(In)Famous L.Detweiler tentacle-signatures

L.D. is a character full of stark contrasts, ironies, and juxtapositions, and he delights in embedding his own convoluted personality into his bizarre yet elaborately developed writing style. A quote often heard on the cypherpunks list, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, Dorothy" comes to mind in considering his past.

L.D.'s use of fake identities first stemmed from his ridicule of them. He posted various messages on the cypherpunks list with idiotic or paranoid content, anonymously, or signed with silly signatures but posted under his own name. This was his method of parodying the cypherpunk obsession with protecting the secrecy of one's fake names as a critical matter of survival in a dystopian culture; instead he openly flaunted and violated this sacred rule to emphasize his lack of respect for it (or the cypherpunks lack of respect for his objections).

L.D. began to believe that all his opponents wrote the same dull objections, and none were interested in investigating the truth for themselves. He began to satirize them by pre-emptively ridiculing his own posts using their own arguments, leaving them with nothing to say or putting them in the uncomfortable situation of having to agree with one of his own contradictory posts! The initial act was borne in desperation and frustration, but L.D. found the ensuing result strangely compelling, even satisfying, based on confused onlooker's responses. "Why is this person arguing with his own posts? Are there multiple people posting through this address?" This speculation reached a crescendo with his tmp@netcom.com account as some thought it was a remailer address.

Eventually, L.D. began to focus on developing what he clearly began to treat as a cyberspatial performance art form: manufacturing entire threads on a subject, complete with an array of characters all interacting with each other and having distinct personalities. This was all aimed not at improving his own reputation, which has reached legendary levels of notoriety and insanity, but at drawing public attention to a controversial issue by creating the equivalent of a twisted spectacle. He delights in posting in high-traffic newsgroups, and crossposting to ridiculous extremes. In short, he's an agitator, a provacateur, often for causes he alone grasps.

In many ways, L.D. invented a highly personalized and stylized version of what is now known as a "troll," except that his version usually masked meaningful and significant ulterior messages, sometimes several layers-- with a structural complexity suggestive of a radical new form of the classic literary allegory. His favorite target are Orwellian overtures by the government, particularly in the NSA. But he always tops it all off with what is known in Shakespearean drama as "comic relief".

L.D. fades into the woodwork whenever the world is humming smoothly along, and emerges out onto the stage of cyberspace whenever reverberating turmoil is generated from a public controversy. He particularly excels in satirizing individuals as representatives of the ideas they hold. So, not surprisingly, one of the few vocal public advocates of Clipper, Dorothy Denning, has been subject to some deep gashes from his poison pen.

But at times L.D. appears to be attracted to satirizing anyone that fits the profile of having a big ego, public reputation, strong views, and yet avoids the public spotlight or close scrutiny, possibly feeling above reproach. It is reminiscent of the style of guerilla warfare in the realm of reputations, wherein the fighter with nothing to lose strikes, more symbolically than effectively, at a public target, more for emotional than physical impact-- the way in which the buzzing of gnat can be enough to momentarily distract even the largest and most powerful animals. One of L.D.'s favorite Tao-like sayings is that "sometimes you lose by winning and win by losing".


blacknet, blacknet2
TCMay's intelligence or espionage agency fantasy.
cpunk, cpunk2, cpunk3, cpunk4, cpunk5, cpunk6, cyber, cyber2
Some interesting variations on the cypherpunk/cyberpunk theme.
The Information Liberation Front that posts important but copyrighted material. Another casualty of the horrible death of anon.penet.fi. InfoWarriors or InfoTerrorists?
crap, crap2, crap3
The knights in shining armor working to rid the world of TCMay, Blacknet, and all other dastardly cypherpunk cryptoanarchists.
nsa, nsa2, nsa3
Perhaps the most perfect L.D. target. Sinister geniuses bent on taking over the world without anyone noticing.
fbi, fbi2, fbi3
Working in close conjunction with the NSA to enslave the world, only with a much lower IQ and much higher public profile.
police, police2
Hang out wherever the NSA does, and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between them.

Real People

tcm, tcm-crumble, tcm-depraved, tcm-insane, tcm-julius, tcm-lawless, tcm-lies, tcm-netiquette, tcm-overthrow, tcm-reich, tcm-rich, tcm2
TCM deserves ample credit for pushing L.D. over the edge into new territory. TCM has multiple personality disorder as much as L.D. does, he just hasn't personally come to terms with it yet. The complex and seething depths of it provided L.D. virtually endless inspirations.
denning, denning2
"Dingaling Denning", auntly advocate of Clipper.
A great writer, but he takes himself too seriously. Hence a perfect target.
mitnick, shimomura
Both have inflated egos; L.D. hates them both and is hoping they will pop up in the news so he can target them.

Fictitious L.D. Characters

The Mother of All Madness.
Posted in the middle of a thread to point confused readers to L.D.'s web site for even greater perplexity.
"The only crime is getting caught".
beavis, beavis2
Rude, crude, and lewd, in a Shakespearean way.
reaper, megadeth
For L.D.'s vein of grisly black humor.
jr, jr2
L.D.'s respectable libertarian software engineering alter ego.
Linda is always objecting to L.D.'s outrageous style. It might have something to do with her crush on TCMay.
This guy is always posting something in the middle of the conversation that's so clueless it makes you want to slap him.
shark, shark2
Did you ever get that ominous, sinking feeling?
L.D.'s personal much-needed mental health professional.
Used occasionally to satirize a particular voluptuous female cypherpunk, a fanatic L.D. groupie, who shall remain nameless to humor the guilty.

Historical Characters

Cypherpunks as Nazis.
"A magician never reveals his secrets!"
laotzu, laotzu2, laotzu3
L.D.'s infinitely wise "old soul" alter ego.
paine, voltaire
Great writers and agitators L.D. is convinced he was in other lifetimes.


"Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug".
bicycle, bicycle2
"Are we really headed in the right direction?"
cow, cow2
L.D. often thinks most people are nothing but cows in a herd. Mooo!
fish, flip
For posts by miscellaneous outsiders.