Internet history nerds in particular will want to put a bit of time aside this weekend to read Notes Unpacking A Library (Cult of the Dead Cow). It’s fantastic. Referred to by their acronym cDc, the group was formed in 1984, and may well be the first collaboratively produced electronic magazine “of any significant volume or distribution”. To this day, authors using anonymous handles continue to share text files to this day. This Sex Magazine essay by Boško Blagojević recounts their history, along with a few notable short stories published by the cDc. A favorite:
“So let me get this straight,” Keith said, sitting at his regular table in the rear of the Caballo Loco, “I just depressurize the cabin, fly around ’till everyone asphyxiates and freezes back there, then land?”
“Exactly,” said the Flesh Man. “I’ll make it look like a crash, and as far as anyone knows, you went down with it. I do a little business, you walk away with 200 Gs.”
“I like it, but I’m not a murderer.”
“Keith, the people I work for ship organs to hospitals all over the world. Now they’re underground, but that’s just because of the red tape. They’re still saving lives. For every person who dies on that plane, many lives will be saved – a kidney here, a heart there, maybe a pair of eyes so a little blind girl can see, or a set of ears so some old deaf woman can hear her son play the violin.”
“Look, all these people will die eventually, right? So why not have them die in the right place, at the right time, so the gift of life can be passed on? The way I see it, you’d be a murderer if you didn’t kill them.”
“I never thought of it that way. I guess you’re right.”
Read the full piece here.