inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #326 of 379: No "punch the monkey" banner ads. (vard) Mon 24 Sep 01 22:14
    

Mark Ethan Smith sure has a lot to say.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #327 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Tue 25 Sep 01 11:36
    
Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) writes: "Oh, now MES claims to have named the
Hog Farm."  

The Hog Farm was founded by me, Paul Foster, Wavy Gravy and Jahanara.
Paul and I were living in a van parked in Wavy's yard in Tujunga when
a local pig farmer's caretaker died and he knocked on the van and
offered us the place in return for slopping the pigs. Paul suggested
that we invite Wavy and Jahanara to join us. Since I'd been hanging out
with bikers, I suggested we call it the Hog Farm (rather than pig
farm), but Jahanara thought it wasn't elegant enough, so for a few
years they added an extra g, making it Hogg Farm.  Just ask Wavy.

But, perhaps rab isn't interested in truth or facts, and her real
purpose is simply to discredit me. Sorry--I was actually one of the
founders, and the person who named the Hog Farm. Later on they kicked
me out by formalizing membership rules and insisting on a membership
fee they knew I couldn't pay, but the real reason was that some people
objected to my biker friends--okay, a lot of people objected to them.
On the other hand, some, like Kesey, didn't seem to have any problems
with that, just with feminism. 
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #328 of 379: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 25 Sep 01 12:58
    

Welcome to the conversation.  I had been hoping to get a chance to compose a
delicate question for Bob about why he used the feminine when Mark doesn't 
like those particular pronouns. 

I have no experience with the original conflicts, and I am entirely aware 
of the loose or tyrranical limits of apparant consensus on 
the WELL, and about how any group has to define the bounds of behavior, 
but I just plain don't understand why someone can't have a
choice of "he" or "she" the way a transgendered person does in polite
society even if the visual signals are confusing to some onlookers.

I was about to ask that, and now I also want to ask why Mark is using
feminine pronouns for Bob, and if that is meant just to afford the
same level of disrespect for another's preference in presenting oneself or 
to prove some point.    

But meanwhile, since this is a discussion of Katie Hafner's book, and we
are in some danger of getting into personal conflicts which are better
suited for email,  

Here's an interesting link courtesy of Americ, who is teaching a course
called Ideas 110 at UC Berkeley.

>I had Katie Hafner give a talk at UC Berkeley regarding TheWELL.
>You might want to take a look at:
>
>http://goldwarp.com/KatieHafner.html
>

It's a video lecture.  Katie mentions Mark, and the experience of 
meeting <rab> coincidentally enough, and of face to face contact 
humanizing interactions.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #329 of 379: David Gans (tnf) Tue 25 Sep 01 12:58
    
Mark, what was your name back then?  I'll be happy to contact Wavy and Jah
to confirm your story.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #330 of 379: Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Tue 25 Sep 01 14:26
    

  Although I've had occasion to speak with Wavy once or twice over the
years, and have heard him speak to groups about this and that, somehow
he never mentioned that there was a crazy person associated with the
founding of the Hog Farm.  However, if David's research confirms Mark's
rather unlikely claim then I'll be happy to apologize for doubting it.

  Gail's utter lack of comprehension or sympathy for the past victims
does not surprise me in the least; it's of a piece with her typical
behavior in these kinds of matters.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #331 of 379: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 25 Sep 01 14:34
    

Bob, in all honesty and humility, I don't know what happened years before
I arrived, except that people were shaken.  By stating that I don't have 
comprehension of an ancient flap I don't intend to deny sympathy or 
respect to anyone.

I would be wrong to say I understood.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #332 of 379: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 25 Sep 01 15:06
    

rab, why use such inflammatory language as "I didn't know there was a
crazy person involved" unless you are trying to provoke him
deliberately?  If that's the case, please don't do that here, or use this
conference to snark at WELL management.  Please.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #333 of 379: David Gans (tnf) Tue 25 Sep 01 15:14
    
What Linda said.  This is not the place for it.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #334 of 379: Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Tue 25 Sep 01 15:17
    

  Thanks for the pointer to Katie's UCB lecture, by-the-way.  I'm
pleasantly surprised to find myself used as an example...!
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #335 of 379: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 25 Sep 01 15:20
    
You're welcome.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #336 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Wed 26 Sep 01 13:57
    
David, you don't need my previous name. Wavy knew me back in my early
Greenwich Village days. He had a little basement storefront on the
lower east side where I sometimes crashed and we both did poetry
readings, although separately. Wavy knew me through all the more recent
changes also, and knows my present name and exactly who I am. And
perhaps Wavy might also know of a time when Paul brought me over to
party with some friends of yours, back when Pig Pen was alive.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #337 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Wed 26 Sep 01 15:43
    
rab said that my critique was "filled with lies."

Okay, rab, name one. Even a half-truth will suffice.

Nobody has to apologize for calling me crazy, just don't assume that
makes me stupid. But I'd like to know the other conference rab posted
to, so that I can respond to her there too.

I use the feminine pronouns to refer to males if and only if, knowing
my situation and my preference, they use them to refer to me first. My
preference for traditionally-inclusive pronouns is not only a matter of
law and grammar, but also of respect. 

rab claims that although the evidence is gone, I was aggressive and
abusive and attacked people on the early Well, rather than merely
responding in kind to attacks on me. One of us is lying. Nothing has
been censored here now. Who attacked whom, and who merely responded?
I believe that calling me an abusive liar is an attack on me, and
that, while I hadn't mentioned rab in my critique, or posted anything
about her on The Well prior to my response to her attacks, rab chose to
attack me. If that justifies using feminine pronouns, as she seems to
believe, than I am justified by her own logic.

While it didn't sell as well as the author hoped, Hafner made money by
smearing me with information supplied by people hostile to me. In
Hafner's world, where Mandel was the hero of the early Well and I was
the villain, sanity is in the eyes of the beholder. Did rab ever
publicly criticize Mandel for aggressiveness, attacking people,
stalking or censorship, or am I the only one rab sees as aggressive?
(Of course there's no double standard here--I must be nuts.)  
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #338 of 379: the System Works (dgault) Fri 28 Sep 01 16:08
    

crackin up!
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #339 of 379: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Mon 1 Oct 01 17:05
    
How telling that in a discussion of a book about the WELL, when an
historical argument is mentioned, key parties show up in the present
tense and continue the argument!

One thing that is clear from what I read of Mark Ethan Smith's
critique is that here is a person for whom the issue of
self-determination of identity are both elusive and crucial.  

To me, in this particular argument what is relevant to understanding
the WELL is how it highlights the WELL as a grand new experiment in
building identities, where the powers and role of the individual and
group are different and unclear.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #340 of 379: Daniel del Solar (dsolar) Mon 1 Oct 01 17:42
    
On the frontier, any frontier, "the law" and "the truth" is often apt
to vary, as in "your mileage may vary" and as the current identity of
persons in the past is dependent on the particular version of "reality"
that they've fashioned into a portion, or the entire, foundation of
their current persona.

An interest in "owning" the land led to paying good money for scalps,
back then. No reason that similar pressures are not working at this
point.

I agree that "ad hominim" attacks are abest presented or carried on in
email but am happy that our hosts have chosen to leave in a little of
the fire of this particular conversation. 

Time to write your own book....

Anyone remember the first mass scrible and following suicide?
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #341 of 379: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Mon 1 Oct 01 17:44
    
Third mass scribble, actually.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #342 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Tue 2 Oct 01 11:28
    
Katie, if you're still around, I want to thank you. You wrote that I
was open about being female and blamed the male sex for everything,
both rather improbable if someone wanted to be known as a man. You
depicted The Well as left-leaning intellectuals and hippies who opposed
censorship (much of which they laughed about above). I may be
confused, but I have indeed written a book. The reason I want to thank
you is that since I never got a chance to save my words when I was
kicked off The Well, if not for your book and your illogical
assertions, I could never have proven that I'd ever been on The Well at
all, and certainly would never have found a publisher. In fact, I'll
even go so far as to thank Howard--something I never would have thought
possible!
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #343 of 379: Mike Godwin (mnemonic) Tue 2 Oct 01 11:44
    

So who's your publisher?
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #344 of 379: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 2 Oct 01 11:58
    
And what's it about?
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #345 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Wed 3 Oct 01 11:16
    
Patience, children. While it is gratifying to see such early interest,
you'll just have to wait and buy the book.

It occurs to me that many people have never encountered anyone whose
identity didn't derive from being, or wannabeing part of a group, but
rather from just being themself and, as we oldsters used to say, doing
their own thing. The first instinct of the mob is to try to crush or
destroy such dangerous individuals. Why, if everyone was like that,
we'd have anarchy! Or maybe we'd have love and peace...who knows?

--Mad Mark
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #346 of 379: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 4 Oct 01 16:16
    
> It occurs to me that many people have never encountered anyone whose
> identity didn't derive from being, or wannabeing part of a group, but
> rather from just being themself and, as we oldsters used to say, doing
> their own thing.

Hey, everybody in MY group is doing their own thing...!
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #347 of 379: Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Thu 4 Oct 01 17:22
    

  Brian: "You don't have to listen to me!"

  Crowd: "We don't have to listen to you!"

  Brian: "You can all think for yourselves!"

  Crowd: "We can all think for ourselves!"

  Brian: "You're all individuals!!"

  Crowd: "We are all individuals!"

  Faint Voice: "I'm not!"
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #348 of 379: Mark Ethan Smith (mymark) Wed 10 Oct 01 11:23
    
"It can't happen here."

                   Frank Zappa


Since this may be my last post, for anyone put off by McClure's
description, a vibes magician is nothing more than a talented
individual who doesn't have a trust fund or a stock market portfolio to
manipulate.

Katie, the only topic I devoted an inordinant amount of bandwidth to
opposing was pedophilia. When I worked for the Navy a man in the same
building was convicted of sexually abusing his infant grandson, and the
media reported the facts which I found interesting and used as a
springboard for related opinions. It seems he had two grown daughters
he had sexually abused all their lives, but they had never complained
because their fundamentalist religion taught them that the family
patriarch had the right to do whatever he wished. The problem only
arose when a daughter caught him abusing the baby boy, the daughter's
son. Since their religion also taught them to abhor homosexuality, the
daughter, horrified that the experience might cause the baby to grow up
to be gay, went to the cops. I was so surprised to find it missing, I
was going to suggest you ask the people you interviewed why they didn't
include it on their list of my unsettling topics, but it probably just
slipped their collective mind.

You might, however, want to do a google search for the word mobbing.
You'd have to check this, but I believe that The Well may be able to
lay claim to two firsts: the first community in cyberspace devoted to
mobbing, and possibly the first community anywhere to form itself into
a community specifically for that expressed purpose. The phenomenon of
mobbing is common to many schools and workplaces. Typically, as so
nicely illustrated on The Well, the victims leave, are forced out, or
commit suicide. There are extremely rare cases, which a community as
strong and well-defended as The Well need not be concerned about, and
which only appear to be more common because the media plays them up, in
which the strategy backfires and the victim returns and blows
everybody away.

But like the man said, it can't happen here.

See ya.
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #349 of 379: Paul (biscuit) Wed 10 Oct 01 11:27
    <scribbled by biscuit>
  
inkwell.vue.113 : Katie Hafner: The Well-A Story of Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community
permalink #350 of 379: Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Wed 10 Oct 01 12:57
    

  Someone asked me to read #348 and comment on whether I remembered
that topic being brought up by grandma.  There was indeed something
of the sort early on but I don't recall very much of it; perhaps it
was something said primarily in only one or two conferences and not
ones that I frequented, because all I saw about it were various vague
allusions to the problem in the midst of other long rants.  One comment
that I recall rather clearly was something along the line of "All men
are inherently pedophilic" which of course many of us took rather angry
exception to and which naturally led to speculation about hypothetical
personal events in grandma's own childhood -- which resulted in more
angry postings from grandma.


  (note for newbies: 'grandma' was Mark Ethan Smith's login on the
WELL back in the mid/late 1980s)
  

More...



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook