#218: Half an Ass

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

It seems that everyone does things in a half assed way these days. This growing trend is not limited to what I see on the bulletin boards in 303, but they do provide a glaring example of the trend that seems to be emerging.

I will cover three areas I notice this in particular, all come from various BBSs and the postings by the members.

Hacking. With the growing number of computer based movies or scenes with ‘hacking’ in them, more and more people want to learn how to do it. They have heard that it can be done, and that you can get access to all kinds of secret government info blah blah blah. So people flock the boards looking for hackers to teach them how to do all this neat stuff.

The first thing they want to do is learn how to hack government machines, or make free phone calls. This is the biggest turnoff for an experienced hacker. Instead of wanting to learn how the system works, how to manipulate it, and how to go unnoticed, they just want the end product (info) or side effect (free calls). As soon as you tell them to read a few text files and then ask questions, they are instantly turned off.

“No one said anything about learning!” is a common response to this. If you want to learn to do anything, you have to read and learn all areas, even the boring ones. Knowing everything about a particular system is not always a fun thing to learn or research, but it is very helpful in analyzing and defining the whole concept. Nothing is free anymore.

A common thread or topic of discussion you find is based on bands, songs, and styles of music. A few years back I could read a post about a new band and make a quick determination if I wanted to purchase the CD or at least borrow it to listen to it. The people were well informed on various styles of music, well versed on a wide variety of music, and had sense not to recommend bizarre music.

These days you find mostly 14-17 year-olds talking about their favorite music.. which happens to be one style. You will usually find they like just rock, or just punk, or just metal. No diversity in their lives as far as music goes. Since there is no real difference in what they listen to, they are ill-prepared to make a decision on which band is good and which isn’t. I know that it is ultimately their own opinion, but there is a line at which you can say “that band has no talent”.

Bands with no talent are cashing in on a single hit that sounds like a current style or follows a current trend. Seeing these kids argue over bands that are under a year old makes me cringe.

Debates are a common thing found on boards. Many times day to day conversation will wind up in a debate about one thing or another on top of message bases devoted to debates already. Topics often touch on philosophy, religion, sports, music, tv shows, etc. The average debate will contain quality replies for usually no more than one day. After that you have two kinds of people:

The flamer. Someone doesn’t like your opinion and will make sure that you and everyone else knows it. Instead of debating with you about it, they will insult you, your parents, your girlfriend, or anything else they can think of. Instead of taking it to mail, they will make sure everyone reads it.

The uninformed. The other half of the time you will get someone that knows very little about the topic try to jump in and tell you what is right and wrong. They base their opinion off no formal education on the subject, no reading about the material, and no previous debates. Its hard to debate back with people like this because they just don’t have the ability to grasp that they are being outmatched in intellect.

As I said before, this carries over to life off the bulletin boards. One of the funnier ones are the people who halfway dress up, or the little gangbangers that put the lowrider tires on their 57 dollar car that has more rust than paint. It is usually pretty obvious when someone fits into this category as they don’t appear to notice people staring.

Just look at the big picture.

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