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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What did you enjoy about the Hatrack of years ago? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: What did you enjoy about the Hatrack of years ago?
James Tiberius Kirk
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I posted about this elsewhere several years ago, but I still feel the same way.

quote:
It's late, and I'm home for Thanksgiving, and I can't sleep. So:

I started reading Orson Scott Card's books for two reasons: one, because my brother had read Ender's Game in class and recommended it to me; and two: they were near Tom Clancy's and Michael Crichton's books on the shelf at my high school. I devoured the shadow series as much as I could, and at least one of the books makes mention of Hatrack River. At some point I wandered over here and lurked here for several months. At the time the forum had had a serious spam issue and wasn't accepting new members. Someone - I think Primal Curve? - offered any lurker the use of this handle around Christmastime 2002, and I snatched it up. So the name "James Tiberius Kirk" actually has no significance to me: I didn't make the Star Trek connection until much later.

I guess that means I've been here about a decade. I hadn't thought much about that until now.

When I joined Hatrack was kind of a refuge to me, because I was going through a weird time in my life. Some tough things were happening at home, and I'd always been sort of a news junkie and I was trying to make sense of the world. I was thirteen or fourteen, and at the time there were actually quite a few Jatraqueros about who were within my age range.

I spent most of my early days lurking and trying not to angst all over the forum. I started out on the Other Side because I was intimidated by the types of discussions you all would have over here in what was the Books, Films, Food and American Culture subforum before the switch. I saw it as a community of adults, sharing adult opinions, on important topics. When I finally started reading regularly it began to shape my thinking in a lot of ways. Though I could reliably expect a debate between, say, Dagonee and TomDavidson on any contentious issue, I learned that people don't always fall into neat little "conservative" and "liberal" boxes. (That said: I do think there was a much larger conservative presence on Hatrack at one point, especially before the 2004 election; by 2008 it was gone.)

I remember being impressed by how so many of you were willing to let your "real lives" intersect with your online ones - that was something I always remained cautious about, even to this day. I couldn't imagine sharing as much of my life with you as some of you have in your landmark threads (and I've read a lot of them, believe me.) So you can imagine my surprise when some of you started getting married to each other and having kids [Wink] The old Hatrack gallery let me attach faces to all of your names, and the mental images I have from some of you are drawn from that photoset. I guess everyone's aged a bit since then.

Hatrack introduced me to a few of early online hangouts. TomDavidson introduced us all to NationStates around the time I arrived, and I played for a little while. I learned about AnsibleMOO and my favorite video game Homeworld here.

I enjoy most everything about Hatrack River. I remember how you all made me laugh on days when I really needed it, even if you all didn't know it. This being Thanksgiving, I think it's appropriate for me to say that I'm thankful for you all.


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Jeni
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Tatiana - I will not tell you my secret method of guessing you were you. Sorry [Smile] But you're right, parachat was more fun than aim chat for many reasons. Also a different group of people showed up there. (Random: Remember the night of the P-ness?)
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Tatiana
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Hahaha Jeni, the night of the P-ness was hilarious. [Big Grin] I didn't even get the pun for hours. [Blushing] Letting us pick our own names each time we went in meant parachat let *all* of us show our P-ness, if we wanted to. That was fun!

Jeni, I would specifically pick names that didn't sound like me, just to fool your recognition algorithm, whatever it was. But I never could. One by one I would identify and remove little personal quirks like my angle brackets for actions. <<<hugs>>> But you'd still get me almost immediately. What is it about a person's self that triggers our recognition of them through such a narrow bandwidth as text? It's something deep that gets at who we really are, I think. It's a great mystery that we were constantly exploring through parachat.

And I was terrible at guessing people, myself. I always felt that was some kind of personal failing. But it was kind of fun too, in a way. One night Tresopax and I had a long and interesting conversation we never would have had if we'd known who each other were. It's like we humans kind of start stereotyping each other in our heads according to our earlier impressions, and that squeezes us into smaller and smaller boxes. Freed from our regular screen-names, we are our full selves again, with all possibilities open.

Whenever I *did* happen to recognize someone, I'm not at all sure how my brain did it. I would notice that one chatter or another was speaking in someone's voice in my head when I read their words. That's how I'd realize it was them, hearing their voice mentally in my head. A deeply subconscious process, in my case, at least. The identity game was endlessly interesting!

[ September 11, 2016, 05:13 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Tatiana
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JTK, That was a touching post. I think hatrack was a refuge for many of us. I'm glad we were able to be that for you, too. Letting our real lives intersect with this place was something that happened with every heartfelt post and every shared joke, all along. Our real selves came through, I think. Maybe even moreso than at work or school or home, even. So traveling to meetups (originally called hatrack picnics), seemed an ordinary logical thing.

And of all the friends originally made online that I later met in real life, they all were still themselves. After about 5 minutes, I would totally even forget that we hadn't known each other in 3d all along. It's because that other dimension, the important dimension, not a spatial dimension at all but one of the heart, had always been there. Like Saint-Exupery said "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

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Jeni
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It is somewhat of a subconscious process for me as well, but one I am for some reason naturally good at (similarly I destroyed at the Guess the Author game to the point of being accused of cheating). But with you most of the time it was the names you would pick out. If I recall they were frequently emotions or other abstract things. (Or perhaps I just said "Hi, Anne Kate" to EVERYONE who entered the room? [Wink] )
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
What did you enjoy about the Hatrack of years ago?
Bob Scopatz
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ClaudiaTherese
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Bob is gentle, genial, gruff, and ingenious. He's a bear of a guy with keen insight into human nature, traffic safety, the turn of a pun, and what your favorite ice cream dish says about you. I love his voice, both written and audio. He's a great dad and a great friend, and one of the most amazing women I know thinks he's pretty cool, too.

Rennaissance man, indeed.

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Eduardo_Sauron
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I found some nice friends here. Life took a toll and I do not have the time I once had come and annoy you with my bad english.
I see Tatiana is still around. We did chat a lot using AIM. Thinking about it takes me waaaay back.

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Tatiana
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Yay! Eduaro_Sauron is back!!! Now we're really rockin! How are you?
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stacey
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The lurkers still lurk...

I was 15 when I found this place, and still can't quite let go. I've just turned 30. I finished high-school, uni, started career, had babies, changed career, had more babies, got married, changed jobs and still have continued to lurk in the background of Hatrack. Once upon a time I tried to be active, it didn't suit me. And so I lurk, and watch, and follow and sometimes wonder why an American news story that is big in NZ, is not being discussed on Hatrack. Is it not as important as the Kiwi media think it is? And then I remember that Hatrack is not what it once was, and am disappointed - I was looking for intelligent commentary! And yet, I continue to lurk and will probably do so till the end of days.

[Hat]

/lurkerout

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ElJay
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Hey Stacey! Am I remembering correctly that you're tt&t's sister? Raja (twinky) & I are coming to NZ at the end of the year, & he tried to let her know but didn't have a good email anymore. I think he sent a PM on sake as a last resort. Anyway, we'll be traveling through the country the last week of 2016 & first week of 2017, mostly to visit his family, but if you're interested and we're passing anywhere near you we'd love to meet up for a drink/coffee/whatever with either of you. (If this is super weird, of course, no worries. [Smile] I just still like meeting people from here when I travel, and it will be my first time there!)
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stacey
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You remember correctly. Awesome that you are coming to NZ! I will let tt&t know ☺
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ElJay
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Cool, thanks!

I am pretty excited. [Smile]

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
Raja (twinky) & I are coming to NZ at the end of the year... I am pretty excited. [Smile]

I will be in NZ slightly later than you (middle of Jan to beginning of Feb 2017), and I am very excited. What do you have planned? Maybe we could exchange ideas? [Smile]
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ElJay
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Well, I doubt you'll want to meet all of Raja's half-brothers and family friends, and that's most of what we have planned so far...

[Wink]

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Parsimony
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AK,

Yeah, my friend was a non hatracker, non book reader, non musician, non everything. I'm still not sure why he is one of my best friends to this day. He was in my wedding though, so I guess I've got to keep him around.

Myr is always orange and black, I remember this. Anyone know how she is doing these days?

I regret that one time several of us were supposed to meet up in Atlanta for something, I don't remember what, and I was unable to attend at the last minute. I was supposed to be splitting a room with T Smith.

Weird to think about all this stuff years later. That was before graduation, careers, serious life events, marriage, kids...

--ApostleRadio

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Jeni
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Myr posts examples of her amazing photography skills on Facebook occasionally.
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Bokonon
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I bump into Myr every couple of years on T here in Boston. She's doing fine.
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Strider
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I dug up some old alts for a joke post last night, ones whose "recent posts" spanned back to 2003. Since Panacea's Gambit™, I hadn't actually done anything like that. Just seeing some of the old names (some of which returned, many of which haven't) was quite overwhelming!

In line with the thread topic then, I had enjoyed, and apparently forgotten, just how much fun we all had.

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