22 Oct 99 01:59
    
Hello from the Weald of Sussex, in England. It's odd to be doing this,
given all the years I've been semi-silently haunting the WELL. I see
there's an old profile (username indra@well.com), which I guess I ought
to update, but briefly, I was born and brought up in India, went to
boarding school in the Rajasthan desert (a white marble palace topped
with an improbable Italian campanile) where they served us little balls
of opium on major feast days, learned Sanskrit and developed a passion
for English literature. Always wanted to write and did so sporadically
throughout a career in England spent mostly in advertising. I've lived
in England since the late sixties, married to Vickie (who appears in
Cybergypsies as Eve). We have three children, a girl and two boys, with
whom I share, variously, passions for the countryside (horse-mad
daughter), soccer (Manchester United of course, and Chelsea - what a
thrashing they gave Galatasaray the other day). Personally very
committed to human rights, was one of those making "a small noise in
the streets" (disapproving Chinese spokesman) when the Chinese
president was here being kowtowed to by our prime minister the day
before yesterday. The best thing I ever did via advertising was use it
to raise funds for a clinic for the forgotten gas victims of Bhopal.
One way or another, most of this finds its way into Cybergypsies which,
Lizabeth, to move to your other questions...

... is not a novel, it is non-fiction. I chose to tell it like a novel
because the experiences, whether mine or others', were so personal.
Some parts are fictionalised, disguised in order to protect people's
identities, but none of it is fiction. Even the fantasies (the imagined
realms of the roleplaying games I used to play, and the characters and
events therein) are real.

I'd been playing these games since the mid-eighties (first went online
in 1984). There was one called Shades (real name) and another which in
Cybergypsies I called the Vortex, because it likes to keep itself a
secret. I met a lot of very odd people, some of whom I have only ever
known online (ten-year friendships without ever meeting in the flesh),
others I got to know very well socially. I got mixed up in their lives
and intrigues, online and off. What stories! seductions, vampings,
fleecings, quarrels in cyberspace that turned into real world bomb
threats, a feud that began with an online murder which ended up closing
down a whole network - but when I tried to tell my real world friends
about these things, they had no conception of what I was talking about.
In those days nobody had ever heard of modems, they used to ask me
what I was taking.

Then in the early 90s (still long before the Web) I was trying to
infiltrate a bunch of virus writers, seeking ways into their private
bulletin board network and wheedling my way into their confidences. It
took a long time, not least because I had to learn a great deal about
viruses and had to appear to have at least a smattering of assembler
code. The virus folk had strange names like Radioactive Rat and
Screaming Radish. They were located all over the world - South Africa,
Australia, Brazil, Italy, Holland, Sweden. I became chums with a chap
who called himself Jesus Slut Fucker. He lived in Oklahoma City and I
would spend half the night chatting on his BBS via the modem. (At huge
cost, in those days it mean a translatlantic telephone call.) It was
another new, fascinating world, very exciting to me, but again, when I
tried telling friends about it, I met with universal incomprehension.
So this is when I first had the idea of writing about my experiences
and consciously began to gather material for a book about the secret
world of the net - the old pre-Web net - and about the people who
inhabited it, whom I called Cybergypsies.

I'd always intended the book for a general readership, to expose this
hidden world. It was originally planned in sections - the virus scene,
roleplaying, cyber sutrans, hacking etc - plus sections on other stuff
I was by then involved with online - human rights work with Amnesty and
Kurdish refugees, campaigning, fundraising. It would also show how
persecuted minorities could find safe havens in cyberspace - one of my
friends for example set up Gay Link International.

Luckily, events overtook me. What happened was the Web. Within a very
short time everyone knew what a modem was, they all had email aaccounts
and the topics I had been going to write about suddenly seemed like
old hat.It was the best thing that could have happened, because then, I
found myself forced to concentrate on the characters. People and their
stories - Geno aka Jesus Slut Fucker (who I think intends to join this
discussion at some point), Jarly the hacker, Luna the roleplayer who
denied she was human, the lovely and lecherous Calypso...the
Cybergypsies became about the people and their stories and the net
merely became its background.

This is a long post, but you asked a lot of questions. You say the
book is controversial "in some ways", I would hope it's controversial
in lots of ways. Anyway, back to you.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #3 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Fri 22 Oct 99 13:48
    

Thanks, Indra. Let me ask a couple of other things. One of the themes of the
books is that you were absolutely hooked on what was going on online. In
our email, which you gave me permission to quote from, I asked you why
you wrote the book, and your answer in part was:

"When the book finally began to get written, it was as an act of
expiation. Woven into the stories of other people was my own story - a
kind of confessional. By the mid nineties I must have spent about
#50,000 online in phone bills, equipment and time charges. More than
this, I was spending hours each night at the screen, my family -
children and wife - were neglected and and my marriage was under a huge
strain. It took a real crisis to wake me up. Writing the book was a way
of saying sorry, and of trying to earn back at least a fraction of what
I had squandered."


It became an obsession that lasted...well, how long? Was it months?
Years? You write about "Eve" (who is really Vickie), promising her you
were going to stop spending so much time online, but kept going on. What
was that like for you at the time? Was it uncomfortable for you but you
just continued on? How did your wife and kids cope? And do you have
agreements with your wife now as to your online time?

On another subject, I was online during the same years you were, the
pre-Web years of BBSs, chat lines, role-playing boards, etc. I wince
when I see the figure you racked up for your phone calls because I
remember all the money I spent calling boards all over the country, and
then connect time for the pay-boards...at any rate, all of that was a
subculture at the time, no one knew about going online and, as you say,
it was hard to explain the experience. 

However, a small subculture of the online subculture involved the virus
writers and others along those lines, pirate boards, folks that you
often didn't get to know unless they wanted to know you. You indicate
that you pursued these people, sought them out, even learned some
programming to gain entrance to their circles. What attracted you to
that segment of online life? What made you want to spend so much time
with them? Was most of your time online spent in this sub-subculture?

I've got so much more to ask, but we have two weeks... :-)
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #4 of 367: indra (indra) Fri 22 Oct 99 14:52
    
Fifty thousand pounds sounds a lot - bloody hell, it is a lot - but it
was spread over about ten years, of which I was seriously addicted (I
know you don't like that word) for about four. When I say addicted, I
mean at least five hours a day/night online. That would have been
pretty normal among Shades players, many people were worse. This is
from the book:

"Jarly can't afford food but one of the first things he did after he
moved in was to have a telephone line installed. Not a telephone, just
the line. ('Don't need a phone. Don't want buggers ringing me. All my
mates are on-line. Just need a gateway to the net.') On the
tobacco-smogged wall, amid splots of insect gore and smeared crescents
of some rich, dark stuff which surely can't - or can it? - be shit, the
socket gleams incongruously white. To most people it is something they
unthinkingly plug a phone into - but to Jarly it is a gateway to
heaven and to hell. Into it vanishes every penny that he can earn,
borrow or claim in social security benefits. From it comes pleasure,
knowledge, pain. It is a plastic vulva awaiting his modem jack, a
hollow vein awaiting a needle, a synapse whose long copper nerve
receives and transmits signals that connect Jarly's brain to a vast and
chaotic world of the imagination. Jarly's real life is not 'real' but
the life which is lived in the worlds to which this tiny hole in the
wall leads.


"Jarly claims to suffer withdrawal symptoms if he is away from Shades
for long. His body is tired and full of aches, he can't keep still, his
legs and arms hurt, his head aches and feels too heavy to hold up, his
neck and shoulder muscles knot and burn, his eyeballs feel as if
they've been sandpapered, he is constantly tired but his sleep is
broken by threatening dreams and he wakes exhausted...

"He has tried many times to stop, to break his modem habit. He's tried
everything he can think of but, lying on his narrow bed, he knows that
sooner or later he will succumb to the whispering of the little mouth
in the wall. He describes to me the self-hatred and sweetness of the
inevitable moment of surrender, of giving in, letting go, of busy
fingers conjuring a fix, the buzz of the modem coming to life, the
whistle of connection sliding like a needle into his brain, and the
rush of relief as he floats into the game."

When you get to this state, everything else goes by the board. When I
read about the experiences of alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, the
effects on family, work, money, I recognise Jarly and myself. 

This very intense period lasted, as I say, about four years. Several
things conspired to end it. Shades blew itself apart in a series of
wars which destroyed the network which ran it. My friend Luna (the
roleplayer who denied she was human) quit the Vortex and vanished. Geno
went to prison for virusing an FBI computer and then the web came
along and Bill Gates slouched in, and e-commerce and it wasn't fun any
more.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #5 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Fri 22 Oct 99 15:46
    
I got involved in the virus thing by accident. At the beginning of the
decade viruses were perceived as a huge threat. This was before the
Michelangelo scare which was ludicrously hyped by anti-virus software
vendors like McAfee. The fiasco made them look like idiots, but not
before they'd collected a few million from it. I decided to penetrate
the virus circles, with a view to shopping them. The strange thing was
when I actually got to know some virus writers, I found that I liked
them, enjoyed their company, was on their side.

The first virus BBS I was a member of belonged to a chap called Savage
Beast, who was in Geneva and ran the European HQ of NuKE. Beast worked
as a bodyguard, providing security to Saudi princesses and the like.
He told me once he'd got in a scrape with some drugs dealers, who shot
up his front door with automatic weapons. It was all very unlikely and
deeply romantic.

Then I got to know Geno Paris, aka Jesus Slut Fucker, who was in OKC
and was having a hugely public and very funny feud with the moderator
of the Fidonet Virus echo. This is related in Cybergypsies and also in
the excellent Crypt Newsletter edited by the wonderfully acerbic Dr
George Smith. In fact, anyone interested in the old virus scene (and
indeed almost any aspect of the computer underground) should subscribe
to the Crypt - http://www.soci.niu.edu/~crypt and in particular read
George's book "The Virus Creation Labs".

The really fascinating thing about the virus underground wasn't the
viruses, most of which didn't work, but the people. The intrigues as
folk like ARiSToTLe tried to wrest control of the group, the much
admired TaLöN, a young Aussie hacker who eventually wiped himself out
with drugs. Certain types of viruses were "in" and others "out". I
remember the work of Jackel, a west-coast virus writer being
contemptuously derided - "his cool Pascal trojans rock my world" - the
strange beauty of this phrase stayed with me for years and I wanted to
use it in Cybergypsies, but never did. Relatively few people in the
virus underground did anything as radical and dangerous as actually
write viruses, mostly they just collected them. To gain entry to a
virus BBS, you had typically to upload two or three viruses they didn't
already have. So you'd take a known virus, open it up and change a few
bits of code (cut and paste from another virus), then sew it up and
call it something new. You could just as easily have taken a couple of
.com or .exe files out of DOS directory and renamed them to something
terrifying. The odds were the sysop of the BBS would never dare to test
them, so their collections were full of rubbish. ARiSToTLe hit on the
wheeze of selling his collection for a large sum of money, I think it
was $150, to wannabees in places like Hong Kong.

Contrary to popular belief (fuelled by the anti-virus people)
relatively few viruses were destructive. Most virus writers created
pathogens that were simply infectious, to see how far they would
spread, or to outwit the latest anti-virus software. Often they'd send
their viruses to the anti-virus people. They used to claim that they
were performing a useful service. But some viruses (especially trojans)
were very nasty and virus authors often went to prison.

Why'd they do it? Not because they were mindless anarchists. Geno
described himself as a "technopath" and claimed to be in it for "the
joy of stylish destruction", but he liked to wind people up. I think
most virus writers were in a way trying to put their signature on the
world. Priest became famous when his Satanbug virus took down a secret
service computer for three days. The lads never got anything from their
work except fleeting notoriety. But they made the software vendors
very rich.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #6 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Fri 22 Oct 99 21:51
    

Indra, you've talked about "real life" and "virtual life." Do you feel the
two are definitely different? My feeling is that I'm still here in my real
life even as I'm typing this. I didn't step out of my life to do the
disembodied thing no matter how much I might like that concept. It's still
concept, and perhaps a lot of projection. Wasn't your life online a part of
your life overall? How do you separate the two? And especially when you got
involved with the Kurds -- which I hope you'll recount for us -- was there a
split between your two activities, or did you really feel like a virtual
world was going on which kept intruding or blurring into your real world.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #7 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Fri 22 Oct 99 21:55
    

Also, you take a decidedly non-linear approach to the book. You've called it
chaotic. Why did you write your book in this way? Do you see it more as a
series of impressions rather than a travelogue?
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #8 of 367: "Is that a British publication?" (jdevoto) Fri 22 Oct 99 22:16
    
Hi, indra. May I hop in here to ask something, without stepping on
lizabeth's toes? You said up above that "and then the web came
 along and Bill Gates slouched in, and e-commerce and it wasn't fun any
 more.", which leads me to ask how the Great Internet Hype of '93 changed
things from your point of view.

For Usenet the main problem it caused was hordes of newbies with little to
no clue about how Usenet worked, along with hordes of new ISPs with little
to no clue about their responsibility to educate their users and deal with
abuse. Was it the same way with the stuff you write about? Or was it the
fashionability that made it not fun any more? Or something else?
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #9 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Fri 22 Oct 99 22:18
    

Not toe stepping at all! I hope others will jump in with their questions for
Indra.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #10 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Sat 23 Oct 99 07:31
    
Cor, lots of questions. To take Jeanne's first, when the web happened,
our world began to die. I simply miss calling bulletin boards that
interest me in strange places like Vladivostok and Tromso and chatting
to their sysops in real time. The web, in its first few years, offered
hardly any opportunities for live, or intelligent, conversations. 

I wasn't particularly aware of an irruption of newbies into the
usenet, because there were only one or two newsgroups where I was a
regular. Sci.physics was one, where I was perhaps the sole supporter of
the redoubtable Professor Alexander Abian, who maintained against all
comers that TIME HAS INERTIA and outlined a set of magnificent
proposals, which included:

"...Reorbiting Venus  into an Earth-like orbit to create a Born again
Earth. Reigniting Jupiter into a born again Sun."     
 
and

"...Altering and reshuffling our entire 8 billion year old decaying
Solar System (in fact, the entire Cosmos) and rejecting the slavish
indoctrination of the "Majestic Celestial Harmony, which in reality is
putrid and corrupt. In particular, altering  Earth's orbit and tilt in
order to stop the natural disasters and calamities and epidemics of
deadly diseases such as plagues, cancer and various immune deficiency
syndromes."

He added: "The younger generation of scientists already sense the
tremor and trembling in the  foundations of the pre-Abian physics and
are printing T-shirts with my picture and formula instead of those of
Einstein's !!"

He used to sign off all his messages:

TIME-SPACE HAS INERTIA. EQUIVALENCE OF TIME-SPACE AND MASS 
1/T+1/log M =1(ABIAN)   ALTER EARTH'S ORBIT AND TILT - 
STOP EPIDEMICS OF CANCER, CHOLERA, AIDS, ETC. VENUS MUST BE 
GIVEN A NEAR EARTH-LIKE ORBIT TO BECOME A BORN AGAIN EARTH

I adored Abian and miss him horribly.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #11 of 367: virtual vs real life (indra) Sat 23 Oct 99 08:18
    
Lizabeth, as I sit on a windy grey and blue day in England typing this
I also feel that I am in my "real" life. Our conversation is not
unlike the sort we might have if we were sitting together, or talking
over the phone. But if I were logged into the Vortex, I wouldn't be me.
I might be Bear, or Ophiolatreia (who was/still is a snake), or
Merilyn (a rather prudish Englishwoman who is obsessed with horses), or
Mrs Oliphaunt (a charlady based on a neighbour) whose conversation
clears rooms quicker than a blast of mace. It would be like being lost
inside a book, but a book whose geography I could wander at will,
meeting other characters, part of the evolving story.

If I were sitting with Luna in the Vortex, in her favourite spot,
which was beside a log fire by a run down caravan, with night falling
and the stars beginning to appear, I would feel as if I were in a
different world. If I were Merilyn, or Ophiolatreia, both of whom were
friends of Luna's (not all of my characters were), I really would be
them. I would think their thoughts, feel their feelings. For instance,
I was overly fond of dear old Oliphaunt and was terribly wounded
whenever she was snubbed.

The Vortex was a good workshop for writers and actors to try out new
characters. It was also a place where people like whoever-played-Luna
went to escape the "real" world. Luna would maintain that she, ie Luna,
was not human. She acknowledged that she owed her being to the human
who sat tapping at a keyboard and who, inconveniently, needed to be
fed, and clothed, and housed. But Luna was not the same person as this
human. Of the two, it was Luna who claimed to be the more "real". The
human's life, apparently, was a shadowy existence of offices and
tedious projects and coming home to a lonely flat to feed cats. It was
Luna who emerged at night into the realms of the Vortex, to walk in the
woods of Narnia, or hold court by her favourite bonfire. Luna had the
real life.

Nobody ever knew who played Luna. The player revealed nothing
identifiable about herself (or himself). The rumour on the Vortex,
taken quite seriously by some, was that she was Stella Rimmington, then
head of MI5, the British security service.

I wrote an article about Luna for the London Times, which anyone
interested can read at http://www.cybergypsies.com/times.html and there
is some more about her at http://www.cybergypsies.com/chars-luna.html.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #12 of 367: Question from PETER JAMES (tnf) Sat 23 Oct 99 08:30
    



Indra

I read Cybergypsies and consider it to be the most authorative and most
stimulating work on the formulative years of the net ever written.

I'm very interested to know your vision of how history will come to look at
the evolution of the interet over this past crucial decade when it has come
out of the closet and come of age.  In particular I would love your view of
how do you think it will impact on the coming millennium compared to how the
Gutenberg printing press has impacted on this current millennium?

Regards,

Peter James
--

Peter James

http://www.peterjames.com
scary@pavilion.co.uk
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #13 of 367: On the narration of non-linear lives (indra) Sat 23 Oct 99 09:02
    
Luna liked to test newcomers to the Vortex (in those days entry was by
invitation only) by asking "How much of our 'real lives' do you
suppose is lived in the imagination?" Answers usually ranged from
0-30%. She'd reply, "No! One hundred percent!" She held that our
experience is undifferentiated and seamless, only we, being unable to
work with this, chop it up into bits to which we attach labels, "real"
being merely one of several. We compartmentalise experiences. Some, we
say, are "real", others are "in the mind". But what we forget is that
experience is ALL in the mind. Events only SEEM to succeed one another,
one thing after another. They actually occur simultaneously on many
levels inside a multi-dimensional lattice that extends in directions
for which we have no names. All this is basically Luna, but I used it.

When I began writing Cybergypsies, I knew that I wanted to convey the
real experience of what it had been like to live in several worlds
simultaneously, but I didn't know how to do it. At first I was making
distinctions between "real" life and the various lives I led on the net
(and elsewhere). But it was ALL real to me. All equally real, or
equally unreal. So the first thing that happened was that the
perspective flattened. Meetings with Luna, or Geno, or with Jeffrey
Archer, were treated in exactly the same way. The ruined town inside
Shades, where jackdaws nested among rubble and blackened rafters, was
no more or less real than the ruined Kurdish town of Halabja, destroyed
by Iraqi cyanide bombs. The testimony of Lilith, to cannibalism and
murder in the Vortex, had the same weight as the tortured memories of
my friend Don McCullin, who had spent thirty years photographing wars
and human rights atrocities.

Gradually there evolved an interweaving of stories, themes and
currents. The discontinuous narrative and apparently dsylexic structure
is an attempt to convey what my "cyber" experience had been like -
fractured, hallucinatory, random, full of strange and unexpected
juxtapositions - coincidences and what Eve called "noincidences" -
blind alleys, fragments of "reality" torn up and flung in your face. 
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #14 of 367: Jesus Slut Fucker (jesuschrist) Sat 23 Oct 99 09:38
    
Indra,

Hey man, I wish you'd stop sending me all those pairs of female
underwear we just don't wear the same size and anyway I perfer
boxers. 

Would you believe that people are still e-mailing me and asking
me if the things in  your book actually happened. Maybe you should
have put on the cover, non-fiction for the slow ones....? 




-Jesus Slut Fucker
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #15 of 367: (brady) Sat 23 Oct 99 09:43
    

bio jesuschrist
finger: jesuschrist: no such user.

!!
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #16 of 367: Jesus Slut Fucker (jesuschrist) Sat 23 Oct 99 10:12
    
Peter,

I think it should be clear that the internet can never have the impact
of the Gutenberg Printing Press. It revolutionized civilization. I
feel the effects almost daily (depending on my bowel habits). I keep a
Gutenberg bible (or two) next to my toilet. Whenever I run low on shit
paper I just tear a page or two out of the Gutenberg. Now scoff at
this if you will but just try wiping  your ass on your damn computer
terminal.



-Jesus, son of god, Mary's Pimp
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #17 of 367: Jesus Slut Fucker (jesuschrist) Sat 23 Oct 99 10:14
    
Brady,

Of course there is no such user, you little slut, I hacked into the
system. Stay on topic and buy the book before I am forced to kick
your ass.



-Jesus
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #18 of 367: Fisher of Men (vasudha) Sat 23 Oct 99 11:27
    

Are you influenced by Hindu philosophy?

Your bio seemed to indicate, from your pursuit of the
study of English Literature, that you were involved
with the traditions of the western English-speaking world.

There's a Hindu tale about the KIng who dreams he is a beggar,
being beaten by the guards of the King for sleeping in the
King's field. Upon what the King interprets as an
awakening from sleep, he asks his Vizier, "Am I a beggar
sleeping in the King's field dreaming I am King?"
"Or am I a King who dreams he is a beggar being
beaten by the King's guards?"

He was distraught and asked the Vizier for instruction.

I thought of this story after seeing the _Matrix_ movie
as well as after reading of your instructions from "Luna."
Layers. Waking up to different worlds.

It seems the meme of different worlds as different
states of consciousness and not actually *substantial*
in and of themselves as we ordinarily think of "substantial",
comes up over and over in Hindu stories.
(I can give other examples.)

Did you first think about this as a result of your
contact with Luna? Or did you hear this point
of view elaborated in some way in Rajastan?
Or do you remember?
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #19 of 367: Marguerite Ch (vasudha) Sat 23 Oct 99 11:31
    <scribbled by vasudha Sat 23 Oct 99 14:21>
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #20 of 367: (ideo) was I ere I saw (esau) Sat 23 Oct 99 12:09
    
OK, this is different.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #21 of 367: first be a good (satyr) Sat 23 Oct 99 13:01
    
Echo that!

JSF> I think it should be clear that the internet can never have the impact
JSF> of the Gutenberg Printing Press.

Maybe not the internet alone, as used directly and specifically by humans
(requesting web pages...), but computing in general?

The printing press made the written word commonplace, computing will
breathe life into it -- with both good and bad implications, as is always
the case with things technological.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #22 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Sat 23 Oct 99 14:05
    
Aaaahh, things are livening up - a touch of chaos, a hint of
mysticism, and Geno - the place is beginning to feel like home. :)

Peter (#12), thanks for the kind words. For me the most important
thing about the internet is that it is subversive of tyrannies of all
kinds, whether of unpleasant dictators, media moguls or conscience-less
multi-national corporations. We can talk directly to one another! 

No longer need we get our news filtered through media owned by massive
interests. I remember our excitement in Fido at the beginning of the
decade when news from Ljubljana of Serb tanks in the streets was broken
by a BBS sysop who was looking out of his window and describing what
he saw.

During the Gulf War, when the British government slapped D notices (ie
censorship orders) on certain news reports, my dear old friend
Alastair McIntosh (we really ought to get him here to join in) would
simply publish them on Greennet (part of the internet).

In '94, when there were demonstrations and police shootings in
Bangkok, the news was first flashed out over the internet.

Everyone can play a part, however small in the work that needs to be
done. For years I used to relay Amnesty International's Urgent Action
alerts from Greennet onto Fidonet via my BBS, the Butterfly Effect (its
Fidonet name, when it functioned as a NuKE BBS, it was called
Myrmidon's Revenge - Geno's was the Oklahoma Institute of Virus
Research) - and we formed what I think was Amnesty's first ever online
local group.

I've also noticed that when people around the world talk directly to
each other, it is what they have in common, not their differences, that
they notice.

And this is only the beginning.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #23 of 367: Elizabeth Lewis (lizabeth) Sat 23 Oct 99 14:28
    <scribbled by lizabeth Sat 23 Oct 99 14:39>
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #24 of 367: little modem on the prairie (lizabeth) Sat 23 Oct 99 14:42
    

I see that Indra's friend and a character in the book, Jesus Slutfucker, is
among us. I'm sure that character is quite in-your-face and mockingly
shocking in a lot of places. On the Well, it's just another day of the
usual. Let's all be gentle with him before the real initiation begins.

Indra, I want to just list some things I remember from the book, text that
was very potent, and see if you would comment on some of it. Feel free to
quote from Cybergypsies as well:

* The time you forgot about picking up your child from school because you
were online.

* Biffo's abandonment of his family to Scientology, and how that mirrored
some of your own experience, especially recognizing that when Eve gets very
angry and throws things

* The entire cannobalism/death story, where Lilith tells you that it's all a
"safe" thing to do because it's all in the imagination -- your mental
response to that was perhaps one of the more compelling parts of
Cybergypsies for me.

* Taking three months off from the net after you found out about your heart
condition, and then coming back to the huge war on Shades -- could you
recount a bit about that war and how it escalated?

* Your non-meeting with Luna, and how it changed you.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #25 of 367: Jesus Slut Fucker (jesuschrist) Sat 23 Oct 99 15:23
    
lizabeth the lezzie, who isn't very smart sez:

   l> On the Well, it's just another day of the usual. Let's all
   l> be gentle with him, blah blah blah more boring stuff following

Thank you very much for being gentle with me. However, I see from your
previous posts and questions that you are unable to grasp the central
themes of the book. Lucky for you I am working on a version of the
book for people like you with very small words. Help is coming dear
lizzie!

I believe I can answer your e-mail questions here on the Well. Yes, I
am really Jesus. Yes you may worship me. Praise is fine but I perfer
cash. Please send all money orders or checks to:

     Geno Enterprises
     909 N.W. 909 Suite R
     Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106

All donations go toward my general beer fund or is given to needy
titty dancers. 

Additionally, thank you for the naked pictures of yourself, however
please don't send anymore pictures of this sort or failing that please
time it where it doesn't come around meal time.




-Jesus, Son of Gawd
  

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