Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

True Names

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • True Names

    Once again, the topic of naming things shows up in the forums. It's an interesting thought, even if the most recent thread (Do nicks or handles matter) on the topic seemed to trivialize the idea.

    Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
    I dropped into this thread to add my 2 cents about building a personae around a nick, how I really enjoyed the story "True Names" by Vernor Vinge's visionary story telling, how critical it is to protect your identity until you decide to make it public, etc.

    Instead I find an SVoS (Swirling Vortex of Shit) that started with such promise. Well, at least the original question "Do nicks or handles matter?" had a lot going for it.
    That launched me into a search (in my library) for the book containing the short story. I have it online, but I prefer the comfort of a book. Ah, yes. There are any number of important things going on, there, in the less than a hundred pages that it takes to tell the story.

    Vernor Vinge wrote True Names in 1979-1980 (according to the original, from June 1979 to January 1980), but it has echoes of the environment we find ourselves in today. One of the strongest messages that I heard then, and that is even more true today, is that it is sometimes wise to have backdoors, and that is even true with one's identity. I have never made any particular secret of who I was, but the buffer between my online identity (shrdlu) and the person I was in real life was very convenient.

    What you call yourself is important. Just as your physical appearance announces who you are, the name you call yourself online creates a first impression. It does more than say who you are, of course. It also *affects* who you are. I don't know how many people here would remember Tale (an elder god from early usenet days) or Spaf, but I would posit that those choices affected them for years after the things they'd been known for were gone and forgotten.

    That story was written about the same time I started using shrdlu (yes, Virginia, there *were* computers back then), and reading it affected me deeply. There it was. An interesting AI. A description of the padded cell that our country seems bent on becoming. People like me (no matter how dated some of it seems now, it still captures the feel of writing code, and taking systems).

    "They had discovered Mr. Slippery's True Name and it was Roger Andrew
    Pollack TIN/SSAN 0959-34-2861, and no amount of evasion, tricky
    programming, or robot sources could ever again protect him from them."

  • #2
    Re: True Names

    Who had the first handle name IRL? Maybe the photographer, Weegee?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: True Names

      I'm going to have to check out this book... Sounds like an interesting little read. =)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: True Names

        Originally posted by Suriyawong View Post
        I'm going to have to check out this book... Sounds like an interesting little read. =)
        I am a huge fan of Neuromancer, don't get me wrong, it was one of the books tht changed my view of the world. But after reading True Names + Shockwave Rider you see a lot of the (I'm guessing) influences Gibson drew on to create Neuromancer.

        If we are going to go 'old skool' cyberpunk, before the term was coined, I'd throw in some Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man) and even a little "Colossus: the Forbin Project" (A past DE CON TV staple, the original 'evil' computer movie) by Dennis Jones.
        PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: True Names

          Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
          I am a huge fan of Neuromancer, don't get me wrong, it was one of the books tht changed my view of the world. But after reading True Names + Shockwave Rider you see a lot of the (I'm guessing) influences Gibson drew on to create Neuromancer.
          Each and every one of us can be said to be standing "on the shoulders of giants" of course. Gibson reflects the excitement of the time, and seems also to have been influenced by JG Ballard and Phillip K Dick. I know that Dick has been in fashion of late, but Ballard is also worthwhile.

          Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
          If we are going to go 'old skool' cyberpunk, before the term was coined, I'd throw in some Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man) and even a little "Colossus: the Forbin Project" (A past DE CON TV staple, the original 'evil' computer movie) by Dennis Jones.
          One of my earliest influences was Frederic Brown, in a story called (go figure) "Etaoin Shrdlu." It was about an intelligent linotype. Written in the late fifties, it's incredibly dated, and yet still fascinating. Oh, my. I just checked on the date. I *read* it in the fifties, but it was written (according to the bibliography) in 1942. He also wrote "Arena" which some folk may remember being made into an old Star Trek episode.

          For genuine strangeness, I'd suggest Cordwainer Smith.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: True Names

            Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
            I am a huge fan of Neuromancer, don't get me wrong, it was one of the books tht changed my view of the world. But after reading True Names + Shockwave Rider you see a lot of the (I'm guessing) influences Gibson drew on to create Neuromancer.

            If we are going to go 'old skool' cyberpunk, before the term was coined, I'd throw in some Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man) and even a little "Colossus: the Forbin Project" (A past DE CON TV staple, the original 'evil' computer movie) by Dennis Jones.
            It's funny you mention Shockwave Rider, DT, I've been rereading it this week. It's definitely a seminal work on network identity.

            Another body of work that is seminal in this area is Zelazny's three novellas, The Eve of RUMOKO, 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothai'lll'kje'k, and Home is the Hangman, published together as My Name Is Legion. The common basis for the stories is an unnamed protagonist who creates and destroys multiple network identities as his cover as a private investigative operative.
            Thorn
            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: True Names

              i'll go all low-key and partial-fu with my response: Adams' Hitchhiker's series... today, tomorrow, and beyond.

              it was one of the first works (or series of works) that's even remotely sci-fi which my completely non-techy friend and relatives would fall in love with immediately. i can recall times in my parents' car on the road to a relative's house for easter or thanksgiving, etc. with the audiobooks playing and them completely being in love with it.

              i think that if you have a completely non-techy friend or sig-o, that is the piece you first expose them to* and let them get a glimmer into the wit and mindset of our world. from there, anything is possible.


              * as some folk have seen at con... i have all audio releases of Adams' work. that includes all the printed works in Audiobook format (read by Adams himself) as well as the original BBC radio plays and then the modern revised radio plays which address the extra segments. if you'd like a DVD that has all of these works in full... maybe i'll have some at con and be willing to trade them for glasses of Jameson. maybe. all unofficially, of course. i'm just a guy talking here. wink wink, nudge nudge.
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: True Names

                Originally posted by Suriyawong View Post
                I'm going to have to check out this book... Sounds like an interesting little read. =)
                My wife was going out shopping with a friend this weekend, and they hit a couple of used bookstores as part of the excursion. I asked her look for a copy of True Names, as it sounded pretty interesting. Apparently however, it's now in the low end of the rare book area, because a paperback is $30 and has to be ordered from out of state through another dealer. I plan on calling some of the other used bookstores in the area to see if any have it, but may end up ordering it.

                In the meantime, I've found this: http://home.comcast.net/~kngjon/truename/truename.html
                Thorn
                "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: True Names

                  Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                  My wife was going out shopping with a friend this weekend, and they hit a couple of used bookstores as part of the excursion. I asked her look for a copy of True Names, as it sounded pretty interesting. Apparently however, it's now in the low end of the rare book area, because a paperback is $30 and has to be ordered from out of state through another dealer. I plan on calling some of the other used bookstores in the area to see if any have it, but may end up ordering it.
                  I don't think you will find it in local stores. It was a very important book, and there were only so many copies printed at the time. I treasure mine. Ordering it from various places online is probably your best bet.

                  Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                  Although Vernor Vinge does not make an issue of such sites, and would not (it's simply not his style), you can actually give support to the author by purchasing the title below, which is a fascinating read all by itself (and contains the text of the short story in question).

                  True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier:
                  http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com.../?itm=1&btob=Y

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: True Names

                    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                    I don't think you will find it in local stores. It was a very important book, and there were only so many copies printed at the time. I treasure mine. Ordering it from various places online is probably your best bet.



                    Although Vernor Vinge does not make an issue of such sites, and would not (it's simply not his style), you can actually give support to the author by purchasing the title below, which is a fascinating read all by itself (and contains the text of the short story in question).

                    True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier:
                    http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com.../?itm=1&btob=Y
                    Thanks! Good to know.
                    Thorn
                    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: True Names

                      Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                      Thanks! Good to know.
                      I am Dennis Ruiz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: True Names

                        Originally posted by el-mago View Post
                        I am Dennis Ruiz
                        Is there some reason you directed this to me, or was it just a mistake?
                        Thorn
                        "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: True Names

                          Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                          Is there some reason you directed this to me, or was it just a mistake?
                          He's on a posting spree. So far he's dug up two old threads, one post has already been /dev/null'ed
                          A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: True Names

                            Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
                            He's on a posting spree. So far he's dug up two old threads, one post has already been /dev/null'ed
                            Yes, I'm the one who /dev/null'ed the post. I'm trying to see what he's up to before further action is taken.
                            Last edited by Thorn; April 8, 2008, 12:14. Reason: Typo
                            Thorn
                            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: True Names

                              Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                              Yes, I'm the one who /dev/null'ed the post. I'm trying to see what he's up too before further action is taken.
                              Heh, I thought it was just your day to watch the forum.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X