I spent my life troubleshooting. I fixed mechanical devices (office equipment), then I fixed electronic equipment, and then I wrote (and debugged) software. So I’m in the habit of experimenting via trial and error to solve problems but after I found the Internet, my scope (and ambition) expanded.
In 1990, I hacked Teradyne, chaining together logins from Agoura Hills to Boston, to Berlin, Tokyo, and back into the system next to me, a remote control circuit routed around the circumference of the world. And it was so amazing, so much so that I changed careers then, from electronic technician to software.
My website (2004-2010) was an experiment which mutated.
Originally, I wanted to see if I could broadcast ideas and I used the memegraphs as my first vectors. Later, I discovered that Lochner was google-bombing me so I redirected my site to block his slander, forcing it down below a pile of higher-rated links driven from my site. I imagine he was quite frustrated at his impotence.
Around 2008, I used to my site to vector and manipulate certain memes, I measured the impact on CalculatedRisk and then broadcast the broadcast to the readers, to show the manipulation, how it easy it could be. Which was also an experiment.
My journal entries were an experiment. I wrote honestly, to see how real honesty would fare in this world and now I know.
I drew inspiration from Dominique, who was running similar experiments, with similar results.
My DEFCON presentations were an experiment. First, to see if I could actually land a speaking engagement at DEFCON with non-hacker material but also to see how honest I could be, how much truth I could reveal. DEFCON seemed like the perfect venue and I still believe it was. It’s the rest of the world, later, that wasn’t.
My most ambitious experiment was to try and influence the outcome of the on-coming Depression. I tried to leverage the pivot point preceding the Crash, tried to lay down certain mental pathways which would deepen as the Crash deepen, to deflect the likely onset of fascist changes in the U.S., using the 1930 Great Depression and Germany as a potential roadmap, as well as “The Great Reckoning” by James Davidson.
Easy to see the failure in that one. It was grandiose but I had to try it. Guantanamo Bay and sanctioned torture were confirmations of The Great Reckoning’s predictions of a fascist future.
It’s a kinder, gentler fascism this time. At least that’s the public’s perception. Are death camps worse than killing off people indirectly through lack of income and health care?