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Further Adventures of a Rogue Journalist

by Nowick Gray, Editor of Alternative Culture Magazine

journal online


07 November 1996


So much under the dam.

As I write, the cache emptying: saving for speed, but using up space. The tradeoff: time and space. Now I've got a free connection: so the premium shifts to space: I'll be browsing (dumping into the cache) and downloading like crazy now.

It's funny, as soon as I heard the buzz of the modem on the other line (that I've been waiting six months to have hooked up) I wasn't prepared. I'd almost given up. And then, along with the giddy little rush of excitement (Santa come at last) was a hollow pang of disappointment mixed with relief. Strange, because I've been looking forward to it for so long. But then, having it in hand, it loses some of its magical allure. I do not want what I've already got, I guess is the slogan in this case. Wanting has to do with greener pastures, the other side of the hill. Or maybe it's more a question of power. It's the power to have the world at my fingertips virtually for free: that's what I really wanted. Now that I have it, exercising it becomes simply that: an exercise. The main thing is to have it, the potential, the power. I'm like Stan in Monty Python's Life of Brian, who wants the right to have babies--no matter that he doesn't have a womb. It's the right that counts.

So, out goes the garbage, all ten megabytes of it, 1,009 objects from browsing past. That's all right: more to come. I've only begun, after all, biding my time. In the meantime, there are other questions to consider: when should I get this new hard drive that's going to be required now??? That is, since I can't quite bring myself to decide among my three browsers and four e-mail programs...several graphics and internet utilities...ah, well. Life is made of choice. Part of my ethic of simplicity gets exercised, now, when I have to constantly zip and archive and remove programs and files, just to keep space open for more: it's the concept of throughput so necessary on the planet today. The human propensity, so far, is the reverse: to keep growing, accumulating, more and more, in numbers and works and programs and material objects, depleting system resources and earth-disk space...but with no new hard drives or storage backup media in the offing.

© Nowick Gray

journal online


Many of the essays appearing here are collected in convenient e-book format (pdf). Coming Home: Nature and Me and Other Essays is available now for free download.

Right-click to save to your computer: nature.pdf

Rule Reversals (January 2003)

Telling it Like it Is (January 2003)

White Rabbit (February 2002)

On Novelty (February 2002)

An Open Letter to the Democratic Party after September 11 (December 2001)

Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion (book review) (November 2001)

Forest Storm (September 2001)

Feminism, Poetic Myth, and Alternative Culture - An Homage to The White Goddess (July 2000)

Quests for Identity and Other Addictions (May 2000)

Wheel of Fortune (April 2000)

Great Writers and Street Poets (February 2000)

Upgrade for Speed Because Time is Running Out? (August 1999)

Retail Therapy: Decision Making in the Computer Age (August 1999)

Retail Therapy2: Random Brief Downtimes (August 1999)

Farouche Speaks (April 1999)

NetGlut: Notes from a cleansing fast (February 1998)

To Unix and Back Alive (January 1997)

Webness (November 1996)

Surfing Again (November 1996)

Bananas in British Columbia (May 1996)

Confessions of a computer addict (May 1996)

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