#SummerNSA: 2014 Sep’s Call for Action

Content

Revision History
Revision 2014-08-3131 August 2014shlomif
Version that was sent and publicised with all sections.
Revision 2014-08-2929 August 2014shlomif
First version.

  • Subject: Finishing off the Open content / Web 2.0 revolution

  • From: Shlomi Fish (a.k.a “Rindolf”), the hacker king of the Open content/Web 2.0 revolution (~2000-2014)

  • To::

    1. Summer Glau, Hollywood actress, known for her roles in Firefly, the Sarah Connor Chronicles, xkcd and Summerschool at the NSA, and who I suspect wishes to become the new hacker queen.

    2. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Hollywood actress and producer, known for playing the fictional Buffy Summers, who was the hacker queen of the Web 1.0 revolution (~1997-2000), in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS). Ms. Gellar was also the frontwoman of the show, and Hollywood’s Alpha female for that period.

    3. Chuck Norris, martial artist, actor, and film-maker , the inspiration and subject of many satirical “facts” about him, which have become a very powerful weapon by their own right, and also inspired my NSA “facts”, and later and earlier humorous collections of facts.. Furthermore, Mr. Norris appears to be the current Alpha male of Hollywood.

    4. Megan Fox, Hollywood actress, a very inspiring person, and someone whom I suspect wishes to become the next Hollywood Alpha female.

    5. Jennifer Lawrence, Hollywood actress, a very inspiring person, and the present Alpha female of Hollywood. Also provided a lot of inspiration for the multi-sectioned essay “Putting All The Cards On The Table (2013)”.

    6. General Keith B. Alexander, retired United States Army general, and former director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

    7. Joss Whedon, Hollywood film-maker (writer, director, etc.) who is notable here as the creator of BtVS, and Firefly, and a potential back-up director for Summerschool at the NSA.

  • CC::

    1. Larry Wall, creator of the original “patch” program, the Usenet newsreader “rn”, the Perl programming language versions 1-to-6 and their “perl” implementations and the hacker king of the Open source/Usenet revolution (~1984-1997).

    2. Edward Snowden, former contractor for the CIA and the NSA, who is notable for foolishly, but gallantly, revealing a lot of internal claims of the NSA (= NSA “intel”) and becoming a media hero and an outcast. Mr. Snowden has thought he was under a constant threat for revealing what was likely mostly a product of delusional minds inside the NSA (or false/out-of-date data as intelligence data probably often goes).

    3. Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd web-comics, which introduced me to Summer Glau, and provided a lot of inspiration and fodder both for “Summerschool at the NSA” and for other aspects of hackerism. He may wish to further collaborate with Glau on her journey as the new hacker monarch.

    4. All action heroes / hackers and geeks / amateurs of the world.

Your assistance is required in producing the feature film “Summerschool at the NSA” based on my original screenplay. The screenplay is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-by) and its text is original. I have designated my recommendations for some of the cast, and the film should be capable of being filmed mostly or entirely in a film studio and at a relatively low cost.

Note however that I encourage any productions whatsoever of the screenplay, including by enthusiastic independent film makers, on YouTube, and including producing them as voiced animations.

I also neither mind nor discourage any hacks and deviations from the original screenplay, up to and including featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger sending Rihanna to kick the NSA’s ass, or Kermit the Frog doing the same with Fluttershy. (And you may consider both mutations as artistic challenges).

What I do not want is that nothing will get done, and that there won’t be any film - by anyone - in the forseeable future. So please get to it as soon as you can. I need you, and the world needs you.

If you create something, please mark it with the hashtag of #SummerNSA.

I have written about some profitable business models for creators of online culture, which do not involve ad revenue which is small and has proven to be ineffective. Absent from the post, is selling merchandise (see the famous “Merchandising” excerpt from Spaceballs), and putting selected Project Wonderful-like ads, which the web site owner pre-approved of and are non-intrusive. Film makers and artists may wish to deploy them either with “Summerschool at the NSA” or with different cultural works.

The open content / Web 2.0 revolution has proven to be a blazing success and a source of decent or better income, esteem, and publicity for many individuals, small companies, large companies, and other organisations. While during the Web 1.0 era, information was hard to find, not reliable, and often hard to contribute to (what Prof. Lawrence Lessig calls "read only" vs. "read/write" in his book Remix, which I read and loved.), in the Web 2.0 era, one can build upon information, which is often cited and reliable, change it, enhance it, and perform many remixes as well as crossovers and “mashups”.

It is my belief that it was I, Shlomi Fish (“Rindolf”), who was the “Hacker King” (a.k.a “Warrior King/Queen/Monarch” / The best-of-the-best-of-the-best / The Saladin / The Qoheleth / The John Galt / etc.) of that revolution. To quote what Quark from the Star Trek franchise said about the Grand Nagus, he/she: «has the greatest business mind… always thinking ten, sometimes twenty steps ahead of everyone else.» and the kind of person who has the same ideas as everyone else only five years earlier and thus is named a lunatic.

Nevertheless, my reign as Hacker Monarch has reached its end with the writing of the screenplay, Summerschool at the NSA. The latter mixed and matched Judaism (Tanakh, Talmud, and Israelism), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the xkcd web comic, the “99 problems” meme, the old “Publish or Perish” adage, the deeds and words of Saladin, open source and open content, some modern but not unthinkable technology, love/romance/sex/relationships, pop culture, and humour, and more into what was essentially a realism, Real Person Fiction, story. Furthermore, it featured fictionalised versions of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Summer Glau, and General Keith Alexander, who was the director of the NSA at the time. I also ended up seeing it as my modernisation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged novel, which was her magnus opus as Hacker Monarch (while still building upon it, referencing it, and going against some of it original premises).

Like Atlas Shrugged, “Summerschool at the NSA” was eventually understood to be my magnus opus, and I passed the baton to someone else, Summer Glau, and thus mostly concluded the open content/Web 2.0 revolution with a mostly happy ending and a blazing success. Sic transit gloria mundi (STGM).

The formalities for concluding all that are:

  1. Directing/producing the feature film or films of “Summerschool at the NSA” in whatever format they shall be done.

  2. Ms. Glau and I meeting somewhere and me asking her these questions, which I'll give along with the answers I expect:

    1. Question: Are you afraid to die?

      Answer: There is no correct answer.

    2. Question: Are you afraid to live?

      Answer: Maybe I have in the past, but I no longer am. I will do and say what seems right and good, whether people like it or not (while still being careful and avoiding being arrogant).

    3. Question: Do you wish to become the Hacker Monarch, while being fully aware of the implications of this role, and taking full responsibility for it?

      Answer: Yes, I do.

  3. I will give her my blessed/cursed amulet of power, a plain brown ten-sided die, that was given to me as a present by my friends at the time, and ask her to determine what to do with it next. I urge her not to throw it away or destroy it (by seeing if it blends or whatever), since despite its low cost and mundaneness, it is a fine piece of engineering.

  4. I will declare Summer Glau as the presiding hacker queen, and step down from my role, and become a hacker king emeritus.

One implication of all this is that we shall finally and almost completely unite these worlds:

  1. The Academia.

  2. The software industry / open source / Internet / World-wide-web workers.

  3. The “content”/culture creators, both the content industry (e.g: Hollywood, the MPAA, the RIAA, and many smaller local franchises around the world) and many hobbyists, amateur, independent and/or unsigned artists and content producers.

This is despite the fact that some of these worlds appeared to be at a constant dispute with each other. This merging of these worlds is similar to the merger of the AT&T UNIX/BSD worlds and those of the early PDP-10-based ARPA-NET and NSFnet hackers that happened at the early 80s, and that in turn led to the open source / Usenet revolution.

There will likely be a lot of time to reflect upon my history and achievements during my reign as hacker monarch of the world, but I think the future is more important than the past. I have a lot of potential advice we can use to continue to battle the remaining man-made problems (e.g: bloodshed, suicides, deaths due to arrogance and carelessness, possible present and future environmental problems, unnecessary red tape and regulations, unnecessary hatred, antagonism and distrust, and vandalism) and some questions for further inquiry. However, it's now also up to the new generation of activists of the upcoming post-open content / post-Web-2.0 revolution (whose nature is yet to be discerned) to build upon the work of the activists and action heroes of the open content revolution, and take the world even more forward.

So let me just give some pieces of advice to Ms. (Summer) Glau, which are mostly relevant to other people as well.

  1. Don’t be too arrogant and/or careless - I don’t want you to get killed prematurely, and it seems God punishes more people for that rather than for being bad.

    Note that Hubris in moderation is still very important as almost all ancient and modern technology (from fire, through Aristotle’s Logic and science, through the Lever, through modern architecture, through automobiles and air and space travel, to computer and computer networks, to this very essay and very word) are product of mankind wishing to defy "gravity" and show his environment that he is not bound by its rules.

    Furthermore, courage and spite is required as a way to avoid the “fear of living”: never fear what some other people think or do not think about you. Furthermore, accept criticism and even encourage people to prove you wrong or even offend you. Like the mightiest Klingon warriors say when they were proven wrong: “What a great day it was for me to die! Thank you for this excellent battle.”.

  2. Don’t feel superior. Even if you are the hacker monarch, everyone else is or can be the most powerful man on Earth, and the Messiah. Even the smallest and most fragile inanimate object, serves an important purpose in God’s (= The King of the Kings of the Kings) world.

    You can never travel the path or survive alone. You need each and everyone and everything out there.

  3. Be Yourself: remember that whatever you do or whoever you are some people will always complain. Please all→Please none. Aim for perfection in imperfection. Remember that You’re awesome.

  4. Take a good care of yourself. Have a lot of “Wine, Women & Song”: Good food and drinks (that taste good and are what you desire at the moment); Good company - of any sex ; and clean, creative, enlightening, fun - however amateuristic or of apparent low quality.

    While it’s OK to be busy for short periods of time, don’t become a wage slave who doesn’t eat and drink well, doesn’t socialise, and doesn’t have time to enjoy themselves.

  5. Seize the day! (= “Carpe diem”) Don’t wait for a special occasion to enjoy yourself or contribute to the world - or usually both. Every day is the unbirthday of your friends, your fans, everybody, and of you, and it’s a good day to remind them that you love them.

    Every day can be the best day of your life so far.

  6. Don’t be pseudo-Utilitarian: if you made one person a little happier, then what you did was a blazing success. “He who saved one man, has essentially saved the world entire.”.

  7. Never deny that you are the hacker queen: proudly admit it. Too many hacker monarchs did not acknowledge their own self-worth. Don’t repeat the mistake of Larry Wall and of me, and play “The Invisible” who is arguably the worse kind of hacker monarch.

  8. Be a hacker / action hero: bend the rules, violate them, surprise people, defy social norms, dogma, inertia, prejudice, entropy and gravity, all in order to earn your victory and - be happy and proud doing that.

  9. Be an alpha female (= see “Wesley Snipes” in this essay by Eric Sink) or a beta female (= “Denzel Washington”) or a little bit of both, but don’t be a Gamma↔Omega female.

  10. Get an active online presence. See my plan for that and the comments I got. One further note is to avoid Shaike Ophir’s “The English Teacher”’s definition of monologue as “One person talking to himself”, which I noticed many celebrities succumb to. The more you reply and interact with the people who reply to your online posts and comments, or otherwise interact with them, and collaborate (engaging in a true dialogue), then the fewer redundant answers will be given, and the better quality the discussion will be.

  11. Be honest and enlightened and constantly stay honest and enlightened. Honesty and enlightenment are processes and one must constantly be committed to become more and more honest and enlightened, or else they immediately became dishonest, cynical and stagnate.

  12. Practice the basics of the philosophy of Saladin, a very noble man, a strategical genius, and one of the most notable hacker kings in history.

  13. If you’re in a dilemma or run into some trouble, remember that I and possibly other hacker monarchs emeriti (such as Larry Wall) and your other friends who are hackers and geeks, are always there for you and can give you a fresh perspective on the situation.

    ( An independent person is not someone who does everything on their own using feudalism taken to extreme. As long as he or she takes full responsibility for the outcome of their actions, they can ask or even pay for help or advice. )

  14. Finally, remember - Sic transit gloria mundi! You will most probably not be the hacker monarch forever, because one day you too will create your magnus opus, and a younger (at least in spirit), more awesome, action hero will displace you as hacker monarch, because they want it more badly than you. And they can be a man or a woman or a group, fact or fiction, animal, vegetable, or mineral, etc. And then you too will become the Hacker monarch emerita and actually feel relieved about all that.

Have a lot of fun, stay smashing and awesome, and hack on!

Hail, Saladin! Hackers of the world, unite!

  1. “The Eternal Jew” - an early attempt at codifying “Rindolfism”, which is my personal, one man, dynamic philosophy.

  2. “Putting all the Cards on the Table (2013)” - a multi-sectioned essay, that was written in March 2013, a short time before I wrote Summerschool at the NSA, and which was inspired a lot by Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence, and the fact that she won the Academy for it (at age 22).

  3. Summary for “Putting more cards on the table (2014)” - points for an essay that is an update/amendment to the previous one.

  4. “Saladin Style” - a short, irresponsible essay about Saladin’s innovative and inspiring strategy and philosophy, that still has direct implications today.

  5. My works of fiction, humour and action heroism and my essays

  6. About “Rindolf” and “Rindolfism” - a page about my nickname and personal philosophy and my hopes and expectations for the future of me, Summer Glau, and everyone else.

  7. My Twitter feed, where I posted many thoughts and insights about “#SummerNSA” and other things. I have some other presence on social media sites.