Nearly 10 years have passed, so The Subversive Element can speak about it in public.
I do admit:
- I spent vacations on distant islands. Just like any other tourist.
- Vacations were for escaping the so-called real world.
- I used to make fun of literature about quantum consciousness and the like.
But I was penalized for all this.
At first days in the year of 2005 The Element and Somebody embarked on a journey they would never forget. Equipped with lots of popular science magazines on quantum physics and a few ones on so-called alternative physics the travelled to a quite calm, distant, very green, and very wet and foggy island.
[Skipping the boring part about nature and your typical vacation reports.]
There were some eerie forebodings of evil to come:
They were invited by a lonely inhabitant of natural caves at a stormy coast - uttering unintelligible sounds. They declined politely.
The Element was struck by a mysterious illness for one day, right after the island drowned it water as it rained heavily for two days.
Luckily the island did not break in two parts and cause a tsunami as had been proposed by serious scientists.
But the native spirits of that island found the most mischievous way to punish the busy corporate workers. They nearly managed in keeping Element and Somebody prisoners on that green former volcano.
When you see this in movies, you would say this is so improbably it is not even funny:
- At the island's airport the voice from the speakers says that the plane suffered from a technical defect - more information to come.
- The plane would not be able to depart today but there are 34 seats left in another plane - two seats left than stranded passengers. Any volunteers?
- Relief - we were not those two poor souls decided by drawing lots and happily boarded the plane.
- Finally the plane landed and Element and Somebody went to their car.
Element: I'll pay for the parking ticket.
Somebody: Let's check if it starts first
Element: Ha ha, yes - very funny!!
Somebody: [Turns the ignition key]
[... Silence ...]
- So the short story was that the small courtesy light had been on for two weeks and the battery was absolutely empty.
- Element found the manufacturer's emergency phone number at a sticker in the car. Fortunately it was a company as they discard that type of insurance-like services usually.
- A helpful human being was answering the phone - he will be here in about half and hour.
- It is getting cold - it is close to midnight.
- The helper arrives, and worries that the battery might be too exhausted.
- OK, it can be recharged and we warned to absolutely never stop for the next 150 kilometers.
- We drive - to the south. Target: The settlers' home in the Pannonian Plain, via Vienna.
- And then it starts to snow. Like it hasn't before in that season.
- We drive slower and slower.
- We realize we will never make it to z-village so that Element will be able to drive to Vienna again, somewhat recharged.
It should be noted that timing was probably a bit too optimistic. The ideas was to arrive at the airport before midnight, drive home through empty streets without issues, and sleep for a few hours - until The Element had to deliver one of its legendary security workshops. But based on perhaps a vague premonition of what was to come The Element had taken a USB stick with course material along during vacation, it had outsourced the preparation of virtual machines to a service provider, and it had its company badge, a toothbrush and some other things for grooming.
- So The Element accepted its destiny and said to Somebody: We will never make it, drop me off in Vienna.+
- Fortunately, at that time the Element's employer offered its overworked staff a so-called recreation room.
- So The Element sleeps peacefully for about two hours on the couch in the recreation room before it is waked up by the lights and sounds of the snowplow outside and by the cleaning stuff.
- The workshop went well.
Sleep is overrated.
These comments on ancient German newsletters (or: newsletter necro) are part of The Website Resurrection Project. Although the Element is now also blogging - using state-of-the-art blogging software, the Red Pages are still maintained. This is very Zen: Pseudo-blogging without a chance of receiving any feedback.
The original newsletters are more than 8 years old, and it is hard to understand what in hell was on my mind when I had written those.
In case of Newsletter No. 3 it is a bit easier as the core story is a narrative related to a technical glitch that happened in exactly this way in the so-called real-life.
In 2004 we had just overcome the era of the internet being SKAWEE-REWEERT but The Element still used an ISDN line as a backup for its ADSL connection. Which was a blessing.
The Element was very ambitious and operated its own Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 in 2004, that is: an Active Directory Domain Controller and a Microsoft Exchange mail server on the same box. The box was located in a very secure closet in the "data center"- a cupboard in the toilet.
This server downloaded e-mails every 15 minutes from the hoster's mail server via POP3 via ADSL and the download was limited to 2.5 GB per month.
Now another subversive entity sent an 18.5 MB invitation the Element. This took a while - more than 120 seconds. Now the hoster's mail server did not exactly follow the specifications (Internet RFCs) for POP3: Downloading was considered idle time and after 120 seconds idle time the connection was terminated. Recommended as per specs: 30 minutes.
The server has been configured for deleting e-mails after successful download. Since the download was never successful this e-mail had never been deleted. But every 15 minutes it tried to download again and failed after 120 seconds.
Why didn't the Element discover that before the download limit was exceeded? Because it was on vacation but wanted to have an option to access its own server via Outlook Web Access from the internet. No kidding. Warning e-mails by the ADSL provider were sent only a few days later. But the elementary internet traffic was back to the dialup ISDN era for the rest of the month.
These are the preliminary results of the Website Resurrection Project. In spring 2012 rotten web pages have been de-linked. Those have been polished in a clandestine fashion in our steam punk web page manufacture and are gradually re-linked since autumn 2012.
The Subversive Newsletters published in German in 2004-2005 have been linked again!
The Elkement is going to analyze those and comment in English. Note that this will not add any new content. Not even the original newsletters had conveyed anything resembling 'content'.
The following newsletters have been analyzed:
In the meantime have a cup of coffee and some alien cupcakes:
The Element could have become a really good blogger. In the second newsletter is it presenting trivial and pseudo-funny facts. 2 is a prime number - go figure.
Then it is referring to its own websites, lacking content as well and links have not been working all the time anyway. But a newsletter or a blog entry is always a good chance or an update (I haven't posted anything for five months - now I *have* to create a newsletter and distribute the same non-contents also on all of my web sites).
It is also very important to muse about web sites, blogging, newsletter, hyperlinks, the act of using that stuff etc. in a rather self-referential way. If you want to exceed beginner's level you have to start a meta-discussion on these types of meta-discussion.
And above all, you have to link to other websites, because (...to tell you a real secret...) the web is built on hyperlinks! Do not create an island web site - link! Link especially the sites nobody else links to, such as: latest news and "funny" sites. You will be rewarded by Thanks for Sharing replies.
So does the famous and legendary Subversive Newsletter. There were times when the Element used to spam a group of people with self-referential e-mail content. People were forced to subscribe because at that time mass e-mails have not been illegal yet.
Since the Element is subversive but also anxious and paranoid to the extreme at the same time, it has stopped its activities. Maybe it will continue in a more subversive way, such as by writing newsletter but not sending them.
Subversive newsletters have been dedicated to a selected group of recipients and have been written in German. There is no point translating them [*]. Yet the Element takes to chance to move to the spectator's meta level and comment the newsletters in English. Comments are carefully crafted in order not to reveal the true content.
The Element likes to rage and rant about a anything or anybody getting into its way. This also holds true for it pervious self, so the Element's comments are self-destructive.
[*] But of course the elkement tried:
- Subversive Newsletter Nr. 5: A Mind-Altering Experience
- Subversive Newsletter No. 3: Internet Apocalypso
- Subversive Newsletter No. 2: On Self-Reference
- Subversive Newsletter No. 1: On Subversion at Large
There are people who might indeed believe that using HTML style quotes in normal text is funny or subversive - or both. In its initial subversive period the Element was struggling hard to define its unique selling proposition (USP) as THE Element. The market for subversive consulting was increasing rapidly.
Though there was no content to present that was either subversive or funny. The Element started to develop its own school or subversive art or artificial subversion which is based on circular self-reference. In the meantime this art is well established and practiced by so-called bloggers every day. The Element eventually foresaw the next step in the evolution of the fine art of self-reference. That is: Including some more nodes in the referring circle to obscure self-reference. Again this can be observed in so-called blogosphere (Somebody blogging about anything nobody wants to read).
Due to the lack of really active community members at that time the Element included some of its other identities in the self-referential circle by referring users back and forth to the web pages of these (alien?) identities.