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Monday, March 07, 2016

My comfort in web history

Growing up I had remarkable things happening early, so much so that I decided to post what I like to call the Hollywood version of my teenage story, when I went from not signing up for the SAT's to having the highest SAT of my graduating class thanks to MUCH help from a concerned teacher. But of course when you grow up, you need to do adult things, and it's kind of like being a child actor, as that past isn't what will matter as much.

And in 1995, realizing the academic glory days were well and truly past, I decided still I'd work on hard math problems to exercise my mind, while yeah am sure part of me wanted to believe there was extraordinary left. What happened was I ended up soon excoriated on something called Usenet where people ordered me to not put up my amateur math ideas.

The concept of 'haters' is well established now, but I ran into that back in the 1990's, before the 21st century, and was shocked. I also refused to be intimidated into silence, and over time developed a nasty following of people who would eventually stalk me across the web insulting me everywhere they could find me, like when I tried to post to a fiction newsgroup.

So how so quiet here now? Well it's my blog. Haters have to work hard to attack me here, and I can potentially delete off negative comments but have rarely seen any. Actually last time there was anything that surprised me was when I began posting some ideas of mine for data compression. Did research and yup, was considered a crackpot area. Had someone make what I saw as heated comments here, and simply yanked all of it off the web, where it has remained.

Did I once work on trying to find my own proof of Fermat's Last Theorem? Yes.

Do I now claim to have such a proof or continue to work on it? No.

Does that matter to my haters? Not that I've seen at time of this writing.

Reality though is, I never really took it all as seriously as many of the math folks hostile to me, which I think only made them more hostile. I just never thought it that wrong for non-mathematicians to try and figure out math too. And why shouldn't I talk about such efforts? To me was a free speech issue. And of course the math doesn't care who figures it out. Maybe to them? That's part of the problem.

But for most haters I don't think explanation matters that much.

For me looking at lots of web antics now familiar to most the behavior of haters is so familiar it's boring. I did address things a bit here but don't think it worth discussing much. As the gist of it was that it's not about ignoring the haters, as that doesn't work either, but understanding the parasitic nature of the behavior as an attempt at stealing someone else's attention.

These days have focused more on understanding things, including the continuing attention my ideas receive. As I have the best seat of anyone to study it, it occurs to me that for others things may be somewhat mysterious.

Like how can a webpage with broken links, written in 2002, insulting me keep maintaining search position? I study that.

How can operate quite confidently even in areas where I have less control over potential haters than here like on my Twitter? There's a reason there I'm sure.

What about my various claims? Are they true or not?

Well web history lets you check me on SO many things. And experts actually know what I have that is correct, I'm sure. While the web means I don't have to worry much about it.

Reference is a cool thing.

It's NOT about celebrity.

Like for tools I've created people just go get them, like so many other things, without pausing to figure all this other out. It's a good thing.

Meanwhile the complex tactics I use allow me to have a different perspective on the web, as a place primarily of wonder, and sharing of ideas, where people I used to call attention parasites learned the hard way it was better to keep their distance. And am talking EXTREME behavior should add, where you can see someone relentlessly stalk an intended victim.

To me I think it can be a problem when people are parasitic as can say, it's behaving like, say fleas, better not to have such people attracted to you at all! But yeah, if you see people attacking others for attention to themselves, seeing them as like fleas, you can see others out there as flea ridden, poor things. Haters can make them miserable and enjoy doing it.

Such is life.

Thankfully web is much more aware I think than years ago when I faced such behavior, and social media companies in particular are providing important tools, like muting, blocking and reporting! So things are improving, which is great.


James Harris
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