As I said, I’d partially forgotten about how LiveJournal did privacy. I think VOX privacy settings were modeled after LiveJournal’s, although SixApart didn’t acquire it until after VOX was launched. All my VOX archives were imported here when it closed, but LiveJournal continues, and so all my LJ archives remained there. It was opening a can of worms to log in and see the hidden entries I hadn’t dwelt on in 10 years.
I’ve said what they were about, so no need to repeat myself, as later posts tended to be much of the same. Therefore, the next posts of much interest in my LiveJournal period (and that were visible) were concerning Grex, which is one of the last shambling remnants of the Bulletin Board System (BBS) era of computing in the 1980’s. I’m amazed that it’s still somehow alive and kicking, as of this post.
And it seemed that at about this point, I knew I was going to have to part ways with that online community in Ann Arbor. It wasn’t easy, because I had been with them for almost 10 years as well. I wanted e-mail access after coming home from college, and Prodigy hadn’t gone over well with my folks (this was before the infamous rise of AOL). My sister figured out how to dial in to the library system, and M-Net (then Grex) were the best options I had.
I tried to make that entry in January 8th, 2004 topical:
You know, it’s weird that the topic of Grex has turn to weblogs… they’ve made a proposal to make a blog conference on the bbs– try to test Grex to see if it could be run for blogging.
I was taking the high road then, but enough time has passed that I think I can reveal more details without embarrassment. Ann Arbor is a liberal spot in otherwise fairly conservative Michigan. And Grex had grown to embrace that paradigm– when Cimmy and I visited, we stayed with a couple of regulars that lived the Simple Living lifestyle to a pretty severe degree. M-Net in Ypsilanti had been running for much longer, but its community had come to get their kicks in mercilessly lampooning Grexers. (Yep, including me.)
They were in a flap about Valerie deleting some material she had written. Now, some of you may chuckle when I say much of it was her descriptions of using breast milk as some sort of miracle tonic, and you’ll just have to trust me when I say it seemed rather bizarre. But those lampooning her weren’t doing it out of good natured-teasing. They were doing it out of contempt.
M-Net users were known to take posts and rewrite them according to their disdain. They thought the Simple Living couple didn’t need much embellishing, though, so they took Sindi’s posts wholesale without modification. (Jim was dyslexic and didn’t post much.) I like to think their shaming might put a few 4Chan /b/tards to green envy– *quite* a few actually knew each other personally, so there wasn’t total anonymity.
So Valerie had written a script to delete items, and on a PicoSpan conference, this wasn’t very elegant or tidy at all. Some were mad because that meant their comments were deleted, too. I could go on, but let me suffice it to say that it dissolved into much arguing over free speech, the site’s claim to such, and writing about it further will trigger boiling rage from the depths of my gall bladder.
It brings to mind and wonder why people feel to need to bare their souls publically. I mean, thank god for security levels here– you do have an option to lock to friends and groups of friends. Why just throw out information that people can wipe their ass with at will? Hopefully, most people of the weblog community are growing thick skins if they are writing a lot of information down… but I would guess some sort of discretion has got to be involved.
Oh, how naive I was. I don’t know why, but I thought the privacy levels LiveJournal had (some of you will know them better by the way SixApart applied them at Vox) offered me some dignity. Oh no no… it seemed to foster suspicion, and drama.
But my next entries actually have more to do with the 12 Steps, and if you recall my The Inner Journey: Initial thoughts post, the 12 Steps follow the Inner Journey fairly well.