simstim itself struck him as a gratuitous multiplication
of flesh input
many people go without food or medicine to pay their heating bill
in the winter in the wealthiest nation on Earth even without a
Now everyone has a SIN (System Identification Number)
Back in the long-ago days of static web pages you could start from
a known point, maybe not even a search engine but just a good
stepping-off point  and roam a long series of pages clicking on
the most interesting link provided and continuing down the rabbit
hole. You would often come upon interesting eccentric crackpot
content while just wandering around following links, things that
seemed like they shouldn't be out wandering around on their own
One example: clear instructions on the best way to gun down an
entire room full of people using two gunmen with fully-automatic
weapons. Maybe it was just someone's active imagination but it was
written in a dry manner that seemed genuine to me at the time I
read it. Sadly I do not have my browser bookmarks from those days,
although the links are probably all dead and gone anyway.
I once came upon a page of detailed instructions for abandoning
your identity, dropping out of sight, and starting a new life with
a whole new identity. (Similar to a file I just came across
recently in the archives at textfiles.com )
It spelled out in clear details how to:
* prepare ahead of time without raising suspicion
* liquidate your assets to build up cash for the move
* rent a place to live without giving a SSN or having to provide a
rental history or references by finding landlords willing to
overlook such things and to not get completely scammed in the
* getting utilities started without giving a SSN - mostly this
involved giving a larger deposit as I recall
and similar important practical points.
It was of course ostensibly provided with the intention of helping
people who had good reason to 'disappear' such as battered women
escaping a brutal husband or the like although the author admitted
it could as easily be used by unscrupulous types to go on the lam
and avoid legal entanglements or being brought to justice.
Today of course such information is much less useful because most
of the methods described have been obsoleted by the degree to which
landlords, utilities, and others insist on a valid SSN and check it
by running your credit history. Anyone asking to provide a large
deposit to avoid giving their SSN is immediately under suspicion
despite the very real potential consequences of identity theft. The
technical skills or money to pay someone with those skills to
accomplish dropping out of sight and starting over are probably
vastly greater than they were when I came across that page sometime
back in the 1990's and would probably violate more laws.
A simpler time, when you had the option to cease to exist if you so
chose and were willing to make some major sacrifices to do it.
This memory of course brought to mind that scene in Mona
Lisa Overdrive in which Molly takes young Kimiko out for a
'walk', deliberately obscuring their trail by changing from one
transportation method to another many times, until she has some
confidence that they're really alone, no one tailing them, no one
actively surveilling them.
"Because sometimes it feels good to shake it all off, get out from
under. Chances are, we haven't. But maybe we have. Maybe nobody,
nobody at all, knows where we are. Nice feeling, huh?"
Would it be nice to have at least one communication method that you
knew no one at all was listening in on, even if you have nothing to
say that really had to be kept private? It sure would be nice to
have the option at least since those fuckers work for us in theory.
The NSA are still probably listening in on or recording everything,
however. For all I know the USPS is reading all of our mail these
days too - although I hope that there are enough folks there that
would balk at that that it would have been leaked to the media.
Really, why would anyone want a pseudonym ?
My wife chose some years ago to mostly go no-contact with her
family due to issues of past abuse and ongoing attempts by some
family members to drag her back into their issues and being
manipulated and abused. When we moved out of state we did not give
anyone in her family our new address. After some years of the only
contact with them being via text messages she finally made the
decision recently to change her phone number as well to cut off the
contact completely because even that was being used to manipulate
her to try to bring about more contact.
In other anonymity and privacy protection news, tilde.black  has
gone the way of anon.penet.fi .