FoRK is an exhibitionistic, incorrect forum

Rohit Khare (
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 01:08:19 -0400

'round the campfire, folks, toss some flame-mail in the pit and pass
out the marshmallows.

FoRK is an exercise in several things:

* exhibitionism
I, at least, have a perverse need to share my life for the
entertainment of others. I think that may be its only redeeming value.

* aggressive eclecticism
This list is intentionally no-one-topic. It doesn't even have minimum
standards of taste. Pretty much the only inviolate rule is it must be
*new* bits, preferably bits that aren't obviously available elsewhere.
FoRK is not quite the union of our tastes, but it's close. This isn't a
working list, it's a cocktail party with a newswire :-)

This is why I actively encourage Jim's Top 30, and Green Day
discussions, and well, I can't say I encourage Tim, but I don't stop
him either :-) I know a FoRKer or two who thought that phryday had the
best post of the lot on the Canada thread. I learned some more about
JoeB's wit, etc.

* raw bits
FoRK is also a collecting point for lots and lots of raw bits; it's a
mutual-aid society of bits. I trust Kohn to read RRE, Adam to read
Gen-X, and Tim to read Voxers so the rest of us don't have to. Even
duck has raw bits every once in a while, like the inside scoop on

On the other hand, duck loses major points for choosing to read a book
instead of attending an RS party with Jerry Seinfeld, Brad Pitt, etc.
He violated the premise that FoRK is:

*vicarious risk
It's a chance for all of us, not just RK, to share our thrills and
spills and entertain each other. It's an obligation to bring a new
joke, an odd sighting, or tell a tale of wanton destruction.

Be kind to those of us who don't have a life: donate!

Not just in the bulk of some its members, but in -mindedness, too. No
one here is going to faint away from foul language or racism or porn --
though you're all free to like or dislike it. I wouldn't ask my mother
to subscribe (there's a scary thought), but it's not alt.tasteless,
either. In between, we'll work it out. I think it's a minor milestone
that perhaps 4,000 messages have passed without a single personal
attack or even a harsh word.

Finally, aside from the rare FoRK-noarchive admin announcement,
everything about this exhibitionistic exercise is on the Web. Frankly,
it's because I figured that's the best possible bait for finding more
"friends" :-)

There's nothing wrong at all with anyone exercising their right to
privacy, even having me remove a post from the archive. It's only a
social experiment to see how open people will be on the record.

This brings us back full circle to the genesis of FoRK: a monument to
my ego. "Look what cool friends I have!" Seriously, it's not about me.
If we went by posting volume, hell, we're all friends of Tim Byars'

<portion below has had to be rewritten because MS Outlook ate a page of
text while deleting one line at the end. grrr>

In short, FoRK ain't no dist-obj (nee FoRR). It has even come a long
way from Gordon Irlam's original fogheads -- and it hasn't changed a
bit. An online community of offline friends is a joy to watch. I, at
least, will hunt each of you down and have you for lunch, even Ron in
Tel Aviv :-)

You are my friends, we are friends, and friends don't tell friends what
not to post. It's just an experiment, so trust your instincts. What you
think is FoRKworthy, is. All there is to it.

Besides, pure signal isn't a pretty sight. It's been known to kill
97%ers on sight. So, please, keep the world safe for sheep and send
something goofy...

Ernie Prabhakar
FoRK Chaplain