READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

september 7, 1997:
living life in public

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

You can observe a lot just by watching.
Yogi Berra

I am undergoing a very interesting period of lesson-learning. Right now, the lesson I am learning is that people have the ability to behave in surprisingly hurtful manners. Well, I guess I knew that already. So the lesson I am learning is that people can truly, truly behave in amazingly horrible ways and still somehow feel morally justified in that, as well.

Hm, I knew that already too.

So, maybe the lesson I am learning is always to live my life in as much a public manner as possible, because if you do not, others will try to define your reality for you. I actually have been attempting to do that over the past 20 months or so, to which readers of ReadMe can attest.

Those of you who read this will remember that, during the end of 1995 and first several months of 1996, I was working fulltime creating a project which eventually launched and was called "GeekCereal." I was told to keep the fact that I was working on that project a secret, so much of my ReadMe's during that time were very vague, and my mention on the Cyborganic credits page even reads similarly: Secret Plots. That was a mistake. I learned!

In August, 1996, I was told by the Only Important Person at Cyborganic that I had not really performed the work I had performed, and that truly, what I had done during those months was all in my head. Even though the project launched in the form I had created it to be, with the html architecture I had built, with the contributors I had recruited, trained and managed, and the copy I had edited. My reality had been stolen from me.

I cried for about a week, and talked to my parents. They said, "put it behind you." The girlfriend of the person who stole my reality called me up and begged me to put it behind me. I'm a fairly reasonable person, and I hate to fight losing battles, so I did. I agreed to sign a contract promising me a mere $1500 for my six months of full-time work and my claims to the IP of the site I had created, and let it pass. I wrote about a Rat who was trying to Steal My Rabbit, packed my bags, and headed out to Burning Man.

A year later, I am still trying to collect that money. After asking, begging, pleading for that money, I have not received it. Yet the person who owes me that money somehow can afford to live in an expensive apartment with a nice porch and access the internet through a high-speed ISDN line. Funny how things work that way.

I'm not really mad or anything. I don't hate anyone. I just want to collect my money.

I write about this here because I believe -- I truly believe with all of my heart -- that if someone does not feel that something that they are doing is morally sound enough to do in front of the entire world, that they should not be doing that act. I am right now in the process of trying to collect money that has been owed to me for over a year, and I am using legal means to collect that money. And I feel entirely, completely morally justified in doing that. I scream to the world, yes! I am doing the right thing!

A person should not sign a contract if they do not intend to honor it. A person should not make a promise if they are not prepared to deal with the consequences of breaking it. I take very seriously the contracts I sign and the promises I make to people. I take very seriously the word given to me by others, because my word is worth Gold.

I am right now trying to enforce a contract. I'm not trying to hurt anyone; I am not trying to prove anything; I am not trying to undo what has been done. I am not even saying that anyone is "Bad" or "Slimy" or anything. I am merely trying to enforce a contract that promises me money. I worked for that money.

I am scratching my head, trying to figure out how some people are going out of their way to hurt me right now, to assassinate my character, and, basically, even, to "destroy my career." I can't find any ethical justification for that.

So here is what I conclude: everyone wants to think of themselves as a Good Person(tm). Everyone wants to believe that they are doing the Right Thing. So, when they cannot find that goodness and righteousness in themselves, they try to make all other people, or certain other people, Bad.

Because I can find that goodness in myself, I don't need to do that.

I may never recover that money. I may have to live the rest of my life with most people truly believing that I had nothing to do with the creation of GeekCereal. I may have to deal with a large number of people believing incorrectly that I am a Bad Person.

But when I look into the mirror, I see a reality that has not been stolen. I see a person who did not resort to name-calling or character-assassination.

And of that, I am proud.

Things are entirely what they appear to be and behind them...there is nothing.

Burning Man!
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Copyright 1996, 1997 Rebecca L. Eisenberg All rights Reserved.