BBSes and their role in developing communication.

This is a continuation from m my last post, which was about something different (a funny Swypo) and veered into this topic. So…

I suppose I’m being too literal about acronyms like ROTFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing) and ROTFLMAO Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off), which I learned on BBSes that predated the web, although some had Usenet, IRC, Internet email addresses, and the like. This all dates myself, of course. Although I came online quite young due to nerdy older brothers who showed me how. I am glad parental censorship software didn’t exist back then, because BBSes were crucial in my development of social and communication skills in typing.

Without BBSes, I might never have learned the give and take of communication, the use of words to convey meaning from inside one person’s head and put it into another’s…

And all these little building blocks to communication that, when apart, don’t do much. But when put together in the proper order, and when those skills are used properly, and those skills stick around instead of needing to constantly be relearned only to be forgotten again… Then you have more or less consistent communication, even if the words still go away a lot.

I achieved this with typing. I never consistently achieved this with speech. I couldn’t tell you why, though. All I know is that as my typed communication was growing by leaps and bounds, my spoken communication was disappearing along with many motor and cognitive skills. I don’t know if there’s a correlation there our not. But it’s interesting to wonder about.

Or as Jim Sinclair put it:

I taught myself to read at three, and I had to learn it again at ten, and yet again at seventeen, and at twenty-one, and at twenty-six. The words that it took me twelve years to find have been lost again, and regained, and lost, and still have not come all the way back to where I can be reasonably confident they’ll be there when I need them. It wasn’t enough to figure out just once how to keep track of my eyes and ears and hands and feet all at the same time; I’ve lost track of them and had to find them over and over again.

But I have found them again. The terror is never complete, and I’m never completely lost in the fog, and I always know that even if it takes forever, I will find the connections and put them back together again. I know this because I’m always connected at the core and I never lose track of my own self. This is all I have that I can always count on, all I have that is truly my own. And this is what is denied when I’m told that I bring problems on myself because I’m not stable at the core.

[From Bridging The Gaps: Or Do You Know What I Don’t Know? by Jim Sinclair.]

Origin Stories

Berkeley Breathed just announced that he is going to restart his comic strip, Bloom County.  I remember from my youth that “comic strips” were found in “newspapers” that people used to pay children to throw in the direction of their home on a daily basis (as I used to be one of the people doing the throwing).  These contained news from yesterday, a non searchable version of Craigslist, and a page or so of things like what is above.

So, why would this event inspire me to write the story of how I chose my name?

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