userids by any other name

Tue, 10 May 1994 09:33:51 EDT

technical terms which had slipped my mind while I was writing that post
on Saturday: tekonym. But I can't recall what it meant, even whether or
not I ever knew. And the ability to define tekonym was critical to the
appearance I'd been trying to present: Specifically, that of erudition
and ingenuity at theorizing sufficient to undermine the plausibility of
the entirely true facts I've told you about myself. To do so, I should
admit, requires entertaining the delusion that anyone cares; or reads this
post having read the previous one; or takes seriously the purported
educational value of such manifestations of selfimportance as Saturday's
post's suggesting that Daniel A. Foss was impersonating Daniel A. Foss in
posting to ANTHRO-L. There is evidence that only one of you, the total of
private e-mail letters received Saturday, caught the contrivance in the
header; and so, to Mary E. Lanser <>, go an A+, a gold
star, and a digitalized picture of interstellar space in the vicinity of
a black hole on an ebony-black background, which will appear on your screen
as soon as you log off, thank you for appearing on the show and may your
dissertation be a long and happy one if you haven't finished it by now,
Mary Elizabeth Lanser!

The rest of you go to the LISTSERV database, filch that header, just the
header, the whole point of that post was in the header, and hand in by next
class a slip of paper with what's so important about the header of Saturday's
post. No copying, only computers are allowed to copy as part of the educational
process, yours or theirs I'm not clear, do your own work because all your
performance is individually yours. One more thing, if you didn't spot that
part of the sentence beginning with "do" as an ideological atomization and
hierarchicization device whereby the proliferation of idiotic invidious
distinctions to generate differential performance scores among a population
which, broadly speaking, is all the same, isn't that in the syllabus, no I
never used a syllabus in my life. We'll cover it in a post next week.

------------------ Time passes... but Space flunks. --------------------------

Ah, good, you've proven yourself true Professionals, able to do Research.
Research was of course one of those things I never could do, myself, in a
Professional-like way, of course. You get full credit if you handed in:

<ST002578@BROWNVM> or
points were taken off for:

There are two ways this could have happened. The first is, I went up to
Providence RI; snuck behind the backs of my host and hostess, since Brown
University has its own feed to BITNET lists hence sternly chastises anyone
caught signing on individually and please spare Suzanne B., she didn't know,
she's a *good* graduate student as most assuredly she Never allows her
POSSLQ, Jim D., to use her account, and certainly not *ever* for his private
business, which is Remedial Postmodernism Tutoring, wherein he is the best
of his kind in the Greater Long Island Sound Region and thanks to whom I have
here two books by Jean Baudrillard to read and keep as souvenirs of the city
named for the Calvinist God which is actually an Italian Catholic neighborhood.

This does not sound a hell of a lot likely, does it. The other way is, I
faked the header. Faking headers is actually a widespread hacker skill, and
if Seeker1, I mean, Steve Mizrach, hasn't learned how to do it by now, as
part of his Fieldwork Experience, he's not been hanging out with real hackers;
not even with parttime pseudohackers. Numerous, all too numerous headerfakers
are abundant in such places as <> and <FNORD-L@UBVM>;
there's every reason for any Normal sensible reasonable person to expect me
to know. The Spanish Inquisition would break every bone in my body; nothing
I could do about it. Fact is, never asked. Always figured myself Retarded at
computery Thingies; cannot, to save my life (the Spanish Inquisition, remem-
ber), do things the easy way so never tried, unlike the cyborgy people, in the
70s we had androgyny and in the 90s we have (or is it *had* already) cyborgy,
whose cause, you recall, was championed by <>, surely
you remember him (He remembers you. Zeek?): The man with a burning cognitive
passion for Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs & Women, 1991. The Cyborg, she
says, Ch 5, represents - as in "signifies" and as in "is" - the bursting of
all category boundaries; the breakdown of all categories, most fascinatingly
those we hold sacred, such as living people.

So I did go up to Providence, wherefor there exists documentary evidence
in the account of Suzanne B., nee Nicole S. B., hence, Nici, a name with
special significance to any Byzantinist due to the events of Jan 531 (*),
specifically, a letter from the account with the userid of <MEL5@PSUVM.psu.
edu> inquiring as to whether anything was going on with addressee; one in
the latter account from userid <> to the former
vowing reversion to <> "Mondayish," sorry, Mary E.
Lanser, I have no sense of time. As both ends - as is this account - are on
IBM mainframes using the VM/SP CP-CMS operating system, you all can communi-
cate interactively, anthropologist to anthropologist, using the TELL CMND;
and for extra fun, copying the XYZZY software off the BBOARD or SHARE system

Whilst neither knowing nor caring *who* I am, so long as *what* I am is
wholly unsatisfactory, I readily encourage impersonation of myself, as on
Saturday, when I tried to teach Jim D. how to write a "Daniel A. Foss post,"
an incredibly long, soporific procedure, actually. The exception to suchlike
vanity occurs when a post is fabricated, header and all, by some 19-year-old
autocyborgizing entity. On the night of November 5, 1993, though, a post was
posted on <> comprising a two-line obscene sexist
remark about Doctress Neutopia with "my" header and .sig. This was, actually,
frightening as all hell, as it was likely to be, it was, almost as difficult
to argue to 400 people that I was Not Guilty as it has been with Stephanie
J. Nelson; and I have <> to thank for spotting all the
petty details ignored by the 400 people, the mystery poster, and myself which,
in toto, proved *I didn't do it*, this once, I was Not Guilty.

Where you are has become, thanks to Telnet, a soon-to-be-nevermissed
irrelevance. Only someone surrounded by imaginary enemies, as I was, would
have cared about where someone was, e.g., a flamewar enemy on HISTORY@UBVM,
who posted as a female anthropologist in Buffalo, also as a [male] USAF
Colonel (Ret.) in San Antonio TX. Convincing evidence from WRITERS@NDSUVM1
showed the Colonel writing fictionalized-San-Antonio accounts of violent
crimes reported in The New York Times as committed in Buffalo; which I of
course Told to Normals; which is Paranoid. [Note: The reputedly psychotic
organism should under no circumstances report to any Normal any occurrence
to which the Normal might assign a p-valuue of less than 0.5 for happening
on any given day.]

*Who* you are may or may not follow suit; or do so differentially in
accordance with social stratification. "Waddafog-yamean, *me*, *my*; too
biguva hassle, yaaskinme. Noddamenshun, ids Big Bucks, man." Psychic
individuation proliferates floridly, gloriously, a riot of human colour;
but the all-important *documentation*, by convention that which makes it
socially Real, recall when I said, "If you lost the slides then you mustn't
have had the vacation," gets more indefensible as the imaginary, virtual,
and even outandout material places, objects, Thingies to be secured explode
in number, technical difficulty of access, and variety of signification
conveyed by having, as opposed to being denied, said access. And as the
legal transferability of personhood-attributes, from organs to identities,
accrues complexities: Recall the tale of the designer Halston who, financially
embarassed, sold the rights to use of his name to Revlon Corp. for $9 million?

Anyone out there interested in a Daniel A. Foss franchised dealership for
your local site, Internet node, or profit center? I thought not. But don't
smirk yet; sometime somewhere Them, having abolished a You for reasons of
cost, will nevertheless continue to extort from the residuum, by whatever
pronoun, the Take Responsibility, ie, the Shrinko Inquisition's way of getting
your confession to social Inferiority by intention and malice aforethought.
The Reality is, it's never the System's fault. So long as capitalism doth
endure, so will the construct of your being your own Fault as well as the
System whose Fault you can't be, in simple kiddie language. There's a you
you need, a you Them needs, and you, if you lucked out. Still, there must
be some other way.

Daniel A. Foss
<apologies for this post as where it went was not known when the key was
wound up and the wheels set on the sidewalk>