Tinker, Tailor, Liberator, Thief

house.54.766: Dan Levy (danlevy) Tue 30 May 95 06:11

Thanks to John Bagby for respecting Well protocol.

I have to ask David and Frasier now....please do not post anything from
the Well to your web site unless you have specific permission from the
writers to do so.

Will you do that?

house.54.767: C J Silverio (ceej) Tue 30 May 95 12:46


house.54.768: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Tue 30 May 95 13:03

} I don't think the "no response mean a yes response" default is
} acceptable to most people

So I discovered, and have corrected: I repeat: *I* will not use anyone's
words without specific permission..... if I receive silence, then that
person's words will NOT be put up on my site.

As for David, and Fraser-- that is a decision they will have to make, since
they've already put the whole shebang up on the Web.

I hope David corrects his indescretion, but I dunno... yesterday, in
private mail, he told me he felt he was "liberating" the topic from the
"WELL elites" to the "Web proletariat".

My current occupation is interactive marketing-- and I got some news for ya,
David-- the best profile for Web-surfers available gives a demographic of
very UN-proletariat people.

house.54.769: Dan Levy (danlevy) Tue 30 May 95 13:52

What is the megatripolis URL?

house.54.770: Dan Levy (danlevy) Tue 30 May 95 14:01

Here it is: http://www.megatripolis.org

The topics from the Well are referenced here:

megatripolis.org is served on Best.com's server. I don't know whether
Best.com would be happy to hear from the readers of this conference that
their words have been stolen by one of their customers who is now serving
them out of best.com

Frasier...David...avert the hassles to come: deal with this issue here
and now.

house.54.771: Dan Levy (danlevy) Tue 30 May 95 14:04

...or is that your idea of community?

house.54.772: C J Silverio (ceej) Tue 30 May 95 15:54


house.54.773: David ~Dei (megatrip) Tue 30 May 95 22:41

OK, i hereby invite you all to NOT browse our website. Since we have not
made an official announcement of an open house, we consider our doors
closed but unbolted. I see no reason not to have a personal copy of this
topic in a safe place away from the threat of mudslides and mitnick
well-like hackers. If any of you feel that your place in history should
be deleted, then let us know and we will unread your contribution. If by
any strange chance an intruder should cross the megatripolis border and
peer into our personal library, then we shall merely look the other way,
as is the custom of the future perfect state.

house.54.774: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Wed 31 May 95 00:19

Don't be a wiener and miss the point here. You know damn well that we are
angry about your mistake here, which was caused either by amazing
obliviousness or utter rudeness and disregard for both legality and the
wishes of the people who have been kind enough to engage you in this forum
for the last n months.

I'm getting mighty angry about the attitude conveyed by {megatrip} in that
last post and I expect either an admission of cluelessness on their part
or a big apology. I'd give you ten-to-one odds that no one here would
have minded had you done this from the beginning like you should have
known to.

house.54.775: let it shine! (cubensis) Wed 31 May 95 08:07

here! here!

C'mon, David, take your own advice, have a sense of humor, realize you
fucked up and let's get back to that planet-fixin'/tush wigglin' agenda you
speak so enthusiastically about...

house.54.776: RUSirius (rusirius) Wed 31 May 95 09:55

ha... hold out guys... keep the hostages. fight to the last drop of blood.

house.54.777: let it shine! (cubensis) Wed 31 May 95 10:37

trouble for troublemaking's sake, eh rusirius?

house.54.778: Stifling an orgasm (flux) Wed 31 May 95 11:45


house.54.779: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Wed 31 May 95 14:02


house.54.780: David ~Dei (megatrip) Wed 31 May 95 14:25

how many clams do you think we could get for one slightly used halfside
of a conversation?

Zippy Legal opinion here is that if we change all your pseuds and
interpolate/ replace every fourth word exchanged for a fourth letter
or other dictionary item, digitally reorganised we might have a better

VIVA anti-copyright VIVA

And a question from a young third world zippy attached to our front door
web was: "I have an account in mongolia, can I read your zippy ideas
without paying the equivelent of five years worth of mongolian wages?"

In answer to this poor info prole, we sent this reply:

"have no fear of going without your digital dinner - you may read our
personal copy housed in our personal web bookshelf for zip"

Everywhere digits remain chained to their hardrives, shackled by the
operating system of reverse economics, we concur that this is the time now
to free,free
your binary bounty,to let it go forth and replicate like the very seas of
time. Without fear of human bio-reasoning or roman legal gymnastics.

Viva the binary jurisprudence of pure information.

house.54.781: let it shine! (cubensis) Wed 31 May 95 15:03

Unbelievable. Have you Megatripolitans been kidnapped by the grays and
surgically altered to become hostile, clueless, and without manners?

If you think people on the WELL are interested in hoarding information, you
are no where NEAR as clever and tuned-in as I once thought.

One glance at my Eudora "WELL PERMISSIONS / YES" mailbox would tell you that
90% of the people who have contributed to this topic have no problem with it
being posted for ALL to read-- Mongolian or South African, or whatever.

What they DO have a problem with is being used and disrespected, as anyone
in any tribe would if one of their numbers took his personal copy of the
tribal history-book without first asking the tribal counsel.

Your behavior, which was once delightful and witty, has become sophomoric
and very confrontational. It is my personal opinion that you are burning
some very wise and valuable bridges... and for reasons that are completely

If any "poor info proles" wish to read this topic, I'll invite them to my
Pronoia site where they can read 90% of it with the best wishes of the
authors, as oppossed to 100% of the topic and lots of bad-karma baggage.

Good luck, David. I am damn close to joining {phred} in his {forget}ing,
and I began this whole WELL/Zippy thing in the first place.

Way to spread those vibes, Megatripolis.

house.54.782: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Wed 31 May 95 16:28

Couldn't have said it better myself.

house.54.783: David ~Dei (megatrip) Wed 31 May 95 18:03

But then this is the cubensis opinion of someone who actually asked us if
we had gotten permission to LINK our hotlist to other web sites we liked.
I doubt if we would have evolved out of the swamp of pure information if
we bothered to first ask permission to land on the beachhead of bipedal
apeness. And then once walking upright, should we submit to those who
would rather we did some weird western ritual of ASKING to do what is
obvious. What you are forgetting is this - your view is purely cultural.
you allow no alternative view of reality and blindly ask that we submit
to this "grand tribal council" logic like some glass bead game of elite
trilaterals. What really is at stake here is a perception that your rules
are the only rules, that your logic is the only logic. That your linear
world is the only world. It is an argument that cannot be won, for you
stand as judge, jury and executioner in a self-reflexive system that
cannot allow for difference in action. If the truth be told, the topic
was put into HTML at the drop of a stoned hat while we watched california
mudslides and a connection to the well go down. And I must say that I
still find it a bit strange that our topic hacker happened on the week
that Mitnick was being hunted. And then once uploaded onto a server home,
like a bookshelf, we promptly got distracted by other more pressing
concerns like philosophical starvation and internal voyages of discovery.
And now in a fit of temper, cubensis, you manufacture a morality play
that has little worth other than to demonstrate a certain strange
cultural fixation with property. What would you have us do? Repent? Ask
for forgiveness or a permission that seems tenuous at best?

house.54.784: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Wed 31 May 95 18:36

If by

} manufacturing a morality play

you mean I shifted my stance for the purpose of winning some conflict,
or to righteously one-up you guys by posturing...

I will simply point out that while the argument of myself and the others has
been the same, consistent complaint throughout this little fray,

your ground has shifted more than those California mudslides.

Are you defending the rights of the "info proles" or saving the WELL from
the California environment (whew! good thing you happened along nine months
ago! I'd hate to think that the security of the WELL's contents was in the
hands of those geeks who have run it for a decade or so...) or maybe you
are noblely enlightening one of the most noted virual communities in
cyberspace (the WELL) as to the dangers of cultural relativity?

I would have lost my temper had I not been so alternatingly sad and amused.

house.54.785: let it shine! let it shine (cubensis) Wed 31 May 95 19:47

reading back over this thread, it occurs to me that at least two of the
participants, namely David and me, should be spending energy TOGETHER to
interlink and weave web, seeing as our higher goals are really quite similar
(as we have both noted). Why are we fighting? Do you have a principle you
are defending, or are you just being stubborn and defensive and combative?

I loved a good debate in college and still do, but somehow the sport of
combating fundamentalist right-wingers over cultural issues is a lot more
satisfying to my sense of "helping the great work" than is this destructive
mis-use of energies... this all leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

You were welcomed to this Topic (invited in fact, by me), seemed to have
enjoyed your stay, definitely contributed positively...

and now you reject our entire code as a "glass bead game of elite

we need a good moderator, perhaps, to come to a peace?

house.54.786: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Wed 31 May 95 20:59

What rotten bastards {megatrip} turned out to be. I sat down in the park
with those guys. We broke bread. Fraser gave me a hug when we parted.
Now they take the implicit trust between us and ignore it.

And all they can say about it is that Information Wants To Be Free.

house.54.787: David ~Dei (megatrip) Thu 1 Jun 95 00:07

cubensis - i respect our trust and desire to work and weave webs for the
common good. My only gripe is the fact of the "code" seemingly not taking
into account different world views. I am not being combative, nor do I
have any desire to betray trust - I merely fail to see the point of
sitting in judgement on when and where the information should be free. If
I was trying to justify selling information, then your responses would be
appropriate, but FREE means FREE for ALL not RESTRICTION by the throwing
about of frathouse-like secret codes and pacts that we somehow consent to
without our knowledge. If this is the case - that by participating in
this debate, I should give up freedoms which I take for granted then I
shudder to think what kind of world we are concieving here. The
enjoinder/reminder that you own your own words seemed to me a reminder of
your right to remain silent or all words will be used against you in a
court of law, a way of providing what we say in this forum with a legal
standing, so as to prevent obnoxious speech. However, if people here feel
so strongly about having the public access their words, then I suggest
that the recent moves by the WELL to expand into compuserve proportions
across the country should be disturbing to you all - I have not recieved
any ability tto censure the propogation of MY WORDS in the well across a
whole range of new servers - why then this double standerd?
Or are we merely acting in the interests of a business that would like to
restrict free movement of speech in order to CHARGE for it
. One could also ask the question
- how different is this forum from a USENET newsgroup? And should we be
upset whenever a new USENET server comes online? Likewise, the Website in

Now having made my case - what remains is this, in the face of your
negative judgements do I stand on principle or err on the side of human

- david

house.54.788: Young Owl Hatching (owlmed) Thu 1 Jun 95 06:34


house.54.789: Dan Levy (danlevy) Thu 1 Jun 95 07:10

Here's an attractive new wrinkle to this situation:

I looked up megatripolis.org using a whois and found that the sole contact
listed is a David Lewis with a compuserve address and a San Francisco
phone number and address. I also noticed that on David Dei's home page
in the megatripolis website, that his real name is David Lewis. Hmmmm...
seems to add up.

I wrote a simple email to the David Lewis at Compuserve who claims not to
know anything about megatripolis...

anyway, I don't have any interest in Zippie infighting...I just don't want
my words used in a Zippie website without my permission, but as this topic
has gone on, I have been truly disgusted by David Dei's arrogance.

house.54.790: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Thu 1 Jun 95 08:24

} don't have any interest in Zippie infighting...

nor do I. In fact, when I moved to England and first encountered the
"Zippy" word, I was delighted to have a memetic device to describe a phenom
I had already observed in the states, where lots of the code-hacks and
digital designers wear tye-dyes and get inspiration from herbal lifeforms.

I accepted the offer to head up the "CyberTour" portion of the Pronoia Tour,
thinking this catchy little word might do some good.

Now, it really seems there is more negative baggae than positive associated
with the word.

TIRED: Zippies with agendas
WIRED: Cyberhippies with altruistic intent

As for David's last post (#787), he raises some interesting points, which I
am pondering as I go through my workday.

house.54.791: David ~Dei (megatrip) Thu 1 Jun 95 10:15

And what is proven by this thread is this: the falliblity of the human
heart, that seems to swing so easily between trust and distrust, faith
and total lack thereof. And the tar-brush of dissent that cubensis has
thrown into this forum, posing the question, which once posed can never
be answered, (SHOULD YOU TRUST) could just as easily been enthusisasm for
a bit of cyberfuddling archiving of what was an interesting winter of
words in this topic. What I have tried to illustrate in my argument
(which you mistake for arrogance) is that the issues are not simple. And
what must be weighed up in this equation are not only the wishes of the
few but the desires of the many. It is not something that can merely be
brushed aside or turned into a vote on the nature of reality. What I
would propose, having said this, is this:

Is it zippy or hippy that condones restriction of information flow?
Is it zippy or hippy that passes judgements in tribal councils?

Nietsche said something to the effect of "re-evaluate your values"
I suggest that in evolution of data, only the data flowing most freely
through information streams will survive. And is your desire to
MANUFACTURE CONSENT, a good or bad thing? How many times would you have
an errant zippy flood your mailbox for permission to do what should by
rights be natural?

Or am I missing something here, and this is not about information at all?

house.54.792: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 1 Jun 95 10:53

Dei, I've only got so much patience with what appears to be your willful
ignorance. What makes this place different from USENET is that we all
have an agreement with the WeLL that we will neither reprint other's words
nor have our own words reprinted. You can't possibly have missed this.
If you think it's too hierarchical or capitalist or western or second wave
or whatever OTHER BULLSHIT, you shouldn't have signed on.

Have you removed my postings from your site yet?

You are arousing my anger more than anyone on the WeLL previously, and I
am not going to keep it bottled up for long.

house.54.793: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Thu 1 Jun 95 10:57

I'm still swamped cutting CD-ROMS at work, but for now I'll say that David's
tossing-in of Chomsky in that last post was brilliant.

house.54.794: Knowledge (aasgaard) Thu 1 Jun 95 11:18


house.54.795: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 1 Jun 95 11:34
{scribbled by ledelste Thu 1 Jun 95 11:46}

house.54.796: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 1 Jun 95 11:54

You and I differ greatly on what "admitting a mistake" is, {aasgaard}.
And I am presently able to browse large portions of WeLL topics,
including my own posts, on the Web, from the Megatripolis site.

But you're right about YOYOW; it appears that the WeLL has no expectation
of preserving the proprietariness (propriety?) of its conference
materials; rather, the WeLL enters into a contract with its users that
says that if we post in its conferences, we still maintain all rights to
our postings. This from my minutes ago voice phone call to the WeLL.

house.54.797: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Thu 1 Jun 95 12:28

I've asked Howard Rheingold to browse this debate and he has agreed to do so
when he gets the chance.

house.54.798: RUSirius (rusirius) Thu 1 Jun 95 13:57

this is turning into a marvelous piece of performance art. If you can't sit
back and smile about having a few of your words kidnapped, maybe you should
eat some more acid and try again. or maybe not. rage on!

house.54.799: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 1 Jun 95 14:43

Christ! Somebody breaks my trust and abuses my friendship. Then they
blow it off to some abstract principle and shove that in my face! Oh, and
they say they'll undo what's been done, but they don't.

Sure my reaction would be out of proportion if it was just an innocent
mistake involving this stupid topic. That hasn't been the case since
{megatrip}'s first response to the complaints here indicated they felt
their values entitled them to do what they please. I don't appreciate
your sentiment, RU.

house.54.800: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Thu 1 Jun 95 15:29

800-orgasm......... aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

(in the spirit of Beltane last nite!)

Don't stress, Larry, RUsirius is a smartass SOB no matter what the topic and
I love him for it!!! (BTW, are you supplying the sunshine windowpanes,

David said I was a jealous cheerleadr of conflict. Does anyone else feel
that way too?

house.54.801: C J Silverio (ceej) Thu 1 Jun 95 15:55


house.54.802: Dan Levy (danlevy) Thu 1 Jun 95 16:13

David, it would be a shame if you chose to conflate your conflict with
cubensis with what is important to other people in this topic.

Of course it is easy to justify the "liberation" of the posts in this topic
for the greater good of the world, but so what? That is not how things
are done here.

house.54.803: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Thu 1 Jun 95 16:29

Thanks, ceej, I was wondering if you or M would give input.

What's ridiculous about this whole shebang is that David and I both have
some similar/complementary material gathered, and we have similar goals.

Web weaving is best done with others, yes? While my stuff is still on my
hard drive until I finish all this damn OCR and digitize some 16mm footage,
and David's is up and also pre-launch. Personally, the actual location of
this Topic's archive means nothing to me... the Web hates redundency anyway.

I just care about the karmic implications of sharing others ideas and art
and experiences. You know, David, I work in the corpo-world now, and I am
very careful to make sure my evening Net activities are as PRONOID and as
oriented towards community, the intellect and towards LOVE as possible.

THAT is why I sent my bulk-permission messages, THAT is why I adjusted my
policy when concerns were raised (begun with an apology), and it is also the
reason we should communicate before we both launch. I was going to quietly
gather materials and permissions, Betatest for a week, then launch big and
bad. You kinda forced things out early, with your actions...

If you really think that this is about a conflict between myself and Fraser
Clark (which is getting TIRED by now, but these things keep happening) or
yourself, then I am failing in my attempts to use technology for good
things. You are a smart human, and I respect your intellect; lets make
peace and build some community, shall we?

house.54.804: David ~Dei (megatrip) Thu 1 Jun 95 17:53

As long as we get to dance on the digital grass!

VRML is pointing the way to skintelligence - we could end this debate in
a telepresence environment with feeling.

speaking of which, I am constructing a longdistance virtual environment
between San Francisco and Cape Town, South Africa on the 24th of this month.
its called the CyberSafari to Africa, and it will mark the launch of an
African Electronic Frontier Foundation with goal of getting cyberspace
freedom into the South African constitution. Idea is that we communicate
the continent straight into the information age, turning it into an
island of netfreedom. African Property Law is remarkably different from
the Roman-American System.

Anyone for a real netTREK?

David Dei

house.54.805: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 1 Jun 95 17:58

You have still failed to remove my posts from your public server.

house.54.806: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Fri 2 Jun 95 10:48

OK, maybe it there was a little unwitting performance art, but I will end
my histrionics here.

I can't put this any other way: if I don't defend the privacy of my words
now, how will I next time? With this fact in mind, I am going to notify
Best Internet Services, the ISP from which Megatripolis is hosted, that
they are allowing a user to Web-publish material, without my permission,
which I retain exclusive rights to. However, I'll wait until Monday
morning, so as to give David/Fraser/et al a chance to correct their
mistake, and to avoid a lot of unnecessary wasting of time.

house.54.807: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 2 Jun 95 11:54

Sent from: paulbr@itc.gu.edu.au (Paul Brown)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
}Date: Wed, 31 May 1995 17:20:47 -0500
}From: Grant D.H.McHerron {grant@tiac.net}
}To: Australian Raves List {ausrave@smug.student.adelaide.edu.au}
}Subject: Pom Pigs at it again...


This just in from the UKDance list - will the Oz scene ever get like this?
FUckin' hope not...


Date: Wed, 31 May 1995 10:38:42 GMT+0
}From: Ian Francis {i.francis@uclan.ac.uk}
}Subject: Artlab raided

As some of you may be aware, Artlab in Preston was raided in
Preston on Saturday night at around 11.30pm. This was really early
and luckily (for a lot of people) there were'nt too many people in there,
around 100. The scene was a nightmare - loads of screaming police
in full riot armour, helmets, (new style) batons, apparently guns,
a couple of people completely freaking out and screaming. A
hydraulic battering ram was used to smash through the reinfored door
which I was unlucky enough to be standing behind!!! The door gave at
once, therefore I spent the next half hour (I think) on the floor with my
hands on my head while they all stomped in. It was a very smooth
operation and filmed by a team of police video people. Who knows
what they expected to find in there - rumours of guns, pornographics
filming sessions (!!!!) etc etc. Total paranoia on the side of the state
and it even seemed to take the local police station by surprise who
were not prepared at all to deal with the aftermath at all, so people
ended up in there for 12 to 18 hours or more before being let off with a

This was a private party in a private house. I don't know why they
couldn't have warned the place beforehand what they would do if they
held the party. It just seemed to be a complete waste of money and
all it's done is motivated people more. Everyone who was there was
"asked" to complete a proforma witness statement with questions like
"did you pay to get in", "did you see any form of entertainment" (er..
). As far as I know only one person actually thought to ask "Do I have
to fill this in?" As the answer was "no" she decided not to and was let
out anyway. Therefore I would imagine it should be possible for
people to withdraw those statements if they wish to (will check this).

What lengths will they go to to stop us living our lives?

When one of them was asked if this was really necessary the reply
was "Everything is necessary".

Sad day for Preston people.

Ian Francis, Specialised Learning Resources Unit
University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR 2HE UK
01772 892294 direct....


house.54.808: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Fri 2 Jun 95 12:34

Well, that makes our little conflict seem totally stupid. Thanks for the
injection of street realism, Mr. Mirrorshades.

The UK Criminal Justice Act..... how scared can music make you? VERY, if
you're a tunnel-visioned control-freak Tory...

BTW, I had a live Net chat with some friends at Megatripolis UK (The Shell),
and they report there are little offshoots of the ORIGINAL Megatripolis
underway in Brixton and other places.... Also, Fraser has been spotted
trying to gather up some of the old crowd...

house.54.809: Kevin Hampton (khampton) Fri 2 Jun 95 15:18


house.54.810: jonl (jonl) Fri 2 Jun 95 15:30

When Stewart Brand coined the 'you own your own words' blurb, he
wasn't talking about ownership in the proprietary sense, but in the sense
that you are RESPONSIBLE for your own words. However a piece of this
responsibility is the right to control context, and the WELL has
supported the supposition that its users have the expectation that their
words will not be moved elsewhere without their permission. Community
support for that is quite strong.

If you define freedom as trashing an individual's right to approve the
context for publication of his expression, David, then I think you're
dead wrong. I don't define freedom as freedom to take from others what's
theirs to give.

house.54.811: Stifling an orgasm (flux) Fri 2 Jun 95 15:42

I just wanted to say that it comes off as really arrogant and at least
mildly exploitative. It seems a real violation of trust has occurred here.

house.54.812: David ~Dei (megatrip) Fri 2 Jun 95 18:18

How can one "take" what already has been given? And where does ownership
end and freedom begin? Does Larry now have a RIGHT to what data is stored
in my new Microsoft Data IMPLANT - that's the beta version with
photographic memory? And what about my new WEB virtual home - do I hide
the virtual coffee table literature - that hip stuff freshly downloaded
from the WELL? I wake up, boost my RAM with a DOSE of the latest Smart
Drink but in my preBOOSTED state, forget to insert my COMPENDIUM of
BI-LAWS for the LARRY entity. I am promptly sued by a LAW-bot working for
some MEGA-firm while facing DELETION by a radical group of paranoid
zippies demanding that INFORMATION BE FREE} and this is in the first five
nanoseconds of hyperspatial time somewhere on the culture curve of
western techno-society.

One solution - which year are we in? if its 1200AD I will delete the
weblink, if its 2010AD I'll remodel my personality, if its 1995AD I have a
problem - CYBER law doesn't exist - we are in the fuzziness of
pre-singularity technology frontier - Larry has given me an ULTIMATUM -
What should I do? TechnoVenusians might reboot my hardrive for the crime
of submitting to informationCONTROLLERS - but today I face excommunication
from the Topic 54 BIO-entities. They are annoyed, hungrary for biological
tribal justice. But it could be a ruse. In the emotion vacuem of
cyberspace, no-one can see your smile.

david dei

house.54.813: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Fri 2 Jun 95 19:38


house.54.814: jonl (jonl) Fri 2 Jun 95 20:05

David, I think you're lost. I've found that folks into various iterations
of 'peace-love-community' scenes can be real bastards under the glow (or
haze) of warm fuzziness. Stewart Brand (again) once observed, in Whole
Earth Review, that the folks involved in the mock-violent punk scene
seemed to him, beneath the surface, much more pleasant and considerate
than the flower children of the 60s on...there's a bee in every fucking

house.54.815: Knowledge (aasgaard) Sat 3 Jun 95 01:12


house.54.816: David ~Dei (megatrip) Sat 3 Jun 95 02:37

how then to steer oneself between the bland consensus and the novelty of
personality? the status quo is usually the line of least resistance - if
if was a good citizen I would probably do anything to prevent dissent.
however, since I chose to rather follow my heart, and steer towards what
I find to be true, I have taken a more difficult path, one in which the
following strange messages have been floated my way, along with a
remarkable degree of sheep thinking. In fact, I find it peculiar that
folks here would rather vent rabid emotion and burn the heretic, than
contemplate a different version of reality.

thus far Dan Levy has decided to carry out a personal vendetta to remove
me from cyberspace completly
"I will work to see that best.com and well.com management
shut down your participation in their systems."

Larry has given me an ultimatum to "immediately" remove the offending
items, BUT only by monday.

and Miga has asserted that " in actual fact, the issue here IS clear-cut."

so what we have here is some kind of rough justice, a rule by the cybersword.

Just goes to show how far we have come from that tribal swamp - So do I
merely comply, in fear of Dan's vendetta, larry's unspecified ultimatum,
and Miga's Kafka-esque pointer to some rule book that may or may not have
evolved in Stewart Brand's mind.

And this is all about a bit of digital data - does this mean I erase it
off my harddrive? Are all copies hereby elicit? and is my participation
in this very forum some kind of weird double-bind?

Since what is being argued here is RULEs, entailing some kind of social
contract, I will propose the following remedy. Whether or not the web
gets put up, should be a democratic decision of this topic, and not the
will, for or against, by one individual. So, if we vote yes - then those
who object, should do what they do every four years anyway, and stand by
the rules of the cybersociety. If we vote no, then I will stand by that -
it works both ways. Maybe this is a test of the system? What say the
members of this conference? Or are we in a dictatorship of the ego?

house.54.817: Dan Levy (danlevy) Sat 3 Jun 95 06:45

It isn't a matter of voting. The vote happened before the topic began.

David continues to want to shove my objections into a legal framework,
but of course I'm not going to sue him or Megatripolis.

It's not a legal matter, but one of consideration and courtesy. We have
conventions here: don't post stuff from the Well without the writers'

David continues to muse on the ethics in the brave new world he inhabits in
his head. His head is irrelevant.

house.54.818: jonl (jonl) Sat 3 Jun 95 08:45

if was a good citizen I would probably do anything to prevent dissent.
however, since I chose to rather follow my heart, and steer towards what
I find to be true, I have taken a more difficult path, one in which the
following strange messages have been floated my way, along with a
remarkable degree of sheep thinking. In fact, I find it peculiar that

Sheep thinking sez you shouldn't kill, steal, or shit in the commons. If
you 'follow your heart' and commit these clearly antisocial acts, do you
figure we should pat you on the back, smile, and kick back for the next

Freedom has limitations, even Zippy the Pinhead knows that.

house.54.819: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Sat 3 Jun 95 09:05

} Zippy the Pinhead

Now THERE'S a *real* zippy.

house.54.820: jonl (jonl) Sat 3 Jun 95 10:34

I should say more. David and Fraser and the rest claim dedication to
community, but David is demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of
an important social and moral foundation without which community is
impossible to sustain. And that's why utopian or pronoid strategies for
community keep failing, because the ecstatic approach fails to
acknowledge the more difficult aspects of social organization, one of
which is how to define where one guy's decision to follow his heart
abridges another guy's rights to do his thing. Law and other social
constructs are imperfect, but they exist for a reason, and they're
powerful for a reason.

house.54.821: David ~Dei (megatrip) Sat 3 Jun 95 10:51

"Sheep thinking sez you shouldn't kill, steal, or shit in the commons"

could someone please exlain: what have I "killed", what have I "stolen"
that wasn't already given, and how is it possible to 'shit' in

your words seem to refer to a non-electronic world. perhaps this is the
crux - our incomplete observations of the universe inform our decisions.

house.54.822: Dan Levy (danlevy) Sat 3 Jun 95 10:59

(I am fully persuaded that David Dei knows what we think he has stolen.
He enjoys being disingenuous. He knows this has nothing to do with
the electronic vs. non-electronic world. )

house.54.823: jonl (jonl) Sat 3 Jun 95 11:02

I'm giving you the extreme of your position. If 'following your heart'
means you can do whatever you want regardless, then why wouldn't it be
okay to slice my nose off if you happened to think it's too hairy.
The point is that we have a social contract that sez you won't do certain
things...there's basic stuff that we all pretty much agree too, and
then there are other social contracts that are negotiated ad hoc.
Everybody on the WELL accepts my consensus that you respect the context
of the words posted here and seek the owner's permission before you move
'em. If you move 'em without permission, you've violated the consensus
which is a kind of community contract, like our more basic agreement not
to kill each other etc.

The digital world has rules, too, and we have the same need to respect
consensus within a community. If I drive through a town that's set its
speed limit at 20mph, I'll slow to that speed, whether I think it's
necessary or not...I respect their rule...

Plenty of times I've thought the debates about YOYOW were silly. One user
was pissed, for instance, because his words had been moved to another
conference in the system without his permission...I thought that was
silly. But we all respected the bottom line: his words, his decision.

house.54.824: jonl (jonl) Sat 3 Jun 95 11:03

822 slipped in, and I agree w/ danlevy.

house.54.825: RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 3 Jun 95 11:46

While I personally respect the wishes of others perhaps too often, and get
permission before using people's words here online, I think people who get
all bent outta shape about it ought stop and eat a bowl of prunes...

Community is of course the worst kind of tyranny and one hopes some day for
a form of community where the sharing of ideas, information, gross libidinal
obsessions, chips and dip, and lsd, can all happen in a matter that allows
for some spontaneity and is unfettered, except maybe on Monday afternoons
between 10 am - 5 pm...

If somebody SELLS my words, I might want to get paid for them... although i
never go after subculture publicatins that have reprinted my stuff several

(The above comments are copywrited by R. U. Sirius Megalomedia and Mondo
Vanilli Inc. and use blah blah blahlllllll.....)

house.54.826: jonl (jonl) Sat 3 Jun 95 12:35

That's not in yer contract!

house.54.827: David ~Dei (megatrip) Sat 3 Jun 95 13:37

this "consensus" thing is merely a perception that may or may not be
valid. and all i have to go on this is heresay, rumour and the name of one
individual "stewart brand". what interests me more is the present and in
this instance is whether or not we are applying inappropriate social
mechanisms to a new environment. My point is that it does no one any good
to throw precedents formulated in a pre-electric world into this forum.

Practically speaking, do we continue to apply outmoded forms of property
law and social contract to this medium? what is the level of harm done in
replication of data? and is it appropriate to have a 20mph speed limit on
an information superhighway? this little village of pre-webbing could
become a mere curiousity, a quaint CyberAmish Village struggling to
inforce unenforcable laws cut into BBStone in a time of hippy's,
disco-dolls and protopunks.

In which case it is not surprising that some members are trying to stone
me instead of getting stoned.

house.54.828: let it shine! let it shine! (cubensis) Sat 3 Jun 95 14:17

I think you could learn a lot from living in an Amish village, David.

house.54.829: Dan Levy (danlevy) Sat 3 Jun 95 15:01

David, if you would like to start a topic to debate your point, go ahead.
do it in the Wired conference, or anywhere you'd like, and let us know
where it is, so we can choose whether to debate with others or not.

What you have done is not really subject to debate. It's a clear violation
of the policy of the Well.

It would be perfectly reasonable to start a new topic, and in the header
state that people posting in the topic are granting permission for all
their writing in the topic to be ported to a Website.

But the topics you have ported do not carry such tacit permissions.

And the "precedents formulated in a pre-electric world" were NOT: they were
formulated in the Well!


The Zippy Pronoia Tour site was developed by cubensis@well.com © 1995.
Extra special thanks to the gracious, skoochin' internet love-fest.