Way back in 1991 I went to the wedding of a college buddy in the beautiful setting of Asheville, North Carolina.
That was where I first heard about LambdaMOO.
Another close friend handed me a small scrap of paper with the words Telnet an internet address and port 8888.
He said it was a text-based virtual reality and he was getting lost in it. And that I should join.
When I got home I bought a 14.4 kbps modem, installed Telnet and dialer software and connected to the network.
In those days, the squeal of a modem connecting was the glorious sound of freedom, much like a revving car or motorcycle engine on the parkway.
The MOO in LambdaMOO stood for “Multi-User Object Oriented.”
LambdaMOO was a text-based virtual reality system created by Pavel Curtis, a scientist and programmer at Xerox PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center that gave birth to the mouse, graphical user interface, and many other concepts that are at the core of modern computing.
The MOO was a freewheeling environment with characters like Spatula, Obvious, Autumn, Sick, Skeptical, and Eclipse. There was a hot tub, an I Ching garden, a nightclub, an architectural review board, and a sophisticated programming system for building rooms, vehicles, communication systems, and activities.
I fell in deep.
Many many hours, day and night, I spent in that alternative universe of the MOO.
Weightless, connected, laughing, joyful, stimulated, entertained.
When I landed my first major web development project for the Baltimore Sun, a major newspaper that was interested in building one of the first websites, I played a VHS tape of Pavel Curtis for the Sun’s management team.
On the tape, Pavel talked about the old TV show Route 66.
He said that what was interesting about the show wasn’t the road, it was the people you met along the way.
At the time Vice President Al Gore was talking up the Information Superhighway.
Pavel didn’t want a Superhighway. He wanted a backroads, diners, hamlets, honkey-tonks and other places where people meandered and socialized.
For the Baltimore Sun, we built one of the first online real-time hangouts called the Crabhouse.
It was too early to be commercially viable, but we learned a lot about technology, community, and mediated communications.
A lot of the lessons we’ve learned over the past three decades of playing around on the internet we’re putting to work in Scoby.
One of the big lessons is: “it’s the people, not the road.”
We’re working to make the technology invisible, and let the people shine.
That’s what’s behind our Creator’s Live! series.
I’m inviting the people who have made a difference in my life to make a difference in yours.
My guests for the second session are Desmoine West, Scoby’s investment banker, and Aaron Krowne, our outside counsel.
Our ostensible topic is cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin bull run, and the purpose of the blockchain.
But that’s just to have a starting point.
My deeper purpose is to introduce some professionals who are genuinely passionate about the success of their clients. They provide strategic guidance, and sharp tactical insights.
On Scoby, you’re not just a viewer or audience member. You’re welcome to join us on stage, ask questions, share your thoughts, and steer the conversation where you would like it to go.
We hope to see you there!