e$: Fickle Fingers of Fate...


At 11:00 pm -0400 on 6/18/97, Tim May wrote in cypherpunks:
> Not that it matters. Face it, our words in print vanish without a trace,
> and are remembered by nobody except ourselves.

Yeah, but every once in a while the ideas stick in the head of someone else, which is good enough for me, and, ironically, where my aforementioned "aspirations to lethargy" regarding getting "credit" for the quote comes from. Sometimes having people think about something is much more important than them knowing who gave them the idea.

On the other hand, I get e-mail from people all the time for stuff I've written or said (with attribution) in the press and on the net, and most of those people are excited about all this new stuff they haven't heard of before. I get quite a great kick out of that.

Sometimes, though, speaking of kicks, I do feel like I've got a "kick me" sign on my back or something. I just got a copy of the NHK video about Sameer, (and cryptography ;-)), and FC97 is talked about there a lot, but, unfortunately, no real credit given to Ray Hirshfeld as conference chair for organizing the program, or, for that matter, for myself as the the guy whose idea FC97 was in the first place. Also, while not having read the July Wired yet, I have heard from other people that the article reads like FC97 was Vince Cate's idea and not mine. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that the reason that Vince got front and center was because I didn't jump out there steal it from him. ;-). Any "fault" for not making sure proper "credit" was given is primarily my own, as the, um, promoter, of FC97, anyway. So, maybe we should have a press conference or something next year and put out the "official" story, just to further complicate matters.

Frankly, since Vince actually did do all the work on Anguilla itself, as well as helping to sholder whatever financial risks there were, along with running the money, and the transaction processing on offshore.com.ai, and lots of other important stuff, and, since Ray and I really want to do it there again next year, Vince can have all the 'credit' he wants. :-). Especially if I get to go to Anguilla for free once a year, and, like I did last time, walk around like I own the place. (My needs are simple, you see...)

I do think my own powers of hucksterism are improving, though. A banking conference organizer called yesterday, and she wanted me be a speaker at a series of conferences in London, San Diego and Malaysia. I figured I'd do the old digital bearer certificate "book-entry settlement is dead" bit and scare them all a little. We'll see if she still wants me after she sees the e$ home page and my nonexistant credentials for outraging the financial status quo. As usual for these things, of course, I'm not getting paid anything but travel and room and board expenses. (Now, where's that 'kick me' sign, again? I know it's back there somewhere...)

On the same terms, but for nice people anyway, Dave Birch from Hyperion is having me fly out to London to do an electronic money conference in October, and I'm supposed to speak at MacWorld Boston in August. In addition, I'm going to be on a national talk radio network again pretty soon, and I'm in the process of cranking out another rant-for-publication, if I can just keep the thing from getting bigger every time I sit down to work on it. Somebody's also talking about recording me doing some of my rants for audio tape. Finally, the FC97 proceedings are just about ready, and Springer-Verlag will have them later this summer. Since I get to edit the introduction, I at least get to make sure they spell my name right. :-). And, of course, the process of organizing FC98 is just starting to get, um, organized, and that's fun to think about. (The dates for the conference next year will be February 23-27, in case people want to save the date.)

So, while I still haven't quite cultivated the ability to create that completely sterile no-man's land between me and a TV camera just yet (I heard someone say on cypherpunks that the most dangerous place in the world was between Phill Gramm and a TV camera...), I'm having an enormous amount of fun, attributed or not.

Oh, and I forgot e$lab. I've gotten mail from about 50 people in response to the initial pair of rants, and we're in the process of preparing some, er, collateral information (can't call it a business plan, really, because whatever management team we put together will actually have to write their own plan from scratch), to hand to people who happen to wander in too close to Hettinga's Patented Reality Distortion Field (tm). Yeah, I know, Jobs has one too, but mine's patented and trademarked. Something I learned from a fellow Universalist, P.T. Barnum. Besides, the knob on my my reality distortion field goes to 11.

So, I suppose, when all that 'credit' is passed around some day, I'll be getting my share.

My next trick, though, is to get some money in the door for all this fun I've been having. I'm starting to feel like Stephenson's Hiro Protagonist, at the moment, though not nearly as cool. (Heck, I can't even write code.) Nonetheless, I suppose I'm lucky I get to do what I love, though I can't exactly describe it to people very well. Most people don't get that chance very often. To do what they love to do, I mean.

Now, where is that "kick me" sign...

Bob Hettinga,
(currently suffering rotator cuff injuries from trying to swipe at his back all the time...)



[ Back to the previous Rant ] | [ e$ home page ] | [ On to the next Rant ]