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Livin' on the edge

I didn't really start to grow up to be a computer-intensive geek. Left to myself, I would have happily become computer-literate, able to navigate text-based file structures and type in command-line commands with a cheat sheet, but would never have gotten into programming or anything beyond cut and paste, click and drag.

I was quickly becoming a science fiction fan, for the stories; I wasn't in tune with the fan culture (mostly because I was shy and avoided people and had never met a Real Grown-up Fan).

When I was 15, in 1995, I met pyrogenic. He was so much a computer guy that he'd even brought his laptop with him. His laptop. To academic camp.

I was enchanted. I checked out The New Hacker's Dictionary from the public library shortly after coming home from academic camp. I read through the entire thing. I realized that I liked a lot of the culture in there. I took a programming course the next school year. I came to the belated realization that hacking wasn't just a hobby and culture I'd read out of a book, but in my blood.

I grew up not obsessed with computers, though. I grew up a bookworm, a science fiction reader. I grew up to be an English teacher, not a computer geek.

It shows, often. It's odd.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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