[FoRK Classic] More Insight into Rohit Circa 1993-1995.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 19:48:24 -0800

Okay, not that I believe in psychobabble, but some of these emails from
1993 do truly give us insight into Rohit's character even today. For

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Tue Apr 20 01:49:20 1993
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Ringo Rifkin)
> Subject: Re: Nerdity test
> 69% 208/300
> Purity Score > Nerd Score, less surprisingly.

Tells us that Rohit has always been concerned with the tradeoffs of
being a geek versus being "pure".

Also, we see here that Rohit has always been concerned with being
articulate. I, of course, have matured somewhat in my writing style.
5 years ago I wrote like a 4 year old, and now I write like a 6 year
old. This is progress...

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Sun May 2 15:47:45 1993
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Addam Hussein)
> Subject: Dinner?
> You sound like Bam-Bam Rubble. Your readability index, my leige:
> readability grades:
> (Kincaid) 3.2 (auto) -0.3 (Coleman-Liau) 0.1 (Flesch) 7.1 (78.6)
> sentence info:
> no. sent 3 no. wds 11
> av sent leng 3.7 av word leng 4.09
> no. questions 1 no. imperatives 0
> no. nonfunc wds 8 72.7% av leng 4.38
> short sent (<1) 0% (0) long sent (>14) 0% (0)
> longest sent 4 wds at sent 1; shortest sent 3 wds at sent 2
> sentence types:
> simple 100% (3) complex 0% (0)
> compound 0% (0) compound-complex 0% (0)
> Frankly, I'm amazed. Negative grade level scores! You're writing for
> 4-year olds!
> At any rate, _typing_ will get you much further than _banging, unless
> you subscribe to the 10^28 monkeys typing randomly will eventually
> produce _Hamlet_" school of thought (Hint: the odds against it are
> 10^164,315).
> As far as dinner, we can try walking somewhere very nearby (I don't know
> how far I can trust my lungs), or we can make some Velveeta (R) Shells
> & Cheese, some frozen pizza, and some burritos. Don't worry, we'll at
> least thaw the pizza this time!
> Who else would go for dinner?
> Rohit Khare
> (so whaddya think of SAP, ya sap?)
> Begin forwarded message:
> > Date: Sun, 2 May 93 15:38:36 PDT
> > From: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Ringo Rifkin)
> > To: khare@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu
> >
> > Where you wanna go? No wanna work. Wanna bang on keyboard.

I also now have proof that the origin of using "munchkins" in the
context of


which first popped their heads onto FoRK in raw primodial form in summer 1996


and fall 1996


dates back at least five years... funny, I thought we were referring to
Dunkin Donut munchkins all this time when really we were actually
referring to Wizard of Oz munchkins...

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Mon May 3 00:22:37 1993
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Adam Ant)
> Subject: Re: Alive
> munchkin /muhnch'kin/ from the squeaky-voiced little people in L. Frank
> Baum's `The Wizard of Oz' n. A teenage-or-younger micro enthusiast
> hacking BASIC or something else equally constricted. A term of mild
> derision --- munchkins are annoying but some grow up to be hackers after
> passing through a larval stage. The term urchin is also used. See
> also wannabee, bitty box.

Now, we know that Rohit's worldview has started to incorporate the
thought that maybe something else is out there worth doing, but look at
him in his larval state:

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Wed May 12 03:51:18 1993
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Egg McRifkin)
> Subject: Re: My world view.
> > There is nothing you must be.
> Bullshit
> > And there is nothing you must do.
> Horseshit
> > There is really nothing you must have.
> Yeah, right!
> > And there is nothing you must know.
> NOT!
> > There is really nothing you must become.
> Intuitively idiotic to the most casual observer
> > However, it helps to understand that fire burns,
> > and when it rains, the earth gets wet . . .
> > whatever, there are consequences.
> Thanks for the update.
> Really, this is the most pathetic attempt at a worldview I've
> heard since "the meek shall inherit the earth". Kind of terrifying to
> think that you believe in this addlebrained pacifist nonsense.
> Darkly Yours,
> Rohit

Fast forward a year, and we have a Rohit ready and willing to party at,
ahem, "Club Fuck"...

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Fri Apr 1 19:13:00 1994
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu
> Subject: Hmm... Where was *my* invite?
> Sadomasochists Meet Cyberpunks At An L.A. Party June 14, 1993
> by Jessica Seigel (Chicago Tribune)
> Sadomasochists meet the cyberpunks. Leather meet hypernormalcy. Body
> piercing meet network surfing (communicating by computer). It was a
> night for mingling among the subcultures to share their different
> approaches to messing with mind and body.
> The recent party at the S&M club "Club Fuck" was organized by "Boing Boing,"
> a zine that focuses on the kinetic, futuristic world of the new frontier
> known as cyberspace. This place doesn't exist in a physical location, but
> anyone can visit from their home computer by hooking into vast electronic
> networks.
> A blindfolded man dressed in a jock strap and high heeled boots stood on
> stage while helpers pinned flashing Christmas lights to his flesh with
> thin needles. Then a man with deer antlers tied to his forehead whipped him.
> The crowd of mostly twentysomethings who came to the club because of the
> cyber theme observed with stony expressions. Chris Gardner, 24, an
> architecture student who studied virtual reality in school, covered his
> eyes with his hand.
> No one, really was "fitting in." The sadomasochists looked curiously at
> the very-average-looking cyber fans, who openly gawked back at the black
> leather, nudity and body piercing.
> Sharing subcultures can be so much fun.

Too bad Rohit didn't go, he might have rivalled the Cobraboy "shooter
girl" story, still my candidate for filthiest FoRKpost ever...


Dan, is this worth reposting or what?? :) Okay, I won't repost the
whole thing, just a "teaser" to get you to go to the above URL...

> He shoots he scores! I bounce the bill right off her pussy. She sort fo
> flinches not knowing what just happened, rolls over and does another
> goal post pose. He shoots and he scores! This one hits her directly in
> the pussy, bounces up and lands in the middle of her stomach. She crawls
> over the the side of the stage and glares at me. So I lean forward and
> glare back with my best, "listen white trash, your striping in this dive
> club and if some guy is bouncing dollar bills off your pussy I don't
> think your in any position to get pissed off" look. Well this starts to
> set my mood. I now know I can have some serious fun at this dump. Next
> comes a shooter girl...

Great. So whereas the above "Tim in Vegas" story is lurid but sexy, I
just found in my Rohit mail the lurid but disgusting story of
cannibalism that first sent me down the vegetarian path 4 years ago.
Remember this one, Rohit?

> Speciality Catering is just that. We cater private parties for very
> rich clients who are into having large dinners where they serve exoitc
> dishes. Dishes like our speciality, roast female on a spit. We also
> do males but there is not as much demand for them and we only keep a
> small inventory.

Yuck. Geez, around that time we were also discussing various gruesome
details in the alt.tasteless FAQ. Thank goodness we outgrew that.
Actually, looks like we were never really into that...

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Sun Apr 17 18:54:18 1994
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu (Adam Rifkin)
> Subject: Re: Talk about your suicide pacts.
> Thank you so much for making me suffer through actually
> *reading* that filth. I only forward 'em people, I don't
> read 'em or collect 'em. (actually, I got as far as the bit
> about the receptionist in a bikini and called BULLSHIT! --
> upstanding Americans like myself can certainly defend this
> squick's right to publish any old snuff stories he wants,
> but sexual harrassment... well, the ACLU ain't gonna back
> you up for that, buddy)
> This is the most horrid story I read since the woman who was
> murdered in a bathtub of bull and horse semen.

Ew, that was probably more detail than I needed to forward. Interesting
juxtaposition: we were in full-fledged infosponging mode by 4 years ago:

> From khare@cco.caltech.edu Mon Apr 18 16:50:20 1994
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu, khare@cco.caltech.edu
> Subject: DAMN! I *TOLD* YOU SO!
> From: Knowledge One <KnowOne@sonoma.edu>
> Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www
> Need hard-to-find information fast? Knowledge One is the answer!
> Knowledge One is a new information service, designed to provide
> information on just about any topic in under an hour. Come see us on
> the Web
> http://KnowOne_WWW.sonoma.edu/
> or send email to KnowOne@sonoma.edu for more information.

So it looks to me like Knowledge One isn't there anymore. An Altavista
search finds some things that may be related but who knows? Here's the
Sum of All Human Knowledge:


I guess the idea of information transfer has been with us for a while,

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Sun Apr 24 04:05:59 1994
> To: adam@vlsi.cs.caltech.edu
> Subject: I'm so *good* at this...
> I should just quit and be a marketroid columnist. I mean, how can I be
> so close to clueful, and let such half-clued stuff go by? Here's another
> guy wandering around outside the idea of a real information marketplace.
> Rohit
> Magazine: Internet World
> Issue: May 1994
> Title: Knowledge Exchange
> Author: Christopher Locke (clocke@panix.com) is General Manager,
> Internet Group, Mecklermedia Corporation.
> While much of Internet World is -- to no one's great surprise --
> strongly positive about the Internet, we also need to apply
> critical intelligence to our assessments, and explore the net's
> pitfalls as well as its potential. After an infatuated
> honeymoon, the business press has begun, predictably, to look for
> negative angles on what it sees as "the Internet story."
> ...
> I think few today would disagree that "knowledge exchange" is an
> intrinsic and critical aspect of business as we have come to
> understand it in the late-twentieth century. After all, we speak
> easily of "knowledge workers," "knowledge resources," and the
> "knowledge economy."
> Analysts such as Peter Drucker, Alvin Tofler, and Robert Reich
> have been talking for years about the central role of human
> understanding in the global economy which is now fully upon us.
> Companies need the knowledge of all their workers, not just the
> privileged insight of top management. They need to establish bi-
> directional paths to the knowledge of suppliers and strategic
> allies. Most of all, companies need first-hand knowledge about
> what customers and prospects want, and be able to turn these
> perceived needs into successful products and services.
> Now suppose we now subtly modify the headline, converting it to a
> proper noun phrase by adding the definite article: The Knowledge
> Exchange. This usage suggests an analogy to "the stock
> exchange." While the financial markets do have a strongly virtual
> quality today, representing globally distributed corporations, we
> still immediately think of NASDAQ and the New York and American
> stock exchanges -- or their equivalents from London to Hong Kong.
> But where or what is "The Knowledge Exchange"? We form no
> immediate impressions on hearing such an expression, and most of
> us would likely ask for clarification: "Excuse me? To what,
> exactly, are you referring?" I believe this is a major -- perhaps
> the major -- problem for the Internet today. Business needs a
> Knowledge Exchange that is not an abstraction. Companies need to
> get "listed on" such an exchange. But today, who can these
> companies turn to? Who can they call?

I find it amazing that a year later in 1995 we thought we could actually
accomplish anything as renegades... Rohit, do you see how wrong we
would have been if we had tried this?

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Sat Apr 1 10:44:29 1995
> Subject: Re: Multimedia Contacts
> OK -- here's my last-ditch secret plan to return to some resemblance of
> my originally charted Course in Life.
> You said "We break the rules" here -- what-if I stayed at Tech?
> We three could build oSpace -- Eve's object location stuff, your
> parallelizing corba dispatch w/dataflow, and I'd work on the object
> databases and constraint logic. We'd then be able to use it to implement
> Distributed Classroom, Distributed Documents, and Distributed Media.
> It'd be mobile-adaptive, too, by recognizing in the kernel mutable
> bandwith connections.
> Anyway...
> Rohit

I'm still trying to remember what this idea was:

> From khare@xent.caltech.edu Sun Apr 2 23:32:37 1995
> Subject: Part 2 of GENESIS
> Oh yeah, I forgot the other half of the "transparent" magic:
> Caching object-expressions for nonmodified uses subsets.
> I.e. if I ask [pasteboard compatibleTypeTo:"foo"] should just be a hit
> and return YES or NO as long as pb isn't changed in the subset of
> variables that "compatibleTypeTo" and its sub-calls access.

Although I guess I can see where we were headed with it:

> From khare Tue Apr 11 15:04:26 1995
> Subject: from MacHack X
> A dream of an ultimate OS. by Oleg Kiselyov
> How the MacOS can be further unifomalized: Deep down the OS is nothing
> but a manager of many databases: file system, process table, routing
> tables, list of known AppleShare servers, revision control system
> (projector) data, Think C projects. It would be much more efficient to
> have a single, really good distributed database manager implemented as a
> universal *core* program, than a multitude of "custom" database
> managers: a database system *instead* of the file system. Since
> everything is a database, a link between two records representing files
> is no different for the database manager than a link between a record in
> the Users table, a record in the "Processes" table, a couple of records
> in the "Files" table and a "Print jobs" table. No need for multiple
> (user, process, print job) IDs and messing with them, everything is
> uniform. Many-to-many links are possible. Hypertext documents and the
> process tree are the same thing deep down, and they should be the same
> for the OS.

Geez. 3 years later and we STILL dream of an ultimate OS. And where
have we gotten with distributed databases? Almost nowhere. I mean, it
sounds like maybe Mariposa at Berkeley might be on to something:


But then again, maybe any of these other distributed economic solutions
might also be on to something:


Sigh. It's kind of like thinking about how 840 fast satellites applied
properly usurp the local television market. Or like wondering what the
heck the creators of South Park were thinking giving us a half hour of
Terence and Philip last night. Or pondering how the Win32 APIset could
possibly be up to 8000 OS-accessing API calls. The mind staggers to
think of such things.

Perhaps the only lesson is that those who don't learn from history are
condemned to study it, and that the more things change, the more they
stay the same. Or perhaps the real lesson here is that Rohit never sent
me the important things electronically. Some more important stuff than
this is in the green diaries [four of which should now be in Dan's
possession], but the most important stuff we don't even dare write down.
We carry it locked in our brains and distract anyone who tries to get it
out of us until they truly demonstrate themselves to be trustworthy.

Yeah, maybe that's it - a formula for our interactions these past 5 years:
97% of what we encounter we don't even bother to read.
97% of what we read we don't bother to think about after reading it.
97% of what we think about we don't bother to discuss.
97% of what we discuss we don't bother to post to FoRK.
97% of what we post to FoRK don't hold the key to The Big Idea.
And 97% of things holding the key to The Big Idea make no sense without
the context of the other 3%, which themselves aren't posted....


Mac PPC 8600/300. Newer 275/1Meg G3 card. 256 megs 60ns Newer DIMMs.
4 gig Seagate Barracuda. 2 gig Seagate Hawk. Imagine 9 128 Graphics
card 1152x860. My porn collection never looked better...
-- Tim Byars