The Lonely Gunman - "To chaotically explore the underside of digital life in an amusing manner."
"God Wasn't Enough, What Else is Out There?"
April 7 2000
Well, it's been a long time since my last issue. As usual, the space time continuum conspired against us lowly net denizens, bending days so that 48 hours worth of work needed to be completed in 12 hours. But I have returned triumphant! Ready to bring the weirdest, oddest and strangest corners of the Internet to my hordes of admirers.
Life as a permanent Internet resident has some very obvious and not-so-obvious implications. Besides the obvious damage to one's wrists and back*, it also has a certain knack for doing very odd things to one's mind.
My personal theory is that this is just to be expected, I mean, the 'Net is pretty much the sum of all human knowledge, exposure to that sort of thing is just plain bound to fizzle some brain cells. Take philosophy for example, day-to-day most folks don't tend to think about the huge questions, like "If Teflon doesn't stick to anything, how do they stick it to the pans?" or "If I'm descended from monkeys, why am I losing all my hair? I've never seen a bald Gorilla, have you?"
Spend just a few hours surfing message boards or listening to chat rooms and all of sudden you'll be exposed to some of the strangest stuff imaginable. One of the finest crossroads of philosophy I've come across is called Beliefnet : http://www.beliefnet.com . A constantly updated source for information relating to just about any sort of belief you can or can't imagine.
I came across a specific story from Beliefnet the other day that raised some very interesting concerns about the future of the technology that humankind has come to embrace : "Attack of the Killer Robots" : http://www.
This story is actually a condensed version of a much larger story printed in Wired Magazine by a famous bloke from Sun Microsystems named Bill Joy : http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html . This is a very heavy-duty article, but well worth the read if you've ever wondered about the future implications of Genetic, Nano or Robotic technologies. Bill Joy has a very interesting surprise in store for careful readers of a specific quote in his story. Personally, I think that the mystery writer spent too much time with stories like Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut : http://www.ipass.net/~brianrodr/vonnegut/movies.html
I've always had some very odd thoughts on the philosophical plane; in fact I almost destroyed the universe once with a single concept! (email me for details) I was very lucky that the owner of the Infamous Paradox Collection http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/2717/ was able to save me!
Another time I ranked so off the scale on a Beliefnet spirituality test that they didn't have a way to quantify my thinking. Over the next few issues or so I will attempt to introduce ya'll to some of my "ideas". Be forewarned that ideas are perhaps the most dangerous substance that a person can be exposed to.
Onto "Ideas" :
I was meditating to some old Pink Floyd the other day when I had an epiphany, no, not a great recipe for brownies and no, there weren't any odd substances involved, just music delivered from a digital MP3 stream over subwoofer enhanced earphones : http://www.xitel.com . These guys actually make great sound cards and great earphones, but don't use their drivers, download the newest Aureal Vortex 2 drivers from : http://www.aureal
Ok, where was I? Oh yes, my Satori! Anyhow, I was listening to one of my favourite Floyd songs, "One of These Days" on my phones and meditating. I was trying to think my way around one of those every annoying computer glitches, the kind that we all run into 5 or 6 times a day. When, Whammo™! It suddenly hit me! A clear understanding of everything! Yes Everything! The Holistic Universe™! The grand universal host for the ever present parasite of Chaos! The key to this mystical everything is "Balance", so, in the name of balancing Belief Net, I present the opposite, which is "The Door Magazine". A fantastic, humorous, magazine of anti-organized religion satire: http://www.thedoormagazine.com/ .
It has always fascinated me the way that people rush after mad concepts (including, obviously, myself) based on what they believe is reality. Very few people understand that reality and truth are only perceptions, that ultimate truth can only be found within' oneself. There's many reasons that people will not acknowledge this concept, so I won't go into details, but if you're interested in finding out how and why your mind works the way it does, then check out Meme Central: http://www.memecentral.com . A meme is defined as the intellectual version of a virus, an idea that replicates and spreads. A simple example of a meme would be an urban legend, a more complicated meme would be the ideas that we all have about male and female roles in society. Basically ideas so stupid that it couldn't possibly be true, but at the same time people feel compelled to pass them on.
Particularly interesting subsections of Meme Central are "The Antidote for the Internet Gullibility Virus"! http://www.memecentral.com/antidote.htm (Be sure to pass this one on!) and a great essay on "Level 3" though : http://www.memecentral.com/Level3.htm . Level 3 thinking makes for an interesting mix with Yoga*.
Now that you know how Net Denizens spend our serious time, it is time for some not so serious stuffs. One of my favourite games has always been to type strange things into search engines, such as "How do you clone sheep in your bathtub?" or "What is the meaning of life?" or even "What was the name of that chap in that movie that won that award the other week?" I came across a new source for entertainment called eHow : http://www.ehow.com . You may not find the meaning of life, but eHow does have some interesting answers to the right questions.
Here is some shocking news for all of you dear readers! On the odd, very odd occasion I find non-'net related entertainment! That's right! Sometimes I actually do stuff that isn't related to the 'net, but never fear, I could never abandon the ball and chain that is the phosphorous glow of my 17" monitor. That is correct! Sometimes I use my computer to play ancient creations, called computer games! Shocking isn't it?
Anyone that has played computer games knows the eternal, vampire-like ache that is technology lust. It seems like every game that is released has steeper and steeper system requirements. My personal belief is that this problem will contribute to console systems eventually overthrowing the PC gaming empire, especially with the imminent release of Sony's Play Station 2. However, until the fall of the empire, we're all still stuck with the addiction of technology lust.
I recently came across a contest held by Gamers.com, where you can win a gamer's wet dream 1000mhz computer system. If you follow this link you can enter the contest, the link also has the added benefit of increasing my odds of winning, what are you waiting for? Sign up, then sign up all your friends! http://www.gamers.com/giveaway/default.asp?referer_id=147599 .
Fresh off the eletronic presses is a short story designed to put a smirk on the faces of X-file fans everywhere: http://members.aol.com
That's all for this issue folks, it is getting late and I have some more digital nonsense to pursue. Until next issue I'm :
If you have any comments or questions about this issue, you can email The Lonely Gunman at firstname.lastname@example.org . I offer no guarantees to the validity, functionality, safety, usefulness, or amusement of any of the links or information included in "The Lonely Gunman".
* I recently started Yoga exercises for my back, as I've been suffering from computerchairitis for over a year now. I've only been doing the exercises for 4 weeks now and I can't get over the improvements, both in my direct kinetic health and in my body as a whole. I've been using the highly recommended "Yoga for Dummies" as a guide, I can't recommend this book with more enthusiasm: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0764551175/