cj-6/7> Ferguson: From Cyber to Physical Space


Richard Moore

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 11:24:44 -0700
Sender: •••@••.••• (Joe Ferguson)
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: From Cyber to Physical Space

        Dear Cyberjournal Community,

        I met Richard Moore in the flesh, this past Sunday.  There was a
        casual "pot luck" dinner party at a friend's house in Palo Alto.
        I brought an apple pie and helped grill a small mountain of chicken
        Richard had marinated with some wonderful concoction of mundane
        materials.  I met some nice people, got a chance to kid around a
        little with Richard, and enjoyed seeing slides of Wexford and hearing
        him tell his good friends about life in his newly adopted country.

        On the way driving home to Santa Cruz that evening, I reflected on
        the contrasts between cyber space and the real world.  The difference
        between the theoretical and the empirical; between thought and deed;
        the difference between what goes on inside our heads and what goes on
        outside; these comparisons come to mind.

        My first impression was "Real is better" but this party would not have
        been the same without the connection Richard and I have established
        through the immediate-correspondence-pen-pal world of cyberspace.  The
        party was very low key, and I didn't get much time with Richard, but
        that was OK because our cyberjournal relationship was there.  This was
        just an opportunity to share physical space; to become acquainted with
        each other's presence.  It's hard to express, and maybe Richard will
        confirm or deny that it's all in my head, but I felt like one of his
        old friends, and in that, I felt connected to this group of strangers.

        This was the first time I had converted a cyber-relationship to a
        "real-world" friendship.  Coincidentally, I heard on the CBS radio
        news yesterday morning, that a teenaged girl who had been sent a
        ticket to California by a man she met through the internet is missing.
        There was a related piece about a boy who, had been missing after a
        similar cyber-to-physical transition, but had now been reunited with
        his family.  Gee, I wonder if the focus on these stories has any
        connection to the current congressional attacks on the internet?  I
        wonder just exactly how many teenagers are unaccounted for at this
        moment in this country?  Anyway, I hope the girl is safe and will turn
        up in due time.  I can't see that this encounter is much different
        from any other encounter with someone you don't know well (any of
        which might be in poor judgement).  My point is that the meeting with
        Richard and his friends, being based on a reasonably firm foundation,
        given the duration and extent of our cyber correspondence, held no
        surprises, except the pleasant surprise of connecting with a whole
        new circle of pleasant, intelligent individuals.

        I guess it prompts the defiant in me, in the face of this "new threat
        to society that the conversion of cyber relationships to real-world
        personal relationships poses" to urge all of you to "Meet, in the
        flesh, the cyber-buddy of your choice, SOON!"

        You'll be glad you did!

        - Joe


 Posted by --  Richard K. Moore --  •••@••.••• --  Wexford, Ireland.
                 Moderator: CYBERJOURNAL (@CPSR.ORG)

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