My name is Mark. To anyone who hasn't seen me on IRC; or other fora, I'm a contrary, argumentative, vulgar asshole. I'm almost comfortable with this at this point, if anyone need apologies for that; sorry, consider them offered. I'm 40 now, and too old to grow up.
To the people that do know me from IRC: I thank you all for helping me through a rough time after my father died last year. I hope I've been at the very least more amusing than annoying. If so, my presence has been a net win. Being able to rave and rant at you has been a great comfort and solace, if I could help likewise, or otherwise. please ask.
I used to haunt kuro5hin, and its IRC channel, and before that slashdot (even before they had user accounts) and prehistoric things like AOL, "Chicago Online", compu$erve and even Usenet (and FIDOnet and WWIVnet and lesser known and less savory store and forward networks). I was a Usenet poster before the great renaming, I used to be an addict of talker BBS's when such were hosted on commie 64 and amiga systems with RAM packs hand soldered from stacks of DIP chips by insane SysOps.
I suspect I'm not alone in that, here. It's a comfort, fellow geeks. Some people had their teenage years ruined by caustic cheerleaders, some had FOSSIL drivers and INT 8h handlers.
Aside from the computational and paleonetworking sins, I've been a deviant from whatever normals i saw as far back as i can remember. Somewhere around middle school they gave me a battery of tests and told me that I was "gifted", then said (with prompting) that I was a sociopath. I still maintain that was harsh; in that I hadn't actually hurt anyone, and it was pretty explosion.
From such foundations in asociality and an early interest in in internetworking, I conceived the idea of, and successfully pursued a career in Internet engineering and political activism, bringing them together by hosting varied efforts of crackpot political groups from my shambolic trailer in the deeper backwoods of rural TN. I kept several highly disliked sites online against widespread, clueful, dedicated opposition for a decade plus. I felt these people needed the help expressing their opinions even if they were unpopular; they certainly couldn't have afforded that help anywhere else.
I came to realize that my efforts convinced the people i was helping that "being on the internet" wasn't something to be valued (I wasn't charging enough), so I stopped, and they're no longer on the internet. Perhaps they were right after all.
Nowadays I live on the same patch of extremely rural TN, now raising a daughter (currently 5 years old) with my wife Marie, as well as the obligatory pack of too many dogs to protect us from the roving bands of coyotes, wild dogs, deer hunters, and bent locals. I officially, publically deny the existence of any experimental advanced weapons systems utilizing electromagnetoresonant techniques anywhere on this property, just in case the laws are reading along.
Thank you for inviting me into your community.
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