Chat Transcript: July 1, 2001

Who is real? with mystery guests.

On the internet, no one knows you are a dog...goes the famous line. "Love-rats" and "Con-artists" have always existed, let alone the roles we all play.

The Internet extends this--until we do not know whether we are interacting with a "Real" or a "Fictional" person. Fictional characters have infiltrated the net, interacting with "Real" netizens. These characters author weblogs, participate in chats, and often get booted out of chats. Internet mythology springs up around her- people claiming to have met her, speculations about her true identity, etc.

Then again, on the net, we are all more aware of how we construct our own identities, even when we attempt to portray a sincere portrait of ourselves. Is this a question of truth and sincerity, which raises ethical issues, or is it a reflection of the way that subjectivity and identity is a very different beast in the online world?

On the net: Who is author--and who is authored? What is the role of fictional characters? What is the "I" on the internet? What are the possibilities for writing in networked environments?

Fiction often tells it better than reality and we all embroider our stories so where is truth?

Related Links

-- Start log: Sunday, July 1, 2001 2:36:55 pm CDT

Helen says, "Are you logging this one Deena?"

Deena says, "Yes, the archivist is on :)"

Star_Guest, Salmon, trusty, and Everdeen breeze in.

trusty says, "Hello all!"

Deena says, "Welcome all to the trAce/Eliterature chat. We are talking about issues surrounding identity on the net--Who are we and why?""

Helen says, "It's a very sensitive issue: identity and multiple personalities!"

Deena passes out party masks and masks under masks to all and sundry

Salmon grins.

Deena scrambles into a dozen costumes at once and gets stuck in zippers...

Salmon smiles.

Deena says, "Please forgive my typing today. My arm is dead tired from rafting the raging Colorado River."

Deena says, "Usually, I urge people to introduce themselves, but with today's topic... I don';t know if we should do that :>"

Star_Guest is now known as bran.

Helen says, "Introduce yourself if you wish to, and as you wish to!"

trusty says, "Could take a long time"

Salmon wonders if trusty can be trusted...

Deena hands trusty back his set of large keys...,

trusty says, "Trusty very trusting and can be trusted!"

Salmon remembers that she was once accused of being a bot because she grins so much, and resolves to cut down.

Deena says, "I am Deena Larsen, one of the co-hosts for the chat. These chats are biweekly program chats from the Electronic Literature Organization and trAce. You can see schedules from"

Deena unbolts herself

Helen says, "Or even trAce...."

Deena unbolts herself

Helen says, "Our identity is very much bound up with our typo....."

Salmon grins.o O ( oops.. there I go again )

Helen is happy for salmon to grin as much as she likes

Deena shares a URL. (

Deena makes a mental note to ask about the typo

Salmon is sometimes known as Katherine Parrish, grad student in digital poetics & pedagogy

Helen nods to Katherine Parrish a.k.a. Salmon (already at least two people....)

Deena says, "On the internet, we can play any role we like. How do these roles function on the internet "

Salmon says, "I contain multitudes"

Deena says, "Salmon, how do you contain multitudes?"

Deena hands Salmon a deluxe tupperware set with separate seals for her multitude of minions.

Helen says, "I am one person in two places -- at WebBoard too"

Maddy arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Maddy, we are talking about identity and the net and the roles we can play..."

Salmon laughs, "Well, I am already identifying myself as tow people, as Helen mentioned.. and then Katherine Parrish is a named I've only recently moved into as well..There's a lot that goes on with naming in this discussion I think"

Maddy says, "Hello all"

Salmon says, "Hi Maddy."

Deena passes out rolls and coffee cake for the many identities in the room.

Helen says, "So is Katherine Parrish a chosen name rather than a real one-- or does it go further than name and is it a whole new identity?"

Salmon takes a roll, and then drops it for another.

Deena juggles ten rolls, crams one into her mouth, and can't talk for a while...

Salmon says, "Well, Parrish is my married named.. so this concept of shifting identities is not really new to digital life. Just accentuated by it."

Helen says, "That's a very good point...."

Salmon says, "Should we juxtapose chosen against real?"

Deena says, "Sure. How do we juxtapose chosen against real?"

Helen says, "I originally wondered about a pen name for writing books and realised I had either my father's name or my husband's name -- surnames are patriarchal so I'd like to do without!"

Loki93c arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Loki93c, we are talking about names in real life, different roles we play... and how these translate to the internet"

Salmon says, "Actually, I was objecting to the juxtaposition or real and chosen.. I guess it gets down to whether there is any such thing as something that is natural"

Maddy says, "Hi Loki -- now here's someone who's NEVER revealed his real name -- why not Loki?"

Salmon says, "The trickster.. perfect 3D)"

Loki93c says, "Am I connected?"

Deena says, "You are on spot Loki. We are talking about identities in real life and on the net"

Deena says, "I use my one name for a lot of different functions. I figured I didn't want to have to remember what I was hiding....The name does say so much about the person..."

Deena winks and grins

Salmon . o O ( Deena's grinning a lot too... )

Salmon peers at Deena suspiciously.

Loki93c says, "I needed a character to work on the net with."

Deena says, "Why do we need characters to work on the net? How do we reveal ourselves through these different characters?"

Everdeen arrives.

Salmon says, "We need characters to work offline too.. can anyone say that there is a place where they act completely natural?"

Maddy says, "Hi Ev, glad you made it back!"

Salmon says, "Naturally, too"

Deena says, "Hi again Everdeen, we are talking about how we use characters on the net and in real life"

Maddy says, "We all play roles all the time...."

Salmon nods.

Everdeen says, "Thanks! (horrible phone connections today)"

Deena says, "I think I play a million roles under the same skin..."

trusty says, "Maybe it's completely natural to act in roles"

Sonnet Guest arrives.

Deena says, "My friend Wendy was talking about "Crystal grapes." We all carry these crystal refractive images of who people are and who people see us as. But these images are just reflections--and may be distorted ones at that..."

Salmon says, "So why then is it that so many people object to this idea of role-playing online?"

Deena says, "Hi Sonnet_Guest, we started out talking about identity on the net but widened to identity in real life as well"

Salmon likes Deena's friend's image.

Deena says, "Great point Salmon/Katherine/?"

Deena says, "Is it that we cannot see each other, so we don't know who we are talking with?"

Loki93c says, "I like the idea of reflection"

Deena says, "Am I a fictional character typing to you or a reflection of a real character?"

Everdeen says, "Perhaps in part it is a shading from technology and the fears of not being able to control it"

bran has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove bran.

Deena hands out genuine certified bills of character to all.

Maddy says, "Even I, as a fictional character, have many roles in life..."

Deena says, "Yes, Everdeen, could you say more about how technology and identity intertwine? What are your fictional roles in life, Maddy?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Hi Everdeen can you see this from Mary Percival"

Helen says, "Some people don't like to be "Lied to""

Sonnet_Guest says, "This is a bit strange to me."

Deena passes around hot earl grey tea with cold vanilla ice cream and lies

Sonnet_Guest says, "Thank you, could do with some of that."

Deena says, "Sonnet, this subject, or the chat environment?"

Loki93c says, "It's an area I've touched on."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Deena it's me Mary"

Deena welcomes Sonnet/Mary into strange new lands.

Helen says, "Ev, you're probably right about it being partly a fear of the chronology (I'm suffering a dreadful lag tonight can hardly keep up -- is anyone else?)"

Everdeen says, "There is still a great distrust of the technology from people who don't understand how it works. This adds to the distrust brought to people/identities/characters met. And seems confirmed by publicized incidents of stalking and child molestation."

Salmon says, "But Helen, if there is no such thing as a unitary self, then how can we define role-playing as "Lying"?"

Helen says, "I wouldn't define it as such, but many people would."

Salmon nods at Helen. "Why do you think that is?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "This is a rose in England To the Dallas queen"

Deena says, "See, I can't even recognize you Sonnet without another name!"

Deena hands out roses by every other name.

Everdeen says, "Mary Percival, hello"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I am crying with the pain of imprisonment."

Deena says, "Everdeen, are we publicizing these issues because we are frightened of the technology?"

Salmon [to Deena]: good point..

Sonnet_Guest says, "More so because I cannot write"

Deena says, "Hi Mary Percival!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Hiya"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yellow rose"

Deena says, "Sonnet/Mary/Percival, can you elaborate on crying with the pain of imprisonment?"

Helen says, "Let's face it, all fiction writers are liars. It may be unpalatable for some, but every word we write is a "Lie" so it's easier to experiment online as well.... but for people not used to lying themselves, it's harder to understand"

Deena says, "Helen, yes, and it is so much more difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality on the net."

Sonnet_Guest says, "I have just left Penny Lane! at Winchester"

Everdeen says, "People as a whole are perhaps unsure still of where this technology fits into their lives...and fear not being able to control it."

Loki93c says, "What's to be frightened of? "

trusty says, "I'm out of control"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Fighting her way with her sword through the campus"

Sonnet_Guest says, "People"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Delegates"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Students"

MazThing pops in.

Salmon says, "Actually, I recently heard Guy Gavirel Kay say that novelistic fiction is more truthful than anything...because, we can say without question that the last words of the protagonist of the Tale of Two Cities is "It is a far better thing.. etc "

Loki93c says, "Hi Maz"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I have won a poetry comp"

Deena says, "Hi Maz, we are juggling conversations and talking about imprisonment, lying fiction writers, technology at once. If that helps at all.."

MazThing smiles at all the assembled and waves back to Loki

Helen says, "Fiction reveals the truth..."

Loki93c says, "My work is fiction, thereby, by the above definition, it is fact."

SHelen says, "Loki it isn't fact, but it does illustrate the truth"

Loki93c says, "Exactly, it grays into faction"

Deena says, "What becomes truth on the net?"

Deena says, "Loki, grays into faction or greys into fiction? Or both?"

Loki93c says, "When the fiction imitates life!"

Deena says, "I can barely tell the difference between a bot and a fictional/real person..."

Deena passes around infallible Turing tests for real, fictional and bot characters, and then discovers she lost the answer sheet.

Sonnet_Guest says, "I don't think that it is difficult to tell the difference between fiction characters and reality. If you look a little closer"

Deena says, "Sonnet/Mary how do you tell the difference?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "It isn't. By this method. "

Sonnet_Guest says, "Simply by looking closer. E.g, I knew to whom I spoke just now"

Deena says, "Ok. Who did you speak to just now?"

Maddy says, "You'd never spot me as a fictional character - ask me anything. Prove I'm not real!"

Salmon grins.

Sonnet_Guest says, "I know that probably E lucie Darling is a pseudonym."

Deena says, "Maddy, what is the strongest memory of your father?"

Maddy says, "He used to read to me at night -- his favourite books were the Arthur Ransome sailing books."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Why?"

Everdeen says, "Maddy what is the square root of 64?"

Loki93c says, "Why are you fictional?"

Deena says, "When we say fictional characters. do we mean a person writing under a pseudonym, like Sonnet, or do we mean a persona based on a fictional character?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Dallas Queen, why you bringing maths into this?"

Loki93c says, "Okay Maddy, what's the atomic weight of Ytterbium?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "An atom."

Maddy says, "That's a good question... I have been created by someone else, therefore I am fictional -- but I am also real. I FELL real"

Maddy says, " FEEL real"

Everdeen says, "Sonnet, b/c it's the farthest from fiction!!!!" Everdeen laughs.

Sonnet_Guest says, "You should feel real."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh have another laugh."

Sonnet_Guest says, "I'm stupid"

Salmon finds it interesting that we use knowledge quizzes to test someone's relative reality/humanity...

Loki93c says, "I use a fictional name to write about fictional people based on real people in a real landscape mutated into a false landscape. Where does that leave truth?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Anyone interested in Penny?"

Salmon says, "Maddy is just as real as any of us represented here..."

Everdeen says, "Deena, I use a three-way classification so far as my own understanding/use of net"

Maddy says, "Ytterbium -- have to look it up!"

Deena has disconnected.

Rachel Cole arrives.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Think because you know this coin"

Everdeen says, "Hello Rachel"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Hi Rachel"

Rachel_Cole says, "Hi, what are you doing here?"

Everdeen says, "just inquiring, no need to answer or answer long"

Helen says, "Whoops, what happened to Deena?"

Salmon [to Helen]: I think she got bumped

Salmon says, "Hi Rachel, - we're talking about identity online.. and the relationship between fiction and reality"

trusty says, "Maybe a scarier question is: can you prove I'm not going toturn into someone else?"

Rachel_Cole says, "Why are you not out working on real projects?"

Maddy says, "I AM a real project!"

Rachel_Cole says, "How can you be such slackers? Don't you have more interesting things to do than sit around and discuss airy nothings!"

Rachel_Cole strongly disapproves of these goings on.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Well I think any one can turn into anyone else at a blink."

Bran arrives.

Rachel_Cole says, "What do we mean by blinking, young lady? That is very rude."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Who said blinking"

Loki93c says, "Point is trusty, we can turn in2 whatever we want"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Hullo Bran"

Rachel_Cole says, "Where are you going with the conversation?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Reality and fiction go arm in arm"

Loki93c says, "Dreams/waking"

Rachel_Cole says, "What are we talking about and what is the point?"

Mcman arrives from trAce

Rachel_Cole says, "Why are you so worried about dreams, young sprite?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Ah me"

trusty says, "Is this satisfying on any level, this blinking and turning into?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Right blink of an eye"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Mcman, hi there is it raining words"

Mcman says, "Shining sun"

Sonnet_Guest says, "And rose petals, I hope "

Sonnet_Guest says, "Cream, white and lemon"

Sonnet_Guest says, "A magician"

Mcman says, "Wearing wrong glasses"

Rachel_Cole sniffs her displeasure at these ungodly doings and huffs out.

Salmon says, "Trusty, I liked your earlier question.. about not wanting people to turn into someone else.. care to elaborate?"

Loki93c says, "To perceive the other realms, one had to close one eye"

Rachel_Cole has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Rachel_Cole.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Why do you want to remove Rachel?"

Deena has connected.

Deena says, "So who here has been real?"

Deena turns back into herself...Deena says, "Am I real now, or was Rachel Cole real?"

Deena says, "The same fingers typed in both Rachel and Deena--so who was real and who was fictional?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Clever girl"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You got me"

trusty says, "What do we use to develop understanding of what we learn?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh are they rose tinted"

Deena Passes out glasses to show experiences in any tint, flavor, and texture

Helen says, "I'm real: look there's even a picture of me..."

trusty says, "I guess that's what I'm lacking"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Experience"

Mcman says, "Marigold"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Marigold glasses!"

Loki93c says, "So the 'experience' becomes the next fiction"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes again"

Loki93c says, "I have 2 experience things to fictionalise them"

Deena says, "But what DO we mean by fiction? Is it the person who types--or the character we assume when we type?"

Maddy says, "When I walk into a classroom I assume my "Venerable teacher"persona, but in the pub on a Saturday night I'm barely respectable..."

Deena says, "Maddy, where do you teach?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Definition"

Loki93c says, "Other peoples view of an event is our fiction, we have to imagine how they saw it"

Maddy says, "Well it's me, Maddy, who's typing this"

Deena says, "Ok, but how do I know who Maddy is? Are you a one dimensional fictional character like Rachel, who can only disapprove of goings on? Or are you just two separate fictional people in class and in the bar?"

Maddy says, "Don't anybody believe I'M monodimensional: I have more dimensions than my creator who believes he leads a very boring life"

Deena says, "Ok Maddy, so is your creator typing you or are you typing you? And if your creator leads a boring life, is he/she/it one dimensional?"

Maddy says, "It's me through and through -- we're taking method typing here!"

Loki93c says, "Friday night alternative"

Deena passes round the rulers for method acting

Sonnet_Guest says, "Fiction is a piece of imagfination."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Without the f"

puts the fin in imagination and passes round the gin that is left over

Sonnet_Guest says, "You're all too clever for me"

Loki93c says, "Tell me about Saturday night-Maddy Maddy"

pandoralite arrives.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Mcman are you Randy"

Mcman says, "What a thing to ask"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Sorry sorry"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Well it's a compliment"

Salmon hates to throw theory around, but does find Deleuze and Gauttari's idea of the "Collective assemblage" helpful here.. where "I" is an "Order word" that unites for a moment our various fragmentary selves.

Deena passes round more masks, particularly ones with Deleuze and Gauttari faces that stick their tongues out at fragmentary selves and go to pieces.

Sonnet_Guest says, "I am too truthful to wear one"

Deena says, "Hi pandora. Welcome to the costume ball chat--we are talking about identify on the internet"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I'm afraid or not"

Deena rushes her letters--identifying identity

MazThing says, "Salmon can you explain further for those who've not met these theories"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Who God!"

Loki93c says, "Choose your masques then"

pandoralite smiles and starts to lift lid on box of other masks.

Salmon says, "Well, we are all talking here about multiple selves.. the blurry boundaries between them."

Sonnet_Guest says, "I will have a mask of many faces. Of indecision."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Because I am a Libran"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or am I a Virgo"

bran says, "The difference is that the web is content driven so identity is assumed rather than a physical signature"

Deena hands round masks that change at will

Salmon says, "As I understand it, D & G propose that the act of saying theword "I" unites these fragments and calls the subject into being.."

Deena says, "Salmon, who are D&G?"

Salmon says, "Sorry, Deleuze and Gauttari.."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Holding marigolds up"

Deena says, "Sonnet, what do you mean by because I'm a Libran or a Virgo?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes he did or she did"

Loki93c says, "To Name SomeThing is to call It into Being"

Salmon says, "But only for that moment that you say the word I, that language is what causes our identities to cohere.. momentarily"

Salmon says, "Nod nods at Loki. just so"

Sonnet_Guest says, "An example of indecision"

Sonnet_Guest says, "A Libran is indecisive"

Deena says, "Yes, what does the indecion mean here in terms of identity? Can one person be indecisive or does it take a committee of identities to disagree and be indecisive?"

Loki93c says, "Names are words of power"

Deena says, "Maddy, did your creator decide what you would be?"

Maddy says, "In the beginning, but I develop, grow and move on in life in the same way as anyone else. I really WOULD be one-dimensional if I didn't do that..."

MazThing says, "So....without language or expression of an idea...there is no identity??"

Deena says, "Maz--good point. How much of identity is wrapped up in language?"Salmon says, "But is there such thing as a real name? what does that even mean?"

MazThing says, "Deena, no, I was asking is THAT D&G's point?"

Deena and Rachel Cole waggle their fingers with Maz

Loki93c says, "If I give you my real name, you have power over me. And That would Never do"

Mcman says, "Is not"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Names are words of power"

MazThing wrangles with this idea for a while.

Deena says, "So, Sonnet, would your fictional identity be Libran or Virgo?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Guess"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You need a name"

Loki93c says, "Real names are hearsay - ya get them off someone else anyway"

Deena says, "Salmon, what is a real name..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "One must be identifiable or perhaps not."

Mcman says, "I hate my real name and am in the process of suing my mother."

Sonnet_Guest says, "You must not"

Deena says, "Ahh. Salmon, is that D&Gs point?"

Loki93c says, "I am a self created personality - Loki93 The CyberMancer"

Sonnet_Guest says, "She can't help it if it was sunny when you were born"

Deena says, "Mcman, you can change your name to anything...Legally...."

Salmon nods at Maz, "Again, I'm no expert.. but that's how I interpret it.."

Mcman says, "I'd sue my father but he's dead"

Sonnet_Guest says, "So's mine but I guess your mother's to blame"

MazThing smiles and ponders.

Everdeen says, "Or is it that only when saying "I" are the fragments of Everdeen and daughter and writer and cat-owner and etc are all united."

Salmon says, "The notion that language constitutes our reality is not their's alone by any means."

Deena says, "I think the allure here in new identities is in carving new lives--away from what our parents gave us or what we grew up into..."

Salmon says, "Think of how true that is in a MOO"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Could we baa baa instead"

Deena says, "Salmon, but if language constitutes reality, does it also constitute identity?"

Deena hands round the cow making sounds and the sheep making sounds and the sounds of identities fogging and cracking in the MOO.

Loki93c says, "Yes"

MazThing says, "Deena I think it's very difficult to do disown everything and still retain a sense of self"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or laugh like a hyena"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Self respect"

Loki93c says, "Think about what Deena just said"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You can with self respect"

Salmon nods at Deena..

Salmon quotes bp nichol, "I am these words. These words say so."

Bron arrives.

Deena says, "Am I asking to disown everything when I ask to separate identity from language?"

Bron says, "I'm actually Bran but keep getting disconnected."

Deena says, "Hi again Bron, we are now talking about language and identity"

Loki93c says, "About identity, we can't meet Homer, but we can discern his identity via his works"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You can lose everything but still have self respect. And you might be able to call yourself respectful--Having lost everything else"

Deena says, "Yes, but can we see the person?"

Loki93c says, "Yes Deena"

Deena says, "I would love to take Emily Dickinson for one day into the 20th century, but would I know Emily if I saw her? Or would I know Tom Sawyer if he walked down the street"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You would if he walked down the street today"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You can see the person through the soul of self respect"

Mcman says, "How about, if you see something, or hear something, or feel something, then it is real...naming something seems so trite"

Deena says, "Sonnet, what else are we losing?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Hope"

Deena says, "Ok, so without language to tell us who we are we are nothing? My friend Wendy cannot remember without naming..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "We are nothing. we have lost all"

Deena says, "Why are we losing hope..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "We have no mothers nor fathers"

Loki93c says, "Speak for yourself Sonnet."

Sonnet_Guest says, "We are naked."

MazThing says, "But Mcman....the name of something is how we recognise it in many cases, particularly in a text environment even if it has aliases, alternative names"

Sonnet_Guest says, "But we have respect for ourselves"

Deena says, "Yes, and here in the MOO, we are going by so many names...This is actually an archiving issue for me. Who do I ascribe what thoughts to..."

Mcman says, "Only if we feel a need to share something with someone else"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Let us all drop our names and go by the senses"

Mcman says, "Or own it"

Deena hands out word filters and language barriers to all

Maddy says, "I'm game..."

Deena says, "Mcman, can we own without language""

Loki93c says, "Which sense?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "May I give you the candle of enlightenment "

Salmon says, "There's a great U.K. Le Guin's story called "She unnames them" that envisions what sonnet just suggested."

Deena says, "Ahh, but in this environment, can we share anything without language""

Mcman says, "No"

Deena ;<

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes. Lots of things."

Deena ;>

Maddy says, "But I do feel that if I lose my name I lose my identity -- there's very little else for a fictional character to hold onto. "

MazThing says, "But much writing does presume to both communicate and own...whether people like that or not."

Salmon says, "Language is not just verbal, though."

Deena says, "Maddy, why do fictional characters care about their names? If I call Romeo Maddy, will he still not climbed the balcony? Or would Maddy care about the fair Juliet?"

Deena hands round more unnamed roses and invisible masks.

Sonnet_Guest says, "You don't actually need names"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Personality"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You can say do you know the chap who -rubs his nose"

Loki93c says, "Free yourself from the tyranny of names Maddy, get a new one from names-r-us. I did"

Maddy says, "No -- I like my name!"

Deena hands round new names for all

Sonnet_Guest says, "As an opener"

The housekeeper arrives to remove Bran.

Loki93c says, "So keep it then."

MazThing says, "Loki if that's the case.....why do you continue to use Loki93c, why not a different name for each trAce meeting?"

Deena says, "And what does Loki93c mean to you?"

Loki93c says, "Because I am Loki93, but am now also The CyberMancer"

MazThing says, "Yes, but why keep the SAME names, Loki? If names aren't important"

Deena says, "And who else are you Loki? now I will wonder!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "When the conversation progresses you find that you do because you have created a person from nothing?"

Deena says, "Why do we look at names to tell characters?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "The name is nose"

Maddy says, "Even if it was originally chosen because it was the only female name that wasn't already taken on hotmail.... but "Real" people can get their names in weirder ways"

Loki93c says, "I had many names, depending on the gang"

MazThing says, " each gang...the name stayed the same?"

Deena says, "Loki HAD or still have?"

MazThing is being persistent

Maddy says, "Continuity is important: a name is a label by which you can follow a thread of thought or a writing process... when I write I use my name"

Loki93c says, "No, my bros gave me a new one to fit some situation or other."

MazThing smiles and nods to Maddy

Deena says, "I think names on the net are the only things we have to continue our identities. Otherwise, we would ask each other the same questions and never really know each other..."

Bron says, "Do we know each other on the net"

Deena says, "Salmon, will you retell the story of your MOO name?"

Salmon smiles, "Well, it's after a pair of shoes I loved...It used to be Salmon-shoes.. and then got truncated. And now everyone identifies me as a fish/// though in actual fact, I am a colour."

Salmon apologizes for her sloppy typing

Deena colours Salmon beautiful

Salmon blushes crimson

Mcman says, "No, Salmon, I associate you with the color of my carpet"

Helen says, "That's interesting salmon -- I've been writing about colour (and what's in a name) for my latest project....(See June 17th chat on Web, Warp, and Weft)"

Salmon says, "Mcman, must be a groovy carpet"

MazThing says, "Bron, I think that's a good question."

Deena says, "In real life, we meet and re-meet the same people. On the web, we meet and re-meet identities. how do your react when you see the familiar monikers?I know I behave differently toward Salmon now that I know how she thinks and have seen her on different occasions..."

Mcman says, "Aside: a hummingbird just flew by my window."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh lovely."

Bron says, "You wonder if they are who they make out."

MazThing says, "And why on earth do we assume they are the same people just because we recognise a name?"

Salmon says, "Powerfully.. I thought that Bron was someone I knew from a long time ago.."

Helen says, "Can I quote from you all?"

Deena says, "Right Bron, how do you know how to react to someone on the net?"

Helen says, "Can Maddy actually give permission for her words to be quoted or would it need her creator -- whose words they really are?"

Deena says, "Um, good question Helen. I assume you all know this is being logged and the archive will be up at and on trAce?"

Deena hands round sticky identities

Sonnet_Guest says, "Here is a spoonful of honey"

Deena says, "I know there are cases where many people use the SAME name. A group of people will take turns writing the character, responding, etc...."

Bron says, "No"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Maddy is the slave of her creator"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Slave"

Mcman says, "Now my keyboard is sticky"

MazThing smiles innocently at Deena

Loki93c says, "Yep, I met another Loki just the other day, he was a Loki6547 model"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Suck it off"

Salmon blinks.

Bron says, "How do you know he was a he."

Deena says, "Good point Bron, and one I wanted to talk about. What do we do with gender questions on the web?"

Loki93c says, "She said he was."

Maddy says, "My words are mine, and to a great extent my creator is now enslaved by me -- he cannot give me up even if he wants to, I have my own friends, my own place in cyberspace, my own publications!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Your creator loves you he does not want to give you up. He will rather die than do that. But you must ask permission before taking action."

Deena wipes off the honey from all these characters from her screen and her typewriter keys

Bron says, "Books don't answer back."

Salmon says, "Bron, are you sure about that?" Salmon has been addressed by many a book.

Loki93c says, "Irrelevant."

Bron says, "Or national identities"

Deena says, "Can your creator kill you off, Maddy?"

Loki93c says, "Yes, its cybercide"

Sonnet_Guest says, "No he would not want"

Deena says, "Or species"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I do not agree"

Maddy says, "I would still remain -- out there on the Net -- my poems in e-zines, my posts on discussion boards...."

Deena says, "Where do victims of cybercide go when they die?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "No nice creator would want to kill his slave"

Loki93c says, "Into In Between. As digital memories"

Deena says, "But what if the creator were more interested in another character? Or no character? Or in real life other than the web?"

Maddy says, "I am NOT a slave!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh"

Bron says, "Identity in chat rooms is unimportant."

MazThing says, "Um.....why do people get so interested in exchanging details concerned with identity then Bron?"

Bron says, "Because it's fun working out who we are."

Deena says, "Maddy, what is your relationship to your creator?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "It's rather fun being a servant"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You get paid if you're a servant Maddy"

Salmon blinks.

Deena says, "Or is the creator a servant to the fictional character?"

Loki93c says, "If I loose interest in a character, I kill em off I can bring them back anyway I want, it's fiction after all"

Rachel Cole looks askance at Loki for his injurious ways through Deena's eyes.

Deena thinks about the trouble Conan Doyle had killing off Sherlock Holmes...

Deena says, "Loki, do you ever feel remorse for killing a character?

Sonnet_Guest says, "No it's the other way round."

Loki93c says, "Only once. Because it mirrored a real life event. And it was v.painful to relive it I guess."

Loki93c says, "But her real personality lives on in my fiction, so I am happy"

Deena says, "Loki, did working out the character's death help you face the real life event?"

Salmon says, "So, this is interesting in light of the Kaycce Nicole issue.."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Loki you are the creator"

Deena says, "Bron, how do we work out who we are with different identities?"

Bron says, "In person we are accountable. Even on a Saturday night."

MazThing says, "Bron, so then identity IS important to the people typing in those chat rooms"

Bron says, "Discussing identity is important"

Maddy says, "My creator has quite an intense relationship with me, but I know him only as a fellow writer on webartery and other mailing lists"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh, This creator of yours sounds interesting. Is he called bot?"

Deena says, "Maddy, would you ever want to meet your crator face to face? What would you ask?"

MazThing stares into the face of a crater

Deena hands round crates of creators

Sonnet_Guest says, "I would ask for happiness."

Maddy says, "It would be like meeting God.... I don't think I'd want to!

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh that's good"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You must aleways be happy"

>> Mcman is now known as Baldur.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or you will rain on mcman's glasses"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Baldur eh"

Sonnet_Guest says, "The warrior"

Baldur says, "Okay Loki, now you're in trouble"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I have the whip"

Salmon finds it interesting that she feels uncomfortable engaging Maddy directly.. and wishes no offense to Maddy in saying this.

Deena thinks that talking with Maddy is intriguing and wants to look under Maddy's many masks.

Maddy apologises to Salmon -- she assures her she is a very nice person really!

Helen says, "I killed off a character in a book I was writing before the book started -- but because it was crime fiction she dominated the whole book and I just couldn't get into the character of the actuial protagonist - the investigator"

Sonnet_Guest says, "How do you want her creator?"

Salmon tries to locate her discomfort.

Deena wonders about Maddy's childhood and if she remembers it.

MazThing says, "Salmon, this is interesting because in what way are the rest of us so much more identifiable and disconcerting?"

MazThing says, "Sorry I meant NOT disconcerting"

trusty says, "Maddy is it hard to resist giving hints regarding your creator?"

Deena says, "Helen, did you care about killing off the character?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Don't embarrass me"

Salmon says, "Helen, do you grieve when you kill off a characetr?"

Helen says, "I knew she was going to die when i wrote the book, and I wanted her to be vivid from the grave -- but I didn't realise she'd ruin my abaility to bond with the investigator"

Loki93c says, "Oh look, Misteltoe"

Deena says, "I have killed off lots of characters, but only as the characters lived in century or so ago and time did it for me."

Sonnet_Guest says, "I have been to a place where we were all supposed to wear name tags. The people who did not I could guess who they were. By this. You had a feel whether or not they were delegates or gods"

Baldur says, "I wear font tags"

Deena passes around fountain pens and feather name tags which change in the slightest wind.

Salmon says, "Well, Maddy has idenitified herself as explicitly being fictional...."

Sonnet_Guest says, "You used perception"

Deena says, "I have a hard time remembering faces (I don't at all, actually, so if there are no name tags in a real life group, I am lost. I feel more comfortable on a chat where I can at least figure out if the same person is saying similar things all along..."

MazThing says, "But I know less about you than I do about Maddy BECAUSE we have mentioned this"

Loki93c says, "Loki warms up font tag piercing mistletoe"

Sonnet_Guest says, "No one should interfere with the investigator"

Deena says, "So we creators bond with our creations, Helen?"

Helen says, "I think you have to don't you? To be able to write realistically? I really disliked the investigator character in the end because she was so wimpish and wouldn't come alive!"

Deena says, "Yes, your characters have to live with you. Be with you. Come alive. I often ask Rachel for advice on matters. Usually, however, I ignore her promptings :) "

Baldur says, "Egads"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Egads. Is that Sue Thomas"

Salmon says, "Good point, maz"

Deena says, "Egads, the game is afoot!"

Deena hands round more layers of masks so those who wnt to stay masked can stay cloaked

Baldur says, "Sue Thomas doesn't exist"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh sorry. I give roses. For her site"

bron says, "The net has shifted from the fixed fictionalised charcaters in books to charcaters that answer bac."

Loki93c says, "Mine do"

Deena tried to hand round cloaks of invisibility, but they got lost in the shuffle.

Salmon says, "My discomfort, I think, comes from the fact that I want to honour Maddy's identity..."

Loki93c says, "Try right clicking on my"

Maddy says, "Is there a way I can make things easier for you?"

Salmon says, "Nah.. it's cool"

Baldur says, "Now I can't see my sticky fingers"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I can see a picture of Helen"

Maddy says, "You could think of me as merely a projection of my creator -- a "Real" person."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Are you by gad"

Deena says, "Maddy, do you think of yourself as a real person?"

Salmon says, "I muck with notions of identity all the time.. I find it curous that my talk and my gut are disalligned."

Loki93c says, "I don't care what/who you are maddy, you're here, its enough"

Sonnet_Guest says, "We are all projections of our creators"

Maddy says, "I KNOW I am fictional, but I live a real life!"

Baldur says, "I have only written a very small bit of fiction, stories, and even so the characters want to take over my life."

Sonnet_Guest says, "It is not enough to be just here."

Loki93c says, "Then take over theirs!"

Maddy says, "Thank you Loki!"

Deena says, "Do you live all the time, every monment, or just when someone thinks about you, Maddy?"

Salmon . o O ( if maddy mooed in a no.. never mind )

Sonnet_Guest says, "You need to add something"

Baldur says, "Do you really think so?"

Maddy says, "You could ask that questions of anyone!"

Deena says, "But Sonnet, then what are our creators projections of?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Baldur be a warrior. Do not let your persons take you over"

MazThing feels increasingly comparmentalised these days, online and off

Bron says, "Why Maz?"

MazThing says, "I think as a result of different functions, different requirements upon me bron, I think"

Baldur says, "Hell no, I'll just change my name"

Loki93c says, "No, Baldur was the god of light"

Deena hands Maddy a huge forest to moo in. She wawnts to see /hear the results. But this will probably have to be second hand."

Sonnet_Guest says, "How can you moo in a forest? You'd bark in a forest."

Salmon grins.

Loki93c says, "Go to the Virtual Forest then"

Maddy says, "MOO !!!!!! (don't much like it as a cow)"

Deena heard Maddy but can't see the forest for the trees that look like cows. So what does this mean? Does that mean the experiement didn';t work or t

hat maddy is real?

Deena says, "Maz, we started this talk about real life identities--getting married, how you behave in work, play, school, etc. "

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh why do you back off? Baldur, you have gone down in my estimation"

Baldur says, "Baldur was merciful and sweet-tempered, probably a Libra"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes a Libran"

trusty says, "I am resistant to being multiple. Then I'd have more work, more hairdos to live under. "

Baldur says, "Mercy takes courage, I think"

Salmon says, "Is there a difference betwen constructing an identity as a conscious artistic process, and the identities we construct for ourselves with our regular lives?"

Deena says, "Good point Salmon. I construct my lives in real life for the needs and the audiences... I construct my charactsers for their abilityto see things differently than Ic an."

Loki93c says, "You'll probably find Baldur equates with christmas, whatever that sign is"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Trusty don't be resistant"

Deena says, "Wait, is it that Baldur can't decide or that his creator can't decide how to lay Balder?"

trusty says, "I think I'm afraid.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Is that balderdash?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or balder dash?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or bolder dash?"

Bron says, "How how the net changed out relationship to identity?"

Baldur says, "Strange though, how even using this name changes me, somehow".

Deena says, "My characters are the wy I learn about life--I see through so many different pairs of eyes"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Trusty don't be afraid"

Salmon . o O ( if Deena edits out my typos for the log, will that change my identity? )

Deena says, "Good point Salmon. If I add punctuation or caps, or if I move thoughts around, do I screw up your identities?"

Editor's note. Probably. But the chat would be pretty unreadable if I didn't. So, Ia m compromising by changing everyone's typos.

Salmon says, "Go ahead! I'd love to be seen as a more careful person"

Deena says, "Bron, how has the net changed our identiy?"

bron says, "Um, that even."

Sonnet_Guest says, "We are all fictional online."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Perhaps."

Maddy says, "Anyway, real or not, I have to be in school early tomorrow morning, playground duty, so this is enough for me! Thank you for making me so welcome. I have never before admitted to being fictional!"

Loki93c says, "Nice 2 meet you Maddy."

Maddy says, "Bye all!"

The housekeeper arrives to remove Maddy.

bron says, "This is talk of books"

Deena says, "How will your identities live on in the log?"

Loki93c says, "As me"

Salmon says, "Is it live or is it memorex?"

Baldur says, "We are only fictional online on the client side"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Are you the boss Loki?"

bron says, "Fiction is redundant"

Loki93c says, "Yeah"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You sound like a mobile phone"

Deena says, "I think sometimes my chracters think they are boss, but I know better!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh sorry. But that was a compliment, Loki"

Helen says, "Fiction is essential to understand the reality."

Deena says, "What about a nonfictional character masquerading as a fictional character?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Compliment because mobile phones are a form of communication"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Universal"

Dev arrives.

bron says, "Fiction as a genre has had its time."

Deena says, "Hi Dev, we are winding down, but still talking about fictional and nonfictional characters on the web"

trusty says, "Are characters typically bossier, more arrogant?"

bron says, "It is now the time of the database."

Loki93c says, "Whatever."

Sonnet_Guest says, "You could change your name to universal"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or the communicator"

Baldur says, "Don't nonfictional characters almost always gain elements of fiction?"

Deena says, "Some of mine are shyer, some bossier, some more ridiculous, some more sober..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "No"

Baldur says, "Oh"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Because"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Truth is out there"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Truth will get the guilty"

Baldur says, "Good lord, define truth"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Always"

Loki93c says, "What does it look like?"

Salmon laughs.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Each person has a conscience."

Deena says, "Was Maddy a fictional character masquerading as a person, or a nonfictional real life person masquerading as a character?"

Dev smiles, as truth is just a constructed fiction itself, no?

Sonnet_Guest says, "By the way "

Deena says, "Right, that gets back to Helen's point about fiction being lies..."

Salmon nods at dev.

Deena Listens to Sonnet's by the wy...

Baldur says, "In east of eden, the woman had no conscience; neither did my first wife"

Deena has a feeling Baldur means this literally

MazThing says, "Fiction is lies...and truth"

Deena hands dev a mask and a glass of Guiness

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yes she did"

bron says, "This sounds like a reading group rather than a network"

Dev [to MazThing]: truth is the lies of the victor?

Deena hands round Guiness and vanilla ice cream and glyphs for name tags to all

Sonnet_Guest says, "What are glyphs"

Deena says, "Soundless runes, like the symbl for the guy formally known as Prince"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Baldur you're at it again"

Baldur says, "Yes, maz, yes"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I know who you are"

Loki93c says, "Who cares? If it scans well, enjoy it."

Baldur says, "You said to be a warriors"

Deena says, "What does scanning well mean?"

Loki93c says, "Reads"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Scanning"

Dev says, "Scanning well 3D3D if I like it it is good?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Means something exciting!"

MazThing is still thinking about what Dev said

Deena says, "If you like it, does that mean you are comfortable with the identity?"

Loki93c says, "Dunno Deena, i dont analyze stuff much."

>> Baldur is now known as harry.

Loki93c says, "just do it"

Deena says, "Things go better if you don;t look at this too much. Which is probably why we can talk to characters, alien species, and others with equal ease on the net. We just do it..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Boss lady/man you sound tired. Are you all right"

Dev [to Loki93c]: "That's an analysis itself, no? but one that doesn't take the analysis up critically or socially?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Cor"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Harry"

Deena says, "I am, I rafted down 35 miles of river before the chat this morning and my arms ache"

Helen says, "I'm tired now... too much to do..."

Sonnet_Guest says, "Why Harry"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Quite a difference"

Salmon [to Deena]: yikes!

Deena says, "But it is a good ache. I am in my skivvies and sopping river wet.. in a mountain internet cafe."

harry says, "A common name."

Dev [to Deena]: better before than during.

Salmon grins.

Loki93c says, "Guess so dev"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I hope I haven't been rude to the boss"

Helen says, "Must go do last minute chores before I fall asleep..."

Deena says, "Sounds like we are winding down. Any last thoughts on identity and who we are on the web?"

Sonnet_Guest says, "And the guest never grovels but kow tows"

Deena says, "I want to say this has been an incredible chat--filled with rills and rapids and uncaught phrases..."

Helen has disconnected.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yeah"

harry says, "Helen, you can't leave, you started this thing"

Salmon says, "I am the walrus, coo coo ka choo"

Deena says, "Sonnet, you have been lovely and wonderful"

Loki93c says, "Well, my thoughts are on my website Deena"

Editor's note: I could not find Loki's site. Will ask the next time...

Sonnet_Guest says, "You show your age"

Deena says, "You all have been great participants and I can't thank the guests bercause I don't know who they are!"

Dev still thinks that we're no more constructed or non-constructed off line than on. We just noticed it online.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Kooing like that"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Well you can thank me"

Salmon [to Sonnet_Guest]: do i?

Sonnet_Guest says, "I am the almighty"

Deena says, "Than you Mary/Sonnet!"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I have created"

Deena says, "Thank you Salmon!"

MazThing says, "Dev it's harder for others to connect up the different facets online, that's all"

>> harry is now known as eggman.

Dev apologises for being late, but couldn't negotiate the timezones.

Salmon quotes an old ad, showing her age again, "How old do you think I am?"

Deena says, "Thank you Helen, Loki, Eggman, Balder Maddy , Mazthing!"

Dev nods to Maz

Loki93c says, "Thanxs back"

Salmon says, "Thank you deena 3D)"

Deena says, "Thanks Dev, Everdeen, likki, pandoralite"

Deena says, "Thanks Rachel"

Sonnet_Guest says, "You are in your fifties, I guess. The swinging walrus"

Everdeen says, "Thanks Deena"

MazThing will call Loki lickie from now on!

Deena says, "Sonnet, who is in the fifties?"

Salmon giggles.

eggman says, "As lenny bruce once said: thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthanjoyu"

Deena passes around giggle masks

Salmon says, "Apparently I am.. "

Sonnet_Guest says, "The ~~Walrus is"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I am the eggman not you"

Loki93c says, "Loki93c will be miffed if she"

MazThing laughs

eggman says, "Actually, you know, its much easier mooing behind a mask, or a shell in my case"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or maybe I am the fool on the hill"

Dev thinks people are dating themselves in a prior epoch from hers.

MazThing might relent if Seriously Drowning turns out to be good in its entirety

Deena hands round wraps and more elaborate feathred and jewelled masks for the taking--and wishes all a wonderful identity forever after.

bron says, "Bye"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Or perhaps I like flying a paper plane"

The housekeeper arrives to remove bron.

Deena says, "I'm going to take a shower before the cafe and waiters explode at my river stench..."

trusty says, "Good bye now!"

MazThing says, "Bye all"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Who is the housekeeper who comes to eject the folk?"

Deena "The housekeeper is an efficient resident of the MOO who makes sure no one has left discarded identities behind."

Dev [to Sonnet_Guest]: it is a bit of code that cleans up

Loki93c says, "Its very good Maz"

MazThing joins the exodus

Deena says, "Bye all. Thanks so much!""

Dev waves to all

Salmon takes this identity home.

Everdeen tiptoes out.

Salmon goes home.

trusty has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove trusty.

MazThing melts away.

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh good bye to every one and thank you to all"

>> eggman is now known as runran.

Deena has disconnected.

Sonnet_Guest says, "I wave back"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Goodbye Harry"

Dev goes home.

runran says, "He already left"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Oh run dah do run run"

The housekeeper arrives to cart Helen off to bed.

runran says, "I love that song"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Who is left because I didn't"

Sonnet_Guest says, "The housekeeper is busy tonight"

Sonnet_Guest says, "Yeah good song Da doo run run"

runran says, "There's a great version by ian matthews"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I haven't heard it I'm Afraid"

Sonnet_Guest says, "I hope to get tickets for Status Quo"

Sonnet_Guest has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Sonnet_Guest.

runran says, "Okay, who's chatting on the side?"

The housekeeper arrives to cart Deena off to bed.

runran says, "I'm getting a bit frightened of the housekeeper. If i had my own room, i think i'd hide in it."

The housekeeper arrives to cart Loki93c, runranoff, and pandoralite to bed.

-- End log: Friday, July 6, 2001 1:08:48 pm CDT


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