(17 November 1999, Living Room Coffee. El Cajon and 59th, San Diego.)
Everyone gets connected, everyone gets connected or is it "everyone is connected?" Is the line starting to blur that rapidly? Even if I could pop onto IRC and float about what is it exactly that I would say or ask of these people? That's not what is really bothering me at the moment either.
Seven servers in two days, fuqraq and hv2c had their hands full with these IIS exploits over the last couple of days. Part of me wonders (given the nature of the attacks,) if there is really even a flipz or a fuqraq. The underground is strangely silent in the face of their endeavors. No one seems to be saying altogether too much about what has been happening. Am I incorrect to wonder if this is a government plot designed to bring the offenders out in the open? Encourage enough of them to plonk themselves out of hiding and into the fray before it is too late to carve out a piece of the action. Probably a kid, someone thought of like we all are: solitary, alone, and never capable of the actions we are accused of undertaking.
No comfort in that, the profile fits who I am so closely I wonder if some of the people at work haven't already figured it out. Do they know? Do they really know about the things I wouldn't even think of writing down anywhere? I just realized something- the logs. Specifically the ISP logs from where the account (THAT account,) was from. Do they have them? Are they so close that I should be able to hear them just steps behind my own hurried feet? I hope not. The stress of leading this odd double life is beginning to take a toll, paranoia wraps around me in an ugly, black quilt. Chief said today: "Yurei ought to go work for SPAWAR." They wouldn't have me. Not in a million CPO cycles, not tomorrow, not ever. For them to do that would be to allow one of the wolves into the pen. Only problem with that, all the rest of the animals in the paddock are wolves in sheep's clothing. I know-I can smell my own talking to them. Everyone gets connected.
There is so much I don't know. For everything that I figure out on my own five or ten new questions wait behind the answer. An ever-deepening spiral that I may not be able to get past. The capability question is a moot point, given enough time I could do it and probably escape quite nicely in the end. However the point of doing anything is a serious and valid question. If (not saying that I will,) I decide to go after YOGURT and do them, what is the motivation behind it? To learn? To simply prove to myself that I am capable of doing what I think I am? I sit here and run semantic circles around myself for little other reason than a sense of validation in relation to where I am now. To crack YOGURT means ultimately nothing given that it would only accomplish lowering myself to the point of being the average script kiddie. What is (morally,) gained by such an action? Nothing, this is more of a rhetorical question than a prompt to start thinking seriously. So I could do a library replacement, something more elegant than running the standard scripts from the standard places but still pushing the boundaries no farther. Does reading a few dozen titanic books on the subject and taking copious quantities of notes make me what I claim to be? Am I simply another adult geek watching from the sidelines and dreaming myself into the game? Or am I what I define myself as? A ghost, a yurei, some kind of urban golem trying to hash out an existence between the wires binding it all together, not really dead but at the same time not really alive either.
Are they right, am I human and not some machine occupying a form to amuse the puppeteer and an extension of Sun Tzu and the "am I a man dreaming I am a butterfly or a man dreaming that I am a butterfly" thing. Given the opportunity would I accept partial machine replacement of biological parts? Briareos (Appleseed) and Kusinagi (Ghost in the Shell) were both almost completely machine with only a few biological parts remaining. Enough that they still had a soul but nothing else to give away. Which way though, the human machine trying to be completely human or the angled mass of antennae and sensors that are some of science fiction's cyborgs? Honestly, probably the latter of the two. Better to look like a machine, get something out of it than fool yourself into thinking that you are still alive despite internal appearances. Easier to remember that you are still meat inside the case when you have an open change that you cannot avoid. Humanity may be entirely too vain to do such a thing, we value the shape and texture of this mortal coil far too much to divorce ourselves completely from it. Just a ghost, tin man walking among flesh with real hearts, not holes purring softly to the sleeper's ears in the dead of night. Given that the choice would be permanent and could only be slightly altered after, how would one deal with that? The hours measured out in cubic centimeters instead of BPM, looking in the mirror and knowing what you once were and now have become as a stark and immutable contrast. As long as I get to see in more than just the visible light spectrum, then okay. Heh.
What would that be like? To actually become a machine vice simply thinking of oneself as such a thing, would the transition be that noticeable? The prospect of being lynched by luddite anti-technology nuts isn't exactly what I would call attractive. Then again being able to tinker with one's bits (literally and figuratively,) on a regular basis would be amusing. Never having to worry about the meat breaking, just about planned obsolescence, no worrying about getting sick, just corrosion, not dealing with bad vision, just a malfunctioning sensor. All of this is simple playhouse psychology when it comes right down to it, however. Playing at being the machine and actually being a machine are totally different ideas. The darker side of being a cyborg, becoming what most would regard as a monster. "Nothing but a monstrous doll," as it was put in Armitage III. How to justify such a decision, how to make it seem like a logical decision of a sane mind? Not at all any manner of a simple or laughable task. This also hits somewhat on the debate over where the soul resides in the body and how much of our minds are made up of meat. How much of our physical self-image interacts with our souls to comprise a complete being, why do amputees often complain of phantom pain? Phenomena that explained or easily dismissed by medical science are part of the millions of problems with living in a machine head. Operating under the assumption that part of being a cyborg would of course encompass replacement limbs and bio-feedback, would the cyborg experience phantom pain? How distorted would senses of touch, sight, hearing and time become after the process was completed? If interaction with the environment becomes a serve enough problem, what would the likelihood of insanity be in a situation such as total body replacement? Also how much of the physical self would be left behind, and if so what parts and why? Reproductive concerns aside, how much supporting equipment do a brain and a spine need anyway? Great, now I need a medical doctorate. Stupid hobbies.
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