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Re: 'robert' and his 'hipcrime' web site

On Wed, 11 Sep 1996, John Anonymous MacDonald wrote:

> Have you considered who is funding this "hipcrime" site?  Web sites aren't
> terribly expensive these days, but someone paid at least a few hundred
> dollars in set-up fees for this.

A few hundred dollars?  Probably not.  There's the domain name 
registration (perhaps, depending on when the name was registered -- I 
don't care enough to find out), and maybe $20/month to some other guy.  
Perhaps more, but not necessarily.

> It's obvious that this guy's true passion is fractals and raytracing.  
> He threw in some bomb-making stuff, but he scanned it out of a book and
> probably never tried it.  Compared to the rest of the site, it looks like
> an afterthought.  Someone who was really interested in chemistry would
> have taken the time to retype the info and add their own comments.  He
> had a reason to have some "anarchist" info on there but he's not really
> interested in it.  So basically this guy is a mathematician/artist trying
> to pretend he's an anarchist.

Like... oh... I dunno... una-something... :-)  To be an "anarchist" has 
nothing to do with violence, necessarily, though.  Ghandi was an 
anarchist, of course, as are many other people (such as myself) who 
disclaim violence as a tactic.

> So we have a guy, probably with an education in mathematics, who likes
> abstract art.  Not what would generally be considered a political figure.
> But there's something else there - something that doesn't want to be seen,
> something that is very strongly law&order, something that doesn't
> understand the anarchy of the net, and fears it.

Disagree strongly.  Are you aware of the source of the name 'hipcrime'?  
It's from John Brunner's novel _Stand_On_Zanzibar_ (A _great_ book, btw), 
and describes a cynical, hipster-societal dropout philosophy (or at least 
style) that is inclined to look at people as no more than sheep. Applying 
this to the 'net populace is perhaps (I hesitate somewhat to apply the 
term) misanthropic, but not necessarily law & order.  Again, unabomber 
comparisons are obvious.

Still, like computer virii, the internet worm, all the promised 
intelligent agents and nano-mites we've been promised (which the hipcrime 
bot could certainly be seen as another precursor of, at least as far as 
intelligent agents go), there's a certain abstract beauty to the scheme, 
and a certain pathos.  I'm reminded of the limits to growth studies which 
showed islands exceed their capacity to carry a particular species, and 
the stunning sudden decline soon after.  (Come to think of it, that 
analogy might cover the remailer network)

Jon Lasser (410)532-7138                         - Obscenity  is a crutch  for
[email protected]                            inarticulate motherfuckers.
Finger for PGP key (1024/EC001E4D)               - Fuck the CDA.