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3-plus years after the memorable Move over George Orwell--here comes BIGGE grand-daddy! discussion on the pre-sgi.general "all" company-wide alias, and 3000-plus articles into the life of sgi.general, things had gone "far enuff".....
Article: 3224 of sgi.general
From: (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe)
Subject: farewell to an era, from the ratfool
Keywords: the time has come to shift the venue of my pathology.
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Distribution: sgi
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 91 16:32:55 GMT
Lines: 295

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things...

before, the walrus was Paul. but now Dr. Software has taken up the call. i received the following from him early this week:

> Subject: sgi.general postings
> Well, Dave, it looks like the time has come. I think it
> would be a good idea to move the POLI postings to 
> sgi.politics.  To keep posting them to sgi.general may 
> invite corporate censorhip, which I (for one) wouldn't 
> like to see.  When I read messages where someone is 
> even afraid to post a message arguing with the articles, 
> it says to me that we have a censorship problem - only 
> this time it is being done in reverse.
> > i'm sure i'll be flamed for weeks and weeks for this, 
> > but would it be possible to limit the "Poli" posting 
> > to sgi.politics?
> > 
> > laura
> Do you have a problem with this, or can we just do it?  
> Thanks in advance ...
> -- jmb
i went to Jim to argue my very singular side. the one point he made which i cudn't really argue with was that he felt uncomfortable with the fact that there isn't anything else to "balance" out the kind of postings i make--something in effect that presents another side. of course, following the strict rules of net etiquette, posts representing such differing points of view would quickly raise a storm of protest about how this kind of discussion doesn't belong in a .general news group and really oughta go elsewhere.

obviously my point of view in all of this is something of an anachronism. you see, i am basing my conduct here on the days (sadly and inevitably gone forever at SGI) when the precursor to sgi.general was the "all" company-wide e-mail alias. of course this place was much smaller then. and i guess i'm just an eccentric young coot for wanting to retain some of the magic and the outlandishly uncommon quality of what it was like to be able to post anything to that mail alias, and now and then, create a wondrously vital and dynamic stirring discussion that might draw in tens of differing voices covering a wide-ranging area of opinion and dialogue. it was a very heady time and i felt very stimulated and charged by the whole process and how this was such demonstrable proof-positive that SGI was simply one-EXTREMELY-RARE-of-a-kind in the world of business and enterprising industry. the opportunity to experience first-hand such an invigorating forum of debate and discussion--uncensored by any call by those who did argue that politics has no place in the business setting and that this kind of discussion was completely inappropriate--well, it just turned me on to witness it being able to happen in such an unfettered and uninhibited a way.

i don't really subscribe to the reality of either form of censorship that Jim alludes above as taking place in my case here. rather i attribute it to the inevitable clamping on of more and more rules that tend to accompany the growth of almost any kind of business organization or enterprise. i certainly cud have refused to accept Jim's suggestion and tried to fight it, and in the end, wud have lost. i know i'm in a minority here in a host of different ways. so be it. believe it or not, it gave me great pleasure to be able to exercise my "ascii-voice" in such an unhindered and wide-open way. the experience of being able to send out articles and analysis of current events that offered differing points of view from the staid and virtually uniform kind of slop dished up by the mainstream media really has made me feel very connected to and engaged in life and involved with what is happening at this time on this planet. i know that's not what's "supposed" to (and rarely does) transpire at one's place of employment. but there was a time at this place when this conventionalism didn't apply. i was endeavoring in my own singular way to maintain a tenuous hold on this realm of experience and communication.

i certainly do feel very disturbed with what is happening in our life and times at this most critical juncture in our planet's evolution. as a species, we are truly the curators and the ones absolutely responsible for what the future of life on earth may or may not produce. in a nutshell i feel there is a rampant widespread lack of owning up to this enormous mantle of responsibility by the currently most militarily powerful nation on Earth, the United States and its collective citizenry. obviously there are many factors that go into this bubbling brew.

a tribe of native people's of this land--i can't remember which--lived by a fundamental rule included in their collective decision-making processes, which decreed that the validity of any project they engaged in was first considered in terms of what wud be its impact on their descendants, seven generations hence. that's an enormously powerful idea when one holds it up to the kind of quarterly time-measuring lens we all witness being practiced in this time and place. as i listened to Ed McCracken speak last week re: the current state of SGI's health, i thought about how this sort of basis of perceptual reality is so completely fundamental to the kind of society we find ourselves living out our lives within. if we are indeed to honestly dream about our children's children's future, we cannot continue to make the decisions that will be so fundamental to whatever future they will inhabit, in so short-sighted and limiting a way. Terence McKenna, a man i find compellingly provocative, recently spoke of how "we are looting our children's future," and i absolutely agree with his enunciation of this dilemma.

so anyways, as some of you know, i cud go on and on and on about this kind of thing. and i will. in spite of the fact that i deeply regret retiring my energy from sgi.general--i really appreciated the opportunity to have the widest possible bandwidth of access to people which this alias provided me with--i do recognize that the inevitable momentum of SGI as an up-and-coming heavy player in the New Yawk Stock Exchange will make such non-conformist attempts to "bend the rules" less and less possible and acceptable in terms of the rules of the game. anyways, with the invaluably trivial help of Vernon (an authentic anarchist dear to own heart) i hereby announce the creation of two new news groups:

i created these as an alternative to because i wanted an "archive" of posts, now to be created in, that devotes itself entirely to the tenor of the kind of things i used to send out here. it's description is "reproductions, reprints and analysis of current events". is the discussion arm of this pair. i request that all feedback/responses/debate/diatribes/flames/etc be directed into this discussion group. if you ever wish to place an initial posting into, please change the line


to read


so that all responses will find their way into ratcial.d

the kind of areas i particularly wish to focus on encompass topics such as:

in all of this i seek one thing: to stir people up--to get people to exercise their own analytical powers and focus them on what the hell is happening to our world that we all share. which opinion do you value more--your own or Ted Koppel's??? the kind of numbing paralysis that the seduction of consumerism engenders in this culture is truly earth- shattering and new to the human experience. it seems to more and more be replacing our penchant for honestly acknowledging the true state of consensus reality and seek to improve and regenerate it when called for. mass market culture has almost completely replaced past generation's experiences of "roots" and local stories and myths. we cannot just sit back and try to "buy off" on the bill of goods being sold to us as a sort of permanent Miller Time. if we do, then there is no future for our children's children's children. i hope many more of you than i can imagine will at least every once in a short while tune in to to feel the breeze of a different point of view than the one we are all constantly ever more being bombarded by like a commercial scud attack for more and more and more of anything we could possibly imagine wanting to possess and have but which we don't really need.

                                                                                                            daveus rattus

                                                                                          yer friendly neighborhood ratman


ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language)   n.   1. crazy life.   2. life
in turmoil.   3. life out of balance.   4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

this post generated a passel o' resp'o's, which in reading back today, 9/5/94, feels almost like looking through a high school yearbook.

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