The Most Famous Day of Exit & A New Keyboard

My favourite keyboard was a random purchase in August 2002. I had the entirely sensible idea of bringing my tower (no, you read that right; not a mini-tower, but a full 2ft high tower unit) across the Atlantic Ocean when I went to UNC. My insanity did not extend to bringing all the other bits, though, so there was a trip to the Best Buy at New Hope Commons and I found a keyboard. Nothing special at all, but it turned out to an IBM keyboard that still had enough of the Model M lineage inside its DNA to be a satisfying click on every keypress. How I mourned about eight years later, after taking it back home, when the space bar finally gave up the ghost and I had to get a new keyboard.1

What I’m leading up to is that I’m currently having a Very Proper Tech Mid-Life Crisis, and I’ve bought my first mechanical keyboard. And it is glorious. CLICK-CLACK Every time. Plus it feels solid enough to cause somebody a lasting injury if you used it as a club. Which might give Bonnie ideas. But…I’m not likely to be making it home for Christmas this year, so she won’t have to hear it too much. Except for when I make sound recordings of me typing on it and send them to her…


Obviously, it does not make you into a super-hacker, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel better to be typing on something that sounds like it came right out of WarGames. Plus, it works on my iPad too!

Honestly, I’m also somewhat jazzed about having actual PgUp and PgDn keys again. I’m still cool! I swear!

Meanwhile, I have spent the nights of this week reading a collection of lectures from Bell Labs, a journal of video game development, and the diaries of a Tory Minister in the early 1980s. For the latter, it’s a surprise that even compared to this current shower, Clark comes across as an oozing chauvinistic sociopath that would be one of the first up against the wall given any justice in the world.2 And then there’s the other part of my reading for the week, where I have continued my descent into CCRU-adjacent land and into a loose collection of websites like xenogothic, hyperstition, and the venerable k-punk. Like last week’s revisiting of The Net, it reminded me of a different time, of chasing down weird and wonderful links on the Internet late at night in room A14 in Manchester (the Xenofeminist website even vaguely looks like a Geocities site circa 1999).

It’s also weird that having read one article on ‘patchwork’ this week on one of these sites, my entire twitter feed was aflame with it Thursday. Synchronicity. I’m not really sure how successful any of these ideas are in pulling them away from Land’s clutches. But still, any port (or exit) in a storm, eh?

Mister Six

  1. My sister, on the other hand, did enough dancing and cheering that I vaguely suspect that she had a hand in its demise. [return]
  2. The current shower of course is in thrall to a strange creature that appears to have grown up in the LessWrong forums of a decade past. I am looking forward to Keir Starmer bringing up Roko’s Basilisk at some point at PMQs. [return]