It would appear to me that Everything, should it ever reach its true potential, is both the reason why as well as the method by which HAL will fail (one day) to open the pod doors.

Everything is nothing and nothing is everything. Soon everything will contain nothing but everything and nothing will contain as much as everything contains. Once everything is everything, nothing will cease to exist and everything will rule. Hence, everything is a system of omnipotence, of omnipresence of nothing but everything.

The first version of Everything appeared as Walt Whitman's poem Song of Myself. He said so himself:

"When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then?

And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond."

He perceived, through a vision, that everything would come to be, as a prophet might see that later he will be hungry. He saw and heard the cacophony of voices trembling like a thunderclap of Jove:

"O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues, And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing."

He also predicted that everything would come from computer geeks, who haven't had a shower for a while, but that is holy and divine, not reprehensible as the geek and computer nerd have become once shunned, now revered as gods:

"Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from, The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer, This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds. "
Unfortunately, no one can be told what Everything is. You have to see it for yourself.

Even though that quote is a lame rip-off, it actually pertains to be true. I have tried to explain to some of my friends what Everything is, and tell them about my experiences as an Everythingian and I have found that it isn't easy to put into words. Everything isn't a message board and it isn't a chat room. It's more than just a database and more than a community. It's a place where you can teach and you can learn. It's a place where you can share without restrictions on topic or content. There really isn't anything quite like Everything. It's almost impossible to put a label on it. You really to have to see and use it before you can understand what it's all about. When I try and tell my friends about it they usually just call me a computer nerd or a loser or something like that. Simple minds just don't understand.

"Everything2" is a misnomer. Better name would be "Description of a hell of a lot of different concepts, take 2".

E2 is an incomplete description of reality. However, it's fairly comprehensive considering everyday use, and continues to get more and more complete. It is a description written by thousands of individuals, each describing part of the reality from a different perspective.

(Sorry. This fairly useful description just popped into my head last night, and I felt it was worth putting here. =)

Oh geez.

What to say about this place?

So much.

I stumbled across this site by pure chance. I get the sense most of you have wandered over from slashdot. I came here because of a random link on my ghetto email provider. Like most, I had a boring job which required me to sit in front of a computer all day. And E2 was my savior.

Upon first glance, I thought I was over my head. Hell, I don't know anything about computers. Yes, I am an imposter. E2 is starting to attract people who don't use linux and... well... just random surfers. That's me.

It took me a couple of days to figure out what the hell was going on. Luckily, I chose not to node during that time. I was a silent observer.

It was the philosophy behind this place that got me interested. Essentially, in it's ideal format, E2 tracks the human thought process, be it conscious or sub-conscious. And it uses the linking concept - basically the meat and potatoes of the internet - as it's fundamental method. Suddenly, the internet is not a means to an end. The linking suddenly has intrinsic value, because it charts the quirks of the human brain. That's what made me want to get involved.

This place makes me think. A lot. It's true - the demographics of this place are not (currently) as widespread as they have potential to be. But that doesn't stop the opinions from varying widely. Interested in a controversial topic? Chances are, you'll find almost all of the sides of a given issue here. Even though it has potential to be a spewing ground for rants and biases, E2 is emerging as a functional database.

Why?

Because people have so much to say. Each person who signs on here is motivated by their need to share their unique ideas and musings. One might note that this creates an online community of exhibitionists - but I don't think it's as simple as that. Anonymous honesty drives us to reveal things we are normally shy to say.

And the result is a refreshingly honest view of life. E2 is a testament to the idea that we all have something to say. Why do so many node late at night, when drunk, high, overtired? Because inspiration strikes them, and they want to reveal their ideas. It makes me remember that many people are underestimated in their ideas, and that our petty judgements can often interfere with what people have to say. There are many wonderful ideas here.

And what else about this place?

You are all so trusting, and this fascinates me. This is more than a database. It is a community (unique, as it is one of the few places on the internet that doesn't link to outside sites). The mailing registry? A complete measure of trust. Individuals contribute, but they form personalities through their various nodes. You are more than just a number here.

What about the voting system?

Well, it's interesting, to say the least. It's true that often my most well thought out or informative nodes don't get the highest praise. But it matters more to me that each noder (aside from initiates) can contribute their approval or disapproval to nodes. Life often does not work out this way. I value my right to contribute.

I have also thought about the psychological impact of voting. Voting on E2 is simply peer approval or disapproval in an anonymous form, hence the way most noders take voting so personally.

All of these things were, and are, what made E2 appeal to me. It is a glimpse into the human psyche. And what about less glamourous reasons for enjoying this place? Well, it's a different crowd. I like using HTML, I can pretend I know something about computers. Don't worry. I know HTML is not programming. But I can pretend I'm a geek, and then maybe I'll be in the Everything In-Crowd.

Yes, I love noding. But this place is most definitely a mindfuck. Christ, I'm already picking up the lingo. In short? I think about this place a lot. It is unique, and in my humble opinion, a wonderful place. And I wanted to record all of my thoughts about why I am here, because I can't spend as much time on here as I would like. Which is probably a good thing.

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