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################ ################### ######### ### ## ## ## ## ### ## ## ### ## ## ### ## #### ### ## #### ### ## ## ### ## ## ### ## ## ## ## ################ ################## ######### I n f o r m a t i o n, C o m m u n i c a t i o n, S u p p l y E L E C T R O Z I N E Established in 1993 by Deva Winblood Information Communication Supply 5/17/94 Vol.1: Issue 10-1 Email To: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU E D I T O R S: Local Alias: Email: ICS Positions: ============== ============ ====== ============== Jeremy Bek rApIeR STU521279258 Technical Director,Layout Steven Peterson Rufus Firefly STU388801940 Editor, Writer Russel Hutchinson Burnout Writer, Subscriptions, Editing Jason Manczur GReY KnYgHT STU523356717 Writer,Poet,Editing Deva Winblood MeTaL MaSTeR, ADP_DEVA Ask Deva, Tales of the Ephemeral Unknown, Editing Presence George Sibley MAC_FAC FAC_SIBLEY Editing, Supervisor _________________________________________ /=========================================\ |"Art helps us accept the human condition; | | technology changes it." | \ - D.B. Smith / \***************************************/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ _____________________________________________________________________________ / \ | ICS is an Electrozine distributed by students of Western State | | College in Gunnison, Colorado. We are here to gather information about | | topics that are important to us all as human beings. If you would like | | to send in a submission please type it into an ASCII format and mail it | | to us. We operate on the assumption that if you mail us something you | | want it to be published. We will do our best to make sure it is | | distributed and will always inform you when or if it is used. | | See the end of this issue for submission information. | \_____________________________________________________________________________/ REDISTRIBUTION: If any part of this issue is copied or used elsewhere you must give credit to the author and indicate that the information came from ICS Electrozine ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of ICS. Contributors to ICS assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles/submissions are not violating copyright laws. |\__________________________________________________/| | \ / | | \ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S / | | / \ | | /________________________________________________\ | |/ \| | Included in the table of contents you will see | | some generic symbols to help you in making your | | decisions on whether an article is something that | | may use ideas, and/or language that could be | | offensive to some. S = Sexual Content | | AL = Adult Language V = Violence O = Opinions | |____________________________________________________| |----------------------------------------------------| | 1) First Word .................... Steven Peterson | | 2) Death of a Nation (Pt.1) ........ Jason Manzcur | | 3) Computer-Mediated | | Communication (Pt.2) ......... Steven Peterson | | 4) Introverted Psyche .................. Damian | | 5) Profit Margin ................. Steven Peterson | ------------------------------------------------------ ################################################################################ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ------------------------------------- \ First Word / \ by / \ Steven Peterson / ------------------------------- Well, it does get lonely in the editor's chair toward the end of the semester. As you can tell from the table of contents, most of this issue is the product of my lone voice; yea, and I went forth into cyberspace, untethered and alone ... way too melodramatic. Sorry. Anyway, In this issue: Jason tries on the epic form for his poetic vision, I bring you the second part of my series on CMC (electronic brainstorming software, this time), Damian Riddle, a new contributor to ICS (local) offers another poem, and your humble editor winds up the frag with a short story. The story was fun to write - drop me a short note if the premise or the protagonist seems familiar. I'm interested in finding out if this is one of those "cultural" stories which reaches many people. I guess it's all part of developing as a writer, this search for the culturally relevant stories that need to be told. But, hey, it's supposed to be entertaining first and foremost, so enjoy. We'll be back in a couple weeks with the last issue of this term. we plan on producing two issues (or four frags) over the summer. So, if you'll be offline during break or away or need us to suspend delivery for a while, let us know. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ################################################################################ DEATH OF A NATION (Part 1) It has begun! The world has ended! Lest, of course, The rift can be mended. They have started arriving Through the hole they have made In the fabric of space When their master, them bade. The invaders are here! I fret for the ones Who have not foreseen That thus the end comes. Death has little meaning For these abhorrations. They merely desire The end of all nations. They arrive by the hundreds, The thousands, the millions, And as they arrive, They build their pavilions, From which they can strike, North, East, South, and West. The human resistance Will prove who is best! I will be the leader, As I know their plan. If any can stop them, The resistance can. To all the people, Great people and small, I give you this message; "Please heed our call"! We will need all The support we can get! We will not give up On victory yet! The first attack! It happened at eight. These creatures Are taught only to hate! Machine gun fire Filled up the night. The people around me Tried to scream out their fright. We started resisting, And killed some of them, too. Though they were all dead, We knew we still weren't through. More of them came And began to slaughter. I heard my friend scream As they killed her daughter. They arrived en masse That they could kill more. Some began to revel Insane from the gore! You could see thousands In a grenade's light. The people retreated From Death's unholy rite! We will be triumphant, I am sure of that now. There are few of us left, But we will win somehow! Jason Manczur ################################################################################ <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ------------------------------------- \ Computer-Mediated Communication / \ Part 2 / \-------------------------------/ \ by / \ Steven Peterson / --------------------------- In the first part of this series, I examined some of the initial Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) research conducted by Kiesler during the 1980s. From that work, I take five central questions which in- variably surface in subsequent research examining other, newer forms of CMC. These questions are: -------------------------------------------------------- | Five Aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC)| | 1) Time/Information processing pressures | | 2) Absence of regulating feedback | | 3) Dramaturgical weakness | | 4) Few status/position cues | | 5) Depersonalization of social anonymity | |______________________________________________________| In this, the second part of this series, I will examine recent research on electronic brainstorming software (EBS). Most of you are probably familiar with the traditional form of collaborative brainstorming which occurs in business and education. The basic idea is to gather people in a room and generate ideas in a free-form manner. Driven by a human sense of synergy, the traditional face-to-face form remains popular despite empirical studies that debunk claims of its efficacy (Gallupe 28). Recent innovations in software development have brought the idea of EBS into the hands of corporate America in the form of programs such as Group- systems and Teamfocus. EBSs take the original brainstorming concept and bring it to LANs, dividing the process into its constituent parts. The first step in the process - generating ideas - takes advantage of anonymous keyboarding in order to encourage participants to share ideas they probably wouldn't voice in a face-to-face setting. Aspects 2 and 4 are turned into advantages at this stage - without regulating feedback or status cues, inhibitions fade and more ideas are expressed. In a comparative study involving over eight-hundred people, EBS groups "have consistently been more productive than traditional brainstorming groups ... productivity advantages have ranged from 25 to 50 percent for four person groups and to nearly 200 percent for twelve person groups" (30). The same study notes "the advantages of parallel entry, anonymity, and, no doubt, novelty serve to make electronic brain- storming a much more productive way to brainstorm, particularly among larger groups"(30). While these programs overcome traditional problems of inhibition and "status-weighting", they lead to problems in the editing phase. Time and information processing problems mark the editing phase of EBS. Eliminating redundant ideas is described as the "grueling part." Anticipating such a problem, some of the available programs (in this case Groupsytems) offer a tool which enables users to "create his or her own categories for the ideas that have been generated. By scanning all the ideas generated, each group member can assign each idea to any number of categories. This process makes it easier for the group to identify similar ideas and combine or discard those that are redundant" (31). While sorting tools may speed the process up, asking participants to avoid obvious or trite ideas would seem to be a good idea. The next phase in the process, evaluation, also presents some problems. Traditionally, status and position determine the relative weight of an individual's influence. Recognizing the needs of corporate users, software developers have incorporated "rank-order voting" features to prioritize ideas according to consensus, or, in some cases, by caveat of management. Although weighted voting may streamline the process, "the anonymous evaluation of ideas is an important feature of EBS technology. We have all had the experience of seeing ideas adopted because they were advocated by powerful individuals. Once this happens, a groupthink process can produce unanimity on what some (privately) believe to be a bad idea" (32). Expanding on this theme, the authors note that "all the EBS procedures are designed to equalize power within the group ... when this [differential weighting] is done - and we acknowledge our misgivings about violating the power equalization feature of EBS - it should be made explicit that not everyone is equal in the group and why" (32). It is easy to see the resistance such equalization will engender in a hierarchical, profit-driven, competitive arena. Any resistance to the EBS process will likely surface in the next phase: implementing the ideas generated in a EBS session. Most of these programs offer a "window" style feature that allows individuals to enter steps used to define a "plan-of-action" for any given idea. If the plans are followed, employees seem to feel their efforts are worthwhile, and psychologically, they are likely to feel that "equalization of power" EBS offers. On the other hand, if management manipulates resources and funding to determine a course of action, employees may feel cheated and used at some level. As with any new technology, the potential for abuse conditions the possibilities for progress. Generalizing from their research, the authors of this study provide two short lists of advantages and disadvantages of EBS: Advantages Disadvantages *Parallel entry of ideas *May be oversold as cure-all *Anonymity *Requires keyboarding skills *More good ideas generated *Loss of power for senior people *Higher satisfaction with process *Loss of social interaction *Large groups can be effective *Overload during idea editing *Can be used by both face-to- *Cost of facilities and face and dispersed groups software *Records ideas for future *Not all topics are suitable (34) (35) These lists give a concise view of the surface features of the medium; however, the deeper issues of control, office politics, and credit for "intellectual property" will most likely determine if this sort of system actually gets adopted by a business organization. The "organization man" moving up a ladder of success in the traditional capitalistic sort of corporation will probably view the anonymity inherent to the EBS process threatening. As individual "scoring" systems give way to "team-based" measures of performance, the Horatio Nelson model of success undergoes a transformation from one of individualistic endeavor to one of collective, or team success. In cultures which already use team-oriented tactics to achieve their goals (e.g. Japan), EBS programs can be adopted with a minimum of resistance. In highly individualistic cultures (such as the U.S.), a "new order" of business practices must evolve in order for corporations to reap the potential benefits of EBS-style programs. The basic purpose of CMC software is to exchange knowledge. Corporate America's interest in the medium reflects the growing role knowledge often plays in defining economic realities, good or bad. In a recent interview, Peter Drucker (known as the father of modern corporate management) stated "international economic theory is obsolete. The traditional factors of production - land, labor, and capital - are becoming restraints rather than driving forces. Knowledge is becoming the one critical factor of production. It has two incarnations: knowledge applied to existing processes, services, and products is productivity; knowledge applied to the new is innovation" (Drucker 80). Citing numerous examples of efficiency gains in corporate America, Drucker identifies a strong link between business success and the application of knowledge in design processes. It seems the dual pressures of international competition and mass marketing are forcing national and multi- national corporations to react to the growing sophistication of their business rivals and their customers. Determining the course of that reaction may prove to be the defining moment for many workers in the American economy. Systems such as EBS offer one possible method of cultivating the "knowledge base" that will give corporations a competitive edge in the emerging "post-capitalist" economy of the 21st century. In the third installment, I will examine Group Decision Software Systems (GDSS), another form of CMC which may challenge the existing forms of corporate management. Stay Tuned ... _______________________________________________________________________________ Works Cited Drucker, Peter. Interview. "Post-Industrial Society." With Peter Schwartz. *WIRED*. Vol.1, No.3, July/August, 1993. 80-83. Gallupe, R. Brent, and William Cooper. "Brainstorming Electronically." *Sloan Management Review*. Vol.35, No.1, Fall, 1993. 27-36. Kiesler, Sara, "Social Psychological Aspects of Computer-Mediated Communication." *American Psychologist*. Vol.39, No.10, Oct. 1984. 1123-1134. ________________________________________________________________________________ ################################################################################ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Introverted Psyche I frivolously disdain my outward appearence, Frequently subsiding to the injections of eternal thought. Crumbling slowly, logically at first, then wild, Stumbling, bumbling out of reality. My first reaction was no - no way! Then I accepted the tedious chore and Threw - it - away. You know what I don't care peace of mind is satisfaction enough. Life is cruel and I deserve it. I will strive to be levelheaded and full of meaning. Meaning is substance constant, relative thoughts, those which make us whole. Those that live and bleed. The beast is inside us, exorcise the beast and you're in. Only excessive force binds my style. I realize I extrude, and I retort inwardly, instantly. *Damian* ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ******************************************************************************** ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ __________________ | PROFIT MARGIN | | | | by | | ______________ | / Steven Peterson \ -------------------- Coffee and cigarettes: as Ron reached for his Camels, he scorched his tongue on the icky-sweet flavored coffee his secretary had just brewed. Hot cherry and white chocolate flooded his throat as he tried to choke down the viscous fluid; his eyes began to water and his hands started to shake. Ron coughed and sent a perfect stream of java splashing down: a direct hit, right into the middle of his keyboard. Cursing silently, he stabbed the intercom button: --Marcy ... could you come here, my keyboard is down again. --I'll bring the spare ... Ron set down his mug and picked up the sodden keyboard. He began to shake the little brown droplets out onto the carpet, hoping to cover his slop before Marcy arrived. She'd been after him for months to get used to his new "secretary," and this was the third unit he'd trashed this month. It was starting to look deliberate, and the man upstairs had his "quota" of time "on-line" to measure, quantify, digitize, whatever they did with the little blips when Ron was done with them. He was glaring at the screen when Marcy entered: --What happened, Ron ... ashes or fluids? She had the spare keyboard tucked under one arm; Ron thought it looked like some sort of new appendage, perhaps the wing she was using to fly away. --Coffee again, Marcy. That thing's a damn magnet. --Well, scoot out of the way, and I'll have you back up again in just a minute. Really, Ron ... you'd better get used to it being there. --Yeah, I know. Say, could you bring up those new sales forms for me? I keep getting lost in the windows. Marcy began to trace the cord to the back of the machine. Her movements had a confidence that Ron had never really noticed before. Ron started to thumb through his ancient rolodex, looking for his first calls of the day. Marcy stood up, tapped a few keys, and fixed Ron with a cold look: --There you go. Now which form did you want? --Carlson's little gem. It's called sp or spr94 or something. --O.K., watch ... Marcy grabbed the mouse and began pointing and clicking. --First, get out of this directory ... As Marcy droned on, throwing acronyms and clipped references at Ron, he thought back to his first regional spring sales campaign. Marcy had just started working for him, so fresh out of high school he could smell the bubblegum on her breath. He ran her like a dog, another order damn near every hour. And she had kept coming back for more. He missed that loyalty, those trusting quiet eyes. --O.K., now you're in the dbase ... God, he had power back then. Ron had owned his own region, sales were booming, and a man's personal secretary worked for him, not some damn machine. Marcy was staring at him, waiting: --Yeah, that's the one. How do I send them again? --Just like anything else, Ron, hit Control-Z and Enter. Marcy glanced out the door, then back at Ron. --Anything else? --Um, yeah, if you could get me the southeast Indiana figures from last year, I could get on the horn and maybe accomplish something. --I'll forward them right away. --No, no ... on paper, Marcy. I need the whole screen. --O.K., Ron, let me fire up the printer. Ron watched Marcy make her way out the door, quietly lusting after the Old Marcy, the girl he could manipulate. It had been years, but Ron still remembered the soft tenderness of his old conquest. Her quiet ease with numbers, with so-called logic, had changed everything. At first, that skill had made her valuable (Ron hated math); ultimately, it gave her the upper hand. Carlson was looking to promote her right out of the building; West Coast was looking for bright minds ... Ron fired up a Camel and reached for his dog-eared rolodex. Flipping through, he stopped on a new one: fresh meat. Ron picked up the phone and started dialing, his fingers stabbing the buttons as he rifled through a pile of paper. In the background, a printer began its furious ticking and whirling. * * * After a fruitless morning of cold calls, Ron had to face Carlson. The young turk of management, Carlson was obsessed with the machines. From his desk, he could monitor all the sales reports from the building as they were entered; everything was defined on his screen. The meeting was, of course, in his office: lots of chairs arranged in a web pattern around the terminal, a blinking cursor ready to reveal the frozen figures of a month's work. --Ron. I'm glad you're here early. I've been meaning to talk to you, I haven't seen you logged on much lately. Come on, old man, everybody's got to be part of the team. Let's face it ... nobody, not even you, can make sense out of that pile of dead trees on your desk. HQ wants it all digital, and if you can't get it online, Ron, you're going to be history. --Right, Carlson. All the ram in the world can't give you my contacts, my reputation. Twenty-five year's worth. Look, kid, HQ doesn't want me swingin' over to the other side, so save your empty threats. The other agents began to filter in. The monthly meetings had changed. All the ladies who used to remain safely behind their Selectrics had arrived, invading Ron's old domain and threatening his margin with their aggressive forays into his territory. Carlson's monitor beeped and he began: --Good to see everybody. I've been watching, and I'm pleased to say that most of you have posted good numbers. Most of you even found the new form. Keep using it for now, I'll post an updated version after the spring season. As you all know, the secretarial pool will only be available on a limited basis from now on. So get used to those keyboards, men. These ladies are too valuable on the lines; they're not going to correct your grammar forever. Speaking of ladies ... congratulations Marcy, you win the bonus for this month: Marcy posted the best numbers, part or full time. --Thanks, Mr. Carlson. Our product sells itself, really. Carlson beamed, his latest convert shining brightly. --Mr. Carlson, I want you to know, I didn't make it happen on my own. Ron laid the groundwork in that area ... and your form kept me on track. Ron glanced at Marcy, then down at the floor. Carlson tapped a few keys, grabbed his mouse, and started clicking away. In a moment, he found what he wanted and swiveled the monitor around. On the screen, a chart listed the active areas and the numbers for last month, last year, and the averages for the last ten years. Ron noticed his territory was now called C-12: --Carlson, them old numbers are a lie. The law of averages don't obey you or anyone else. You can't expect us to maintain a quota based on a different time, a different world. --Ron, I hear you. Those numbers are for me. Do your best to hit the target. We need you on the team; don't worry about it. --Then stop breathing down my neck for those damn forms. I'll do my job ... the way I've been doing it for the last twenty-five years. --Relax, Ron. The machine is just another tool. And since we're all using it, the least you could do is try and join the rest of the world. Marcy tried to shrink into the background. Open conflict still made her nervous, and she thought Ron was making a fool of himself; a dinosaur stomping in the tar. She couldn't help feeling a little sorry for the old man, he had shown her so much. --Look, Ron, I don't care how much coffee you dump on your keyboard, that unit stays in your office. Get used to it. And just so you know, I drafted Marcy's transfer orders to San Jose this morning ... she won't be replaced. Starting next month, you fly on your own, buddy. Ron looked stricken as the news sank in. Marcy nervously shook the glad- hands and avoided looking at Ron. Her old hero was on his way down, and she felt a twinge of guilt. After all, she had done more than her share to bring the master dbase online. But, then again, Ron had used her, in many ways. Marcy steeled herself and leveled a gaze at Ron: --Thanks, Ron. For everything. I know you'll be O.K., you don't need me. --Well, I guess that's that, Marcy. Good luck. * * * The spring campaign was winding down, and Ron was alone in his office. His numbers were terrible, and he was stuck in some directory. No coffee, no Marcy, and no more mousing around. Ron flicked the switch on his power-strip, and grabbed a pen and his trusty legal pad. He slapped the keyboard on top of his monitor, cleared a space on his desk, and began dialing in a last-ditch effort: --Ralph, old boy, it's Ron. Can we talk? I know you've been buying from SunStar lately, but I need a favor. I need to move some product, and I'm ready to call a few in. --Ron, you sound desperate ... and I wish I could help, but things just ain't the same. Schumann would have a cow if I made someone reprogram the invoice code. --Invoice Code! Christ, Ralph, did you just say Invoice Code? Don't tell me they've gotten to you, too. What the hell is the point, anyway? --Beats me, Ron. Twenty years ago, they told us to send our kids to MIT. Now, them kids are runnin' us through the better mousetrap. Go figure ... --Yeah, don't I know it. See you at the club tonight? --Not tonight, Ron. Gotta go. Ron hung up and tried another number: --Hello, John Farris, please. --I'm sorry, Mr. Farris no longer works here. Would you care to speak to another member of our staff? --No. What happened to Farris? --He retired last month, I think. If you're interested, I could connect you to his replacement, Mr., ah, what did you say your name was ... --Forget it. Ron placed the headset on his shoulder and lit another Camel. After brooding for a moment, he got up to make some real coffee, none of that sweet stuff. There was a new girl at Marcy's old desk; she pointedly ignored Ron as he measured the grounds and water. Her monitor beeped, and she clicked to attention. E-mail from Carlson Central, no doubt. While he waited for his java to brew, Ron tried to make small talk: --How goes the battle? --Excuse me, did you say something? --Yeah, how goes it? If you'd like some good numbers, let me know ... I can dig some out. --No, that's O.K., Mr. Carlson has me working from the updated list. Thanks, anyway. She turned back to her screen, oblivious to Ron's lurking presence. She was young, as Marcy had once been. But this one was untouchable, as alien to Ron as the Inventory Code. * * * May 15th, the end of the spring season. It was a bright, cool day and Ron was spiking his coffee with some very old brandy. He fixed his gaze on the blinking cursor and raised his mug: --A toast ... to progress, march on. Carlson was on his way down; the machine had crunched all of his numbers, and Ron's time was up. On his pad, in longhand, Ron had prepared his resignation. Why not. It was over: the boys were deep down in Florida, the kids owned it all now. Ron picked up his old rolodex, leaned back in his chair, and began plucking cards from the spindle. One by one, he flipped them into the trashcan, a vacant smile on his face. Copyright (c) 1994 by Steven Peterson ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ******************************************************************************* Information Communication Supply 6/23/94 Vol.1:Issue.10 Frag: 2 Email To: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU |\__________________________________________________/| | \ / | | \ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S / | | / \ | | /________________________________________________\ | |/ \| | Included in the table of contents you will see some| | generic symbols to help you in making your | | decisions on whether an article is something that | | may use ideas, and/or language that could be | | offensive. S = Sexual Content | | AL = Adult Language V = Violence O = Opinions | |____________________________________________________| |----------------------------------------------------| | 1) Gibsonian Mythology [O]......... Deva Winblood | | 2) Love (Short Story) ............. Jason Manczur | | 3) Squeezing the Juice [O] ....... Steven Peterson | | 4) Multi-User List .................... Staff | | 5) Last Word ..................... Steven Peterson | ------------------------------------------------------ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ******************************************************************************** -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- +-------------------------+ / C y b e r S p a c e \ | ===================== | | Gibsonian Mythology | | | | By | | Deva Bryson Winblood | \ / +-------------------------+ In today's technology based cultures and cliques there is a common interest in ideas that revolve around "CyberSpace." This term was first popularized by William Gibson in his award winning book _Neuromancer_. Gibson presented computer networks as a global medium of power. Similar situations were described in books such as _Shockwave Rider_ by John Brunner. Brunner's literature predates Gibson's and is perhaps more accurate in terms of today's emerging computer networks. The difference between CyberSpace in Brunner's and Gibson's books is that of perception. In Brunner's book, cyberspace was viewed much as the internet is perceived today, but on a grander scale that could very well be a forcast of the future of the internet. Gibson's _Neuromancer_, on the other hand, projected the idea of a new interface. Gibson initiated the world to a new idea for a user interface. To understand the major leap in the Gibsonian vision one must understand what a user interface is. A user interface is the method by which YOU, the user interfaces (accesses) the computer. Computers initially had almost no interface at all when one recalls the TOGGLE switches of the first computers. This was followed by punch cards which were equally unfriendly. The step-up from these now prehistoric interfaces was the development of the Command Line Interface (CLI). This enabled one to type on a keyboard and have the typed-in material appear on a screen. The user would then press RETURN (ENTER on some machines) and that COMMAND would be processed by the computer. This was a purely TEXT interface. This changed with the work of XEROX PARC research teams. They were working on a Graphic Interface. This interface was the predecessor of the Macintosh, Amiga, GEOS, Windows, and several other interfaces. These interfaces are the CURRENT top of the line method for user interaction with a computer. This interface is a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Now one has a better foundation to understand the vision of William Gibson. Gibson introduced what might be called a Sensory User Interface. This is a term just invented in this article. The interface as relayed by Gibson involved all the senses and in fact was a step beyond the idea of Virtual Reality (VR) as practiced today. In Gibsonian CyberSpace a person perceives other users in computer systems around them as well as always being in a setting that corresponds to the contents of a computer and other computers in a geographical region. ENTER MYTHOLOGY Gibsonian ideas were created on a typewriter by a man who admits to knowing little about computers at the time. This is one of those fateful situations where a person of little background in a field gains insight into something that those in the KNOW were not aware of. His idea brought hope for more intimacy, realism, and excitement in the future of computing. Quickly the Gibsonian ideas were embraced as THE FUTURE OF COMPUTING. While the Gibsonian ideas should be used as a source of inspiration, the current abilities of computers and the way they handle data causes several blocks which inhibit the Gibsonian vision. These problems are in areas of geopositional realism and speed. The Gibsonian vision pitches the computer user into a computer world that parallels that of the real world. If you JACK IN to your CyberDeck and look around you will notice that your next door neighbor is also jacked in. You will then look into the distance and see a sensory image for every computer in your neighborhood. In the distance, you will see the towering computer nets of local businesses. This is the geopositional aspect of Gibsonian cyberspace. Enter the problem. Computer networks do not work in a fashion that will enable this geopositional aspect to function. Your computer does not know the difference between crossing a satelite uplink to reach the next computer and crossing a desk. Without this knowledge available to the computer, it would be difficult to establish a perspective of SURROUNDING LOCAL COMPUTERS. Likewise, computer networks function from computer to computer. Your computer can identify whichever computers it is directly linked to and none beyond. Using modern network protocols, you can still communicate with computers beyond your own. There is no guarantee that those computers exist until your request for that computer traverses the net and either succeeds or fails and bounces back. The second problem that makes Gibsonian CyberSpace an unlikely future is the issue of speed. Take a moment... Consider the processing speed required to maintain the position and state of every USER and COMPUTER in your network vicinity. IMMENSE processing time. It has been said by some computer researchers that the real time RAY TRACING (Image processing) that would enable VR of a minimum level to produce effects such as those seen in the movie _Lawnmower Man_ would require a computer with a processing speed of at least 400 million instructions per second (400 MIPS). Current desktop computers average around 10 to 20 MIPS. This is the speed necessary to maintain JUST the visual aspect of realistic VR. Gibsonian CyberSpace has full sensory aspects (visual, touch, smell, taste, and sound) as well as maintaining accurate geopositional setting and still leaving room to run other programs. The speed of ANY computer interacting with a Gibsonian net would have to be IMMENSE to the point of being most likely unattainable. While these problems may place Gibsonian CyberSpace in the halls of mythology, Gibson's vision can still be an inspiration to the programmers of today. New interfaces that are attainable can be created and implemented on even today's limited computer power. GEOPOSITIONAL: The geopositional aspect can be maintained by a series of localized computers that I refer to as MAP NODES. The sole purpose of these computers would be to respond to queries and send geopositional information to local computers. The map node would also handle incoming messages of computers coming on and off-line and update its "MAP" correspondingly. SPEED: While keeping it real-time is currently unattainable, the "MAP" updates could be often enough to make it workable. This would not be a problem as long as each MAP NODE was only responsible for a limited area. VR: The VR aspect could be accomplished by creating a simple communication protocol for the MAP NODES that would enable them to pass on quick graphic information with query responses. All that would be [Brequired would be a program that can interpret and react to these graphic messages for each platform (computer). Visionary thinking is useful no matter its plausibility. Let all mistakes be a gateway to further knowledge. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> +--------------------+ | Love | | | | A short story by | | | | Jason I. Manczur | +--------------------+ Love is the greatest feeling I have ever come across. Love can cause people to do strange things. Love can make nice people into jealous fools, or turn mean people into nice (but lovesick) people. Here's how it all started. I was minding my own business, just killing time and a few other things, when she walked into my life. She was beautiful. I offered to help her get some experience in life, and she accepted. We walked and talked together for a while. We discovered that we had a few things in common. We also discovered that we shared some interests. Soon, I began looking for her whenever I was in the neighborhood. Now that you know that, let me begin my tale: I am waiting for her to arrive at the airport. I am beginning to get nervous. "Is she even going to come?" I ask myself. I am beginning to think about all of the time that we have spent together, and I think, "Yes, she'll be here." Her flight is due in in ten minutes. How do I look? What will I say? Will she recognize me? Will I recognize her? I may not have decided to quit smoking soon enough, or maybe I shouldn't have? No, it was the right time to quit. She will recognize me. I will recognize her. I walk into the lavatory to look in the mirror. "Oh, no!" I gasp. I look at my tie. "Why can't I ever get the knot right when I need to?" I ask. I try in vain to think of a way to tie it correctly in a short time. "Why do things like this always happen to me?" I think. I slowly walk back to the gate where her flight is to arrive. I wonder if she will notice the stupid looking knot in my tie. It has been so long since I've seen her! As I get back to the gate, her plane is pulling in. Will she be one of the first people off? Will she BE the first? I can only hope. The passengers begin to arrive in the gate area. 5 people, 10 people, 15 people, how big is that plane? I start getting extremely nervous, where is she? Did something come up? Is she alright? Did she decide she didn't want to see me? What was I thinking in inviting her out here? Who did I think I was? Why would she want to see me? Wait a minuite, there she is! I am impressed! She looks great! She looks just like the goddess I expected her to resemble! Oh, my heart is beating again! I must be the luckiest man ever to walk the face of the earth! She walks right up to me. She wraps her arms around me and gives me a long and passionate kiss. She does remember me! Now I know that my hoping was not for naught! We walk down to the baggage claims area and pick up her bags, (she packed light, smart girl!) both of them. I carry her bags out to the car for her while we talk of old times and fond memories. She has noticed that I trimmed my beard and moustache for her. I unlock the trunk and carefully put her bags in. I close the trunk and open up the doors. As we get in, she notices the roses I placed on the passenger seat for her. We leave the airport and begin the long drive to my place, a 5 hour drive. The trip should go pretty quick for her, as she has never seen the mountains here. We will talk and have a picnic lunch on the way home. As soon as we get home, I will grab my stuff and we will be out the door. We are going camping. I have already invested in a fishing license and a new fishing pole. I packed everything up yesterday. How will I ever live up to her expectations of me? Where should we go? What fishing tackle should I bring? Should I kiss her now? A famous person once said, "These are the times that try mens' souls". I now know what he was talking about. He must have been in love. The confusion, the overwhelming emotions, the chaos! The funny thing is, I wouldn't give it up for the world! ################################################################################ ================================================================================ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ /\ / \ | | / \ | | ----------------------------------------- | Squeezing The Juice | \ / \ By / \ Steven Peterson / ------------------------------- Well, the media is deeply engrossed in yet another orgy of contemporary myth-making. Or unmaking, as the case may be. Unless you've been hiding in a cave, you've probably been bombarded by the relentless coverage of the O.J. Simpson story: the initial allegations, reportage of the ostensible evidence (as it was being discovered), and, of course, the Juice's overdocumented flight - his final broken-field rush through the ranks of the media, his adoring public, and the L.A. police force. The dismantling of an American hero lies at the heart of this sad little drama: the edifice of celebrity surrounding this rags-to-riches sports figure is being torn asunder by the same media which originally constructed it. Innocent or guilty, the Juice is squeezed dry - his place in the pantheon of American heroes has been erased by the taint of human failing. As the gruesome tale of the double-murder unfolded, the media descended on the grisly carcass of allegation and innuendo like a flock of vultures, intent on presenting the "human interest" with the shining bones of the Juice. The bizarre juxtaposition of footage from the funeral with late-breaking accounts of newly discovered circumstantial evidence set the stage for an American update of the ancient "fallen hero" myth. Elevated to Olympian heights by the adoration of a nation transfixed by sports, many of which resemble the gladiatorial games of ancient Rome, our hero is brought down by a blood-lust for retribution; a lust which grotesquely demands instant gratification. Somewhere in the sub-conscious of our nation, we are willing to substitute implication and surface appearance for the slow wheels of Justice as we have fashioned them. In man-on-the-street interviews aired by the networks, individuals gave their verdicts: it was an even split: half believe he is guilty based on information presented by the media, and half were willing to either suspend judgement until the "facts" are presented in a court of law, or were unwilling to condemn the hero at all. Even if Simpson is found innocent by a jury of his peers, the perception of guilt among that fifty percent will ensure his fall from grace. The Juice's six hour flight past the lines of the police and the media (*AND the media* stressed in all t.v. accounts) is the most compelling act of this drama, so far. The audacity, the boldness, and the confidence Simpson displayed in his ill-fated "run from the law" played itself out like a tale from Homer - a modern day Odysseus sailing past the siren song of police cars and screaming fans. Putting a gun to your head may be an unlikely trump card, but it proved effective in this case - gambling on the collective guilt of a nation can still pay off. Apparently, we're comfortable with taking over the grounds of the palace, so long as we don't have to actually pull any triggers - at least until we can drum up enough justification. Watching the coverage of the flight in progress, I couldn't help but feel like one of the suitors vying for Penelope's hand in Homer's epic: feasting on a memory of glory, gorging on a vicarious indulgence provided at the expense of a deposed king. The human fascination with tragedy remains alive and well heading into the 21st century; technology brings us hourly updates in techni- color and stereo (hey, turn that up) and we find ourselves transfixed before the spectacle. Unfortunately for Simpson, there will be no scene in the hall, no storming the castle, no hope of reclaiming his place at the queen's side - she is gone. Nicole Simpson cannot wait for his, or anyone else's return. As the real victim in this all-to-human drama, she has paid the ultimate price for consorting with an American hero. The manner in which we tell our stories reflects the state of our cultural spirit. Focusing a field of lenses, bathing a subject in the glaring reflection of a forest of lights, we demand the disintegration of the individual soul in a nova of invasive inspection. In our mad rush for information, consensus, and swift judgement, we sacrifice a measure of our humanity. As we bear witness to the continuing stream of media overkill, we must try to preserve our spirit - seek a balance between our relentless curiosity and our need to maintain the dignity of the individual soul. Ultimately, the Simpson case may lead the state of California to contemplate subjecting our former hero to the death penalty - the final chapter, closing the circle. Will the Simpson children understand the verdict? Or the tale? I doubt it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> +-----------------------------+ / M U L T I - U S E R \ / LIST \ | | | By | | ICS Electrozine Staff | \ / +-------------------------------+ This MULTI-USER LIST was designed by the staff of ICS to inform you of the current status of MUDs, Talk Lines, IRCs, and other interesting multi-user internet connections that are brought to our attention. If you know of any internet places that should appear on this list, or should be removed from this list, please send updated information to: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU This list will always be limited to a few entries per issue. ICS will never list a place more than once unless a change in status needs to be relayed to our readers. You may want to read back issues to see what sites have been mentioned in the past. The first issue to contain this list is volume one, issue ten. --- --- --- --- --- --- --- FORMAT: Title of Multi-User Program CodeType: Internet Address: Port: #connected: Builders?: Pkilling?: Theme?: Description: EXPLANATION OF FORMAT: Title = Name given to the program by its owners. CodeType = If a specific codetype, what is it? (MUSH, Diku, LP, etc.) Internet Address = Address of internet computer. Port = Port to connect to in order to reach this program. #connected = Number of people using the program when we logged on. Builders? = Is building allowed by everyone? YES NO Pkilling? = Is player killing permited? YES NO or CHOICE Theme? = What is the Theme, if any? Description = A description of the program. SUGGESTIONS FOR VMS USERS: The code types MUSH, MUCK, and MUSE usually require that NEW LINE be activated. Press F3 and a menu will appear press the ENTER key (not RETURN) and cycle throught the menus until you see NO NEW LINE. Use the cursors to highlight it. Press ENTER and it will change to NEW LINE. Press F3. When done with the terminal it is suggested that you change it back to NO NEW LINE so that it does not interfere with the next person to use it. CONNECTING: TELNET address port VMS: $ TELNET address/PORT=port --- --- --- --- --- --- --- Hercules CodeType: DikuMUD Internet Address: Port: 3000 #connected: 30 Builders?: N Pkilling?: N Theme?: Fantasy DESCRIPTION: This is a good beginners DikuMUD. CHOME CodeType: DikuMUD Internet Address: Port: 4000 #connected: 15 Builders?: N Pkilling?: C Theme?: Fantasy DESCRIPTION: Expert DikuMUD with adapted DikuCode. New Areas. More skill lists. You can cross train in any skill. Warning: Mobs assist each other. Tela Magica CodeType: MUSH Internet Address: Port: 6250 #connected: 10 Builders?: Y Pkilling?: N Theme?: Ars Magica RPG DESCRIPTION: This is a MUSH based upon the the Ars Magica Role Playing Game system that is a product of the Wizards of The West Coast. The Damned: Pitsburg by Night CodeType: MUSH Internet Address: Port: 6250 #connected: 98 Builders?: Y Pkilling?: N Theme?: Story Teller RPG DESCRIPTION: This is a MUSH based upon VAMPIRE: The Masquerade which is a book in the Story Teller RPG system by White Wolf. You play a vampire in this MUSH. You have 10 quota to build with. Medievia Cyberspace CodeType: DikuMUD Internet Address: Port: 4000 #connected: 113 Builders?: N Pkilling?: ? Theme?: Fantasy DESCRIPTION: This DikuMUD has 4 classes, 39 zones, and supports ANSI COLOR. This is modified DikuMUD code. Death's Domain CodeType: DikuMUD Internet Address: Port: 9000 #connected: 17 Builders?: N Pkilling?: ? Theme?: Fantasy DESCRIPTION: This is a modified DikuMUD that features 12 races, 12 classes, and allows multi-classes. Rhostshyl CodeType: MUSE/MUSH Internet Address: Port: 4201 #connected: 8 Builders?: N Pkilling?: N Theme?: Fantasy DESCRIPTION: This mush has been around for a long time. It goes through periods where it is more like a tiny soap opera than a fantasy RPG. A good place to get started with your MUSH learning. TOS TrekMUSE CodeType: MUSE Internet Address: Port: 1701 #connected: 18 Builders?: ? Pkilling?: ? Theme?: Star Trek DESCRIPTION: This is a MUSE where you can be klingons, humans, etc. Based on Star Trek characters/mythos. Regenesis CodeType: BSX Internet Address: Port: 7475 #connected: 4 Builders?: ? Pkilling?: ? Theme?: ? DESCRIPTION: This is the first BSX mud. It supports graphics and clients are available for Xwindows, Amiga, and IBM. I have not gotten much to function on this MUD. You may be more successful than I was. Cthulu MUD CodeType: LPMUD Internet Address: Port: 3000 #connected: 1 Builders?: ? Pkilling?: ? Theme?: Cthulu Mythos DESCRIPTION: This LP MUD is based on the Cthulu mythos and the Cthulu RPG system. Cthulu mythos were originally written by H.P. Lovecraft and then entered Public Domain where authors such as Robert Bloch (Psycho) continued the mythos. LambdaMOO CodeType: MOO Internet Address: Port: 8888 #connected: 145 Builders?: N Pkilling?: N Theme?: Virtual Community DESCRIPTION: This MOO has been highly publicized in magazines. It has been mentioned on several occasions in the magazine WIRED. This has only increased the number of people that use this MOO. It was designed by Pavell Curtis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************************** ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ *--------------------------* | Last Word | | By | | Steven Peterson | *--------------------------* Summer Snow. The cottonwood trees are in full, righteous bloom today, and the sunny rural village of Gunnison resembles the site of the world's largest pillow fight. So I'm in a goofy mood today ... Life in a Dandelion Blossom aside, this frag winds up Volume 1 of ICS. With the changing of the seasons, a few members of our staff are leaving for a while - they all promise to e-mail and stay in contact, but still, it just won't be the same. Deva, our founding father here at ICS, is moving on to bigger places and opportunities. Occasionally, he'll drop in, zealously check our ideas against the facts, and bail us out on programming problems (uhm, where is that file, Deva?). Meanwhile, I will be on a recruiting drive to harness more of the creative energy around here for everyone's amusement and amazement. Over the next couple months, we'll send out 3 or 4 more frags, and, as always, submissions are welcome. We're especially interested in your multi-user addresses and experiences, and, well, just about anything else you'd like to send along. Live Well, SP. ================================================================================ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ICS would like to hear from you. We accept flames, comments, submissions, editorials, corrections, and just about anything else you wish to send us. For your safety, use these guidelines when sending us anything. 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