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\ \ h f e \ |\ ___________________ /| \ \ e y n \ | | | | _\ \ t d \_____| | Byte Bastards BBS | | /| \ \ e a \ | | (201) 697-7001 | | | | \ \ r \ | |___________________| | | | \ \________________\ |/_____________________\| | | \|________________| | | | _ | | | An Analysis by |he Ramsacker | | | October 7, 1991 | | |___________________________________| |/____________________________________/
Yes folks, you have just witnessed the cheeziest textfile intro design ever conjured up in G-phile history.
A couple years ago in 1989 when life was simple and I was just a "c0dez
d00d", I chanced upon calling a BBS called Third Planet in 516, the official Star League headquarters. It must have been around 2:00 AM my time (West Coast) when I was logging in new and the sysop broke in to chat. Being a typical c0dez d00d, I immediately dropped carrier…no actually I thought I'd humor the sysop and see what the hell he was doing up at 5:00 AM his time. He told me he had been working on the system and must have fell asleep in his chair (comfortable chair). Curious about this entire Star League concept that I had come into limited contact with from time to time and wanting to know more, I began asking the sysop questions about it. He proceeded to tell me, as best as my recollection allows, the following, (which is my summary of what I remember him telling me):
The Star League concept was born out of the frustration of calling different BBS' across the country only to encounter endless rag wars and egotistical competition amongst pirates. The pirate world was supposed to be a united community, dedicated to getting new wares out to everyone instead of embroiling the release of them into a overly-competitive rat race where every group was trying to undermine and out-do the other. The idea behind the League was to promote cooperation between different pirates and groups and to provide a haven for those people who were alienated by all the hostility they encountered. Those pirates and groups allied under the Star League banner would cooperate in cracking and distributing wares rather than compete for all the glory. After all, the pirate world was founded on the concept of hackers cooperating to achieve a common goal, and it was supposed to be fun.
The Star League member structure was based upon a hierarchy. There were different levels and ranks assigned to persons based on their accomplishments and contributions to the pirate community at large. Methods of increasing your ranking within the hierarchy included cracking wares, distributing wares, or being an outstanding contributor to different Star League bases in the way of uploading and posting messages. Those aligned with the Star League called themselves "*-fyters" and usually accompanied their handles with this label.
Rylos, the sysop of Third Planet and founder of the Star League, was a
school teacher (of what grade level, either he didn't tell me or I forgot). Keeping this in mind, when one ponders it, everything about the Star League was like being in grade school; you were always taught to be kind and sharing to your fellow students…the same principals that Rylos adopted and applied to the Apple pirate world as the basis for the Star League. He wanted to promote sharing and kindness amongst pirates to try and bring order to the chaos of the Apple pirate world, but he didn't totally succeed.
There are several reasons why the Star League concept never became as
widespread and successful as Rylos would have desired. First of all, it was a utopian idea, and utopias don't always work the way you expect them to. Secondly, a lot of the members of the Star League were, plain and simple, geeks. They were mostly those dreadful Christmas modemers. You know, those 14 year olds that get a Volksmodem from Mom and Pop on the 25th of December (or The Chanukah Modemers for the Jewish amongst you). Lastly, and most important of all, the Apple pirate community was an anarchy, and it was therefore a paradox and an impossibility to try and govern it. Most everyone involved was in it for THEIR own reasons, whether to get wares, to show off ones talent in cracking wares, to simply rag on others because of inferiority complexes in real life, or whatever. To survive you had to be able to hold your own. Those who couldn't joined the Star League. In all fairness, the Star League federation never had the talent it needed to advance its ideals. Who would want to be governed by an organization that encouraged "niceness" when you could start your own group and dominate the Apple ][ pirate world with a cracking empire? Simply the fact that it is a given that most people who became heavily involved in the pirate community had large egos, its not very likely that any one person would be able to get everyone to submit to one solitary confederacy.
Although I never read the book, I do know enough about the story to say
that Rylos had a "Catch 22" idea in mind. He wanted to see if he could successfully create a federation of persons dedicated to the ideals that he laid out for them, that of cooperating to achieve a common goal, the common goal being the cracking and distribution of wares. Based upon the fact that the only contribution from the Star League that I am aware of is an Edu-ware called Planetary Construction Set, I wouldn't call Rylos' experiment a very successful one, although I can see how an older person, especially a school teacher, would be fascinated with the experience. But because of the reasons I have pointed out above, the idea was doomed from the start. I personally don't believe the idea could have ever worked.
I don't know if the Star League still exists. The Byte Bastards used
to be aligned with them, but quit soon after I joined the group, and that's the last major contact I came into with the Star League. If you think you'd still like to try calling a Star League BBS, here's the number for Third Planet: (516) 361-6744. I don't know if it is up any longer so call at your own discretion.
Thanks to Guns-N-Roses and The Moody Blues for kindly playing on my dilapidated Sears stereo while I typed this file (even though I wasn't a fan, I bought Use Your Illusion I & II anyway and found them to be pretty good listening). Thanks also go out to my Penis for being there when I needed it. Ok, on to… THE END - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - You'd think the American Government would get a clue from the events going on in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and leave our rights alone. But they're fucked in the head and think they have the right to control us. Well, they'll soon discover that they can't take away rights they never owned in the first place. The Ramsacker October 7, 1991 2:51 PM