Wyoming's Internet Seer


I've been sitting on the bed of the apartment for a couple of hours, trying to find a blog to add to my "Links" section. Darlene is reading next to me, and we are both swatting mosquitoes, which arrived today in disagreeable numbers, as if it had taken a few days for word to get around St. John that there is tasty new meat in the CaribSurf rental unit.

My vague plan for organizing the infinitely vague task of learning my way around the blogsphere has become to identify one blog each day to add to my "Links" list. Tonight the new blog carries a name from my past, John Perry Barlow, whom I met when I was editing a new energy magazine in Casper, Wyoming, more than 20 years ago. John Perry Barlow--I never think of him as "John," because his three names seem to be inseparable from each other--agreed to serve as an advisor to the magazine, and I must have met him a couple of times, because his photo looks familiar to me. But I lost track of him for a decade until he turned up as a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation with Lotus founder Mitch Kapor, and for a while it seemed as if his name was everywhere, spouting off poetically and believably in Newsweek and Wired about the incredible future of the internet. On a hunch, tonight I Googled "John Perry Barlow blog" and, of course, here he is, still writing fluid, articulate, visionary pronouncements about how the world is changing through the internet. His latest dispatch, four days ago, concerns a very strange encounter he had with two young Asian women who found him via the internet and wanted to practice their English, speaking through a voice program. Sounds fishy, right? But if you read all the way to the end of the lengthy post, you find that some things are to be believed even when they sound like the latest scam, sexual or otherwise.

Otherwise, it was a slow, sunny day here at CaribSurf. Darlene and I and her sister Deb spent the late afternoon at Hawk's Nest Beach, where the water is turquoise and the sand is velvety. Being there feels as if you have woken up inside a three-dimensional postcard.

Tomorrow morning I will report to the Wind Spirit for my first newspaper assignment in nearly 20 years, a feature story with photos for the St. John Tradewinds. Unlike the old days, my camera will also serve as my tape recorder, thanks to the digital wonders of my Pentax Optio. I love new stuff, which is why I am delighted to link fellow new-stuff enthusiast JPB to these Chronicles.


Saturday, January 29, 2005


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