Home Page (1998) - full transcript

The career of an Internet pioneer, Justin Hall, who was one of the first bloggers, is profiled.

- I like videotaping.

- [Man] Do you like videotaping?

- I like when I see myself on TV.

- [Man] How come you like it so much?

- Because I can see how I look,

that way I'm looking into just a mirror,

and to get something like that,

I can see it, in the tape.

That's my favorite thing
about watching me on TV.

- [Narrator] I started out thinking

this would be a simple video
diary about my daughter Lucy,

but something else came along.

(modem connecting to internet)

Everywhere I went I kept hearing
about this great new thing,

called the World Wide Web.

It's gonna change the way we
get information, they said,

change the way we relate to each other.

It's gonna change everything.

I was halfway between college
graduation and retirement.

I was ready for a change.

And so from the comfort of
my New York City apartment,

I began to travel the world.

(modem connecting to the internet)

I'd invite myself into the
homes of total strangers.

I don't know why I'm so
drawn to these people,

or what it is I'm looking for.

But I figure I'll find out,
if I just keep searching.

How do you go about finding
a really good home page?

There seems to be no
search mechanism for it.

- Where would you like to sit?

- [Narrator] How about right down there?

- Finding home pages, well, like,

pretty much everything on the
web I think at the moment.

There's 4000 new sites being added a day,

and there's X million sites out there,

and there's no really powerful index.

It's not like TV Guide,

that tells you what's
on and what's happening,

and what's going on, and it's transparent,

so it's kind of hit and
miss and word of mouth,

and obviously there's
directories that are becoming--

- [Narrator] After a while,

Judi steers me to
journalist John Seabrook,

who's writing a book about
his experiences on the web.

What does it say about us

that so many people are
putting up personal home pages?

- I think it says that we're

a pretty celebrity-oriented culture.

It's like,

you exist if you're on television.

It's not only about that but,

but there's definitely,

you know it's like,

you have 15 minutes of
fame-type thing, right?

Except, it can last forever,

in sort of asynchronous

time of the net.

- [Narrator] But you
must have seen something

that's really impressed you, right?

- I don't know you were planning

on talking to this guy, Justin Hall.

You should talk to him, he's great.

- [Narrator] My stepson
goes to Swarthmore,

he knows him quite well.

- Oh yeah, you should interview him.

He's great.

And he's really done it all on the web.

And he is a cyber star.

- [Narrator] I learned that
Justin is a web pioneer,

whose site attracts
over 7000 daily readers.

And his writing style has been favorably

compared to Kerouac, and Ginsberg.

I decide if Justin's creating

some kind of 90's online
version of On The Road,

I want to go along for the ride.

- Have a sip?

- [Justin] Sip on.

What made you decide to take this trip?

- Following Justin's Links.

- [Justin] Yeah right.

- From the underground to the overground.

- You first arrive at my site.

You get my daily guide.

I would think it's like

taking somebody and just
throwing them out into the woods.

Here's the woods of Justin.

Here's all the family pages.

Swarthmore, HotWired,

San Francisco, jail, Cyborganic,

music, spirit, dreams,
food, paintings, speaking.

This right here is the most hit

resident part of my page.

This is the story of my
relationship with this woman,

which is, it's a mother.

It's amazing.

I wrote 88 poems about her,

and then I thought I'll publish them,

I'll publish a little booklet
of like all the poems,

and I'll give it to her and me,

and her mother, I don't know, whatever.

I'll do something with
these poems collected,

and then I thought,

why don't I just put them up on the web

and link between them.

I don't know, I keep trying to imagine it

from the user perspective.

I think I'd be just so weirded out

that someone would put this
much of themselves online.

Every once in a while,
I'll step back and say,

he said what?

- [Narrator] Has anybody accused you

of just like seeking attention?

- Exhibitionism, yeah.

- [Narrator] You've never
even Justin's homepage.

- I was on it once real quick.

Actually I first spoke
to you about it I think.

But, I'm not a net person so I was pretty,

not interested in it, I guess.

- Before he was kind of like a hippy,

computer-type guy.

And now he's like,

he's kind of got this
guru like thing going,

with his hair up, and his funky clothes.

It's kind of an interesting site.

- He's fun to have around.

I'm glad he's here.

I mean I love Justin.

- Generally liked?

I don't know.

I think maybe some of these
people are suspicious of him,

in the sense that, putting
people up on the web.

- [Narrator] What did
Justin say about you guys?

- No, it's just like, as roommates,

everything gets revealed.

- [Man] Everything?

- Everything about us.

He reveals it on the web.

He puts it up and exposes our
personal lives to the world.

- People don't like it.

- [Justin] Sometimes I
catch myself, I realize,

I don't even talk to my
friends that much about

what's going on in my life.

It's like really, the web is my outlet.

I mean I went through nine
years of psychotherapy.

I really have a lot of
experience talking about myself,

largely with myself.

- I'm not sure if I can speak to

that exact term, boyfriend, with Justin.

Things are really fluid all the time.

But in terms of being
intimate with Justin,

it is a problem,

because anybody can read
about it on the page,

and if he uses your
name, and it's obvious.

So I think

many women on campus have
had difficulty with that,

because he exposes every
aspect of the relationship.

- [Narrator] Including your sex life?

- Sure, there's graphic explanations

and detailed summaries of what happens

in his life.

And if you want to keep it from somebody,

if there's somebody else
you're involved with,

I can see how that would be a mess.

- [Narrator] Is that what
happened in your case?

- A bit.

- In my struggle to figure
out how it impacts my life,

and my close relations and stuff,

I come across like Truman Capote,

I guess wrote about
Breakfast at Tiffany's,

I don't know whether that was some

particular novel that pissed people off,

his kind of profiles of
New York socialite life,

really alienated his friends,

like were like, you know, fuck you man.

You're laying us out there

and we really don't appreciate
that, and you're a dick,

and he's saying,

well I'm a writer, what did you expect?

- [Narrator] So I guess I should just keep

following his web pages
to see if sex happens,

with you guys, huh?

- I suppose.

- [Narrator] Pretty odd notion.

- Yeah,

I'm reading his page five times a week,

like what did you say about me this week.

Should I be aware of this?

- [Narrator] What did he say about you?

- He's focused on,

I do a lot of varied activities on campus,

and so he's presented me
as this picture of mania,

of going after one thing,
and then abandoning it,

and going after another
thing, and abandoning it.

I don't that that that's
who I am on the surface,

but since he knows me I've
been kind of disappointed

that he hasn't made his description of me

a little more rich.

And you know, I haven't
read up on this weekend,

so who knows what he said?

- [Narrator] Shall we look?

- We could access it.

Oh, he's not gonna do
anything until he gets back.

Thank you guys.

- You're very welcome.

- I have this friend of mine, Claire,

and I just called her up and said,

why don't we take some pictures,

and see what they look like?

And if they look good we'll
just put 'em up on the site.

I mean, for me, it was a way

of pushing my own boundaries.

Because you know,

do I fear being naked, do I fear my body?

Well okay, let me put my nuts on the line.

- [Narrator] So what is private, anything?

You know, anything in the public sense.

- I like what other
people want to be public,

I mean private, or whatever.

- [Narrator] As far as you
go, there's nothing that--

- Well like my biggest secret,

I used to have like one secret,

like I didn't tell anybody.

And the other day I put it up on the net,

so that was it.

- [Narrator] What was it?

- It was that when I was like 14 or 15,

I was like, I could put
my legs behind my head,

and I figured out I could fellate myself.

But not very well.

- I just find it really interesting,

I hadn't actually thought,

when we first started doing this,

it first dawned on me that you were

writing up people,

who, in your dorm, on your campus,

who you interact with.

I don't know why but it
didn't occur to me that

you'd be writing up about
this documentary guy

following you around with a camera.

So I was a little taken aback, at that.

It's like I have to learn to

live with reaping what I've sown.

- [Justin] You're gonna
have to turn it on me

because I'm a loud mouth,

so you have see what I've told about you.

- [Narrator] Oh yeah,
that's more comfortable.

- You know what I'm saying?

You have to give me,

I talk a lot, about my life.

- [Narrator] But I don't
talk about my life.

That's why I'm behind the camera.

- You mentioned this thing
about mid-life crisis.

- [Narrator] Oh no.

I didn't say that.

- How old are you?

- [Narrator] 43.

- How's it feel?

- [Narrator] What is your
understanding of the web?

- My understanding of the web?

Well I didn't know this was a test.

Can I refresh my notes,

so that I can take a little
lesson on what the web is.

Well first of all with the web,

I use the web synonymously
with the internet,

and it's this vast

universe of highways connecting

all the people who participate in the web,

so it's reaching out to
everybody else who's online.

- [Narrator] You know all these adults,

it seems so hard for
them to use a computer,

but you just kind of take to
it really naturally, don't you?

- Yeah, I mean I know,

I don't know how to get in stuff.

There's a (muffled),

there's net escape.

- [Narrator] Well, how do you see

computers changing your life?

- I don't know.

I guess now it seems like

I love computers more than television.

(klezmer music)

- [Justin] One philosophy
prof here, I said to him,

I went up to him to ask
him to support my major,

or support my class

and support some of my efforts

here institutionally, you know,

and that I was having problems

because I couldn't pick a
department in the school.

I'm just doing all these things

that are all from these,

it's a combination of art
and writing and religion

and this and that, and computer science.

He said, you know what, Justin?

Your class sounds like the internet,

it's all connections, and no grounding.

You know what?

And then after like another
half an hour of rambling,

he's like, you know, I think
you're like the internet.

I think you're all
connections, and no grounding.

And so sometimes I think,

I really am, I'm like,

I'm like the physical
embodiment of the internet.

This is the moment where like,

but where do I go from there?

- You know what's cool about New York,

is it always smells like pot.

People smoke it walking down the street.


Like this hood.

The hood is where my home is.

Want some crack, Doug?

- [Doug] How'd you you come
to be a goddess of the web?

- Basically, I started
publishing these floppy disks,

called Electronic Hollywood.

And so I had this like disk magazine, but,

I had to be a desktop publisher
and make jewelry catalogs

to pay the rent.

So life kind of sucked.

But, what happened was,

this Billy Idol dude,
he's like a rock star,

and he was one.

He went into a bookstore,
and he bought a disk,

and took it back to his
house in the Hollywood Hills,

and was like, wow this is really neat,

I've got to have one of
these as my new album.

His people called my people,

and we arranged a deal,

and that became the first IPK.

It was like this disk that
went out with Cyberpunk.

The first floppy disk
that went out with a CD.

First and last.

You'd better be here, California girl.


Yes, it was backed up.

Off the skateboard.

Now to connect to the web.

Open PPP, will it work, watch.

And then it won't work again.

All right.

Want me to tell some jokes?


Okay wait.

What do you get when you cross

a Jewish girl and a Macintosh computer?

- [Doug] What?

- A system that never goes down.

All right, you don't like it.

Look at that, it works.

See Wired?

That's cool, huh?

Basically I'm in here alone,

which isn't too exciting,

because it's supposed to be
an online chat environment,

but I had a strange experience last night,

with my boyfriend, where
we kind of got in a fight,

the other day because I
put this picture of him

up on the web.

Needless to say he got really really mad,

and so he wasn't talking to me,

and we got in a big fight, and then,

I couldn't tell him certain
things on the phone,

because I just don't feel comfortable

saying stuff sometimes,

but I feel way more
comfortable often typing stuff.

So we met in the taco bar,

in my Malice Palace.

It was like, here we have
these stupid happy faces,

representing us,

and I can tell him, that
I really care about him,

and I don't have to worry

if a nervous smile's gonna cross my face.

At the very end, I moved
my stupid little avatar,

and gave him like a kiss,

and it was so stupid,

just so lame, but like, it was real.

(keyboard typing)

- Do I fool around with people?

Because when I fool around with people,

I kind of drag them
into often heavier shit

than they seem to be prepared to handle.

It's like, fool around with
me, and all of a sudden,

they're like fodder for my sort of

cosmic gristmill that
I'm running on the net,

and God, I'm sorry.

But that's the way I do things,

and so it's that,

is it karmically good for me

to drag other people into that?

I don't know.

This sheet showed up in the stall,

in the middle stall of the top floor

womens bathroom in the science library.

On woman posed this question up here,

which was, what does everyone
think of Justin Hall?

And the she sort of wrote
these five subtopics.

Cold personality, megalomaniac,

genius, entrepreneur, weirdo.

And Justin has,

never been breastfed.

I'm not suggesting that his the sole cause

of his extroverted behavior,

but to me I sense it as an underlying

explanation for his search for attention.

- I don't know,

I think it's just sort of,

it's kind of what the web is there for,

is that kind of experimentation in play,

and you know, I suppose.

- But how would you feel if you were

going out with someone like Justin?

And who was doing stuff like that?

- I'd censor him.

- But if you had no control.


You would object to--

- I don't know, I don't know.

That's a good question.

- Depends on how the--

- Depends on how it was going.

You know, we're having fantastic sex,

and he wants to tell
everyone about it then--

- [Doug] Does it bother you that,

some people on campus here just think

you're a real asshole?

- Well it's interesting the way

I can write about
someone, and that becomes,

people are like, yeah you wrote
about me on the net, Justin,

so that really is a poem,

but then what ends up happening

is that we talk about things that

we weren't talking about in person.

- [Doug] Why can't you just
talk about 'em in person?

- I don't know.

I mean, why can't you
always talk to people?

Why do we have affairs?

- So my mom was not amused,

I'm not amused with.


- [Stephanie] I wanted to know.

- Stephanie wrote me, and she's like,

your writing and your
characterization of me as that,

or our interactions, this
or that, was troubling,

and I said, well,

write a response to me, put
it on the net, it'll be great,

we can hook it up, and it'll be a dialog,

and it'll be great for traffic,

and great for just testing
how these things work.

She wasn't so into it, but I imagine,

someday I'd like to do that,

and I guess it would be
kind of like a soap opera.

You wronged me, no I love you,

back and forth, interact,

just because there's two people

and not one person just pontificating,

but I that'd be a real
useful exercise is to,

to allow people the kind of,

insight into a relationship,

that would come by two people

elucidating their impressions
in a public forum.

- [Doug] What's with the getup?

I mean what's with what you wear?

Is it an extension of what you're doing

with the web page, in a way?

- Not that consciously.

This, I get dressed up
every time I have class.

Every time I teach the class,

I try and put on a--

- [Doug] But I mean with the hair,

and with the

psychedelic clothes.

Is it another, Justin
screaming for attention?

- Because he wasn't breastfed.

- See how the photo changes?

- Yeah.

- Print with your main key down,

and you'll get to the next page.

- And, every five minutes
it takes a picture,

and puts it onto the web.

- [Doug] What for?

- Just sort of like a project,

we have the camera, have a
lot of internet connectivity,

so we decided to put it up.

We've had 57,000 people
visiting the room so far.

And these are me and my roommates,

and you can enter our room,

and walk right in.

- [Doug] Why would anybody
want to enter your room?

- I think a lot of,

when I surf the web, I like to see,

what real people are doing.

People love to see what's going
on in real people's lives,

and this is like as real as you can get.

This is like the real world of the web.

- Having video man, I can't imagine,

like it's bad enough
that write about my life,

I can't imagine wanting to tape it.

When would you ever stop that?

- [Doug] So what are
you guys learning about

ethics and the web, anyway?

- Ethics?


I learned ethics from Justin Hall.

Oh my God, just like
to have a straitjacket.

- So, log in, go for it.


- Logged in.

- He's a cowboy.

- I know.

What do you mean, log in?

How do I?

You're way ahead of me.

- Click on the old Netscape window.

Try, make it look spiffy.

- Make it spiffy.


Son of a gun.

I'm on the web.

- [Announcer] Iverson
Town is a 35-building

architectural unit of 12-
and 13-story structures.

What is it like to live in
this park-like community?

In these modern apartments?

Well, let's see.

- Okay.

I'll tell you we're all
on the same page, here.

(talking over each other)

- Thank you Lucy.

(talking over each other)

Now in the presence of loved ones,

and friends, before us the
emblems of festive rejoicing,

we gather for our sacred celebration.

With the household of Israel,
our elders and young ones,

linking and bonding the
past with the future,

we heed once again the
divine call to service.

- Justin has like a mission

to go teach all these people, okay?

You know that's (muffled).

And if you try to reach other people,

and that's just like, you know.

- All right, okay.

- We're all like eccentrics,

and maybe we should cut his head off.

- No.

- I'm just coming from that,

from knowing a lot of people

that would probably be later (muffled),

and they would take a little bit longer.

But maybe doing a mission, teaching them,

but we don't have to (muffled).

- [Justin] Yeah, it's a multi-faceted

- I can be ignorant.

- [Woman] Yeah, how old is that?

- Look at this, sex on the med.

Life is fraught with these.

- Why don't you talk to (muffled) a lot?

- Something generates a lot of paper.

This college stuff.

A 10 gigabyte hard drive,

could hold everything I've
just packed in all these boxes.

Now, you lose some of
the joy of tangibility

of like the, if it's a
book, a CD or whatever,

but like, to hell with tangibility.

I want like portability.

This is totally grody.

- Oh my God.


- [Doug] So Denise, I haven't asked you,

how you feel about being
written up in Justin's pages.

- I liked it.

Well there was a lot of rumors
going around in the school

that I was this type of person,

and like, the image that he
portrayed on his web page

was that type of image
that people thought of me,

and that ruined the real me.

So, the picture,

was the thing that most upset me,

but the writing was favorable,

and I really liked that a lot,

and he linked me to other things,

and that was cool.

And he writes about me a lot,

in his daily journals,
and that's really cool,

but the picture, it still bothers me,

and I still tell him, but,

he doesn't seem to take it down,

but maybe he will someday.

I like to think that it's good for me now,

so I don't know what else to say.

I'm gonna help him pack
up his stuff because,

he really needs it.

He really can't do it himself.

I guess you never know, huh?

His needs are long.

(bell ringing)

- I have these intense like

two-week relationships with people,

and then, have another intense two-week

relationship with someone else.

Just frustrating for some people,

and frustrating for me sometimes.

Like there's a time when you
need someone to help you pack.

- [Doug] Have you figured
it out psychologically?

You talk about that.

- Well I mean, just shit like,

for one thing, I had an
alcoholic in my household

when I was growing up.

My father, this kind of
intensely erratic force.

So that's one of my primary,

supposedly stabilizing relationships,

that actually was not so stable.

And then, given that,

I was raised by a series of nannies,


my waking hours or whatever,

like home time was spent with nannies,

that would cycle through every

three or four years,
or two or three years,

so I had to get used to people leaving,

being abrupt,

you know having a life beyond
me and not being there,

for the the long-term,
long-haul commitment,

and I just sort of had to say, okay.

I'll be self-sustaining in many ways,

in these kinds of ways,

you have to recognize that
these things are transitory,

and appreciate people while they're there,

but be ready to like someone else,

and be in the house or
something, later on.

Neither one of my parents
was an enormously present

force or whatnot.

My brother was the only present force,

he used to beat up on me something fierce.

I would rip him too, but,

it makes sense to me,

just learn to have,

you would learn to milk a relationship,

so that you're ready for another one.

Because that person
was gonna leave anyway.

Less friendly people.

Grind me your surroundings.

Days without showers.

So much for (muffled).

- This is not our cup of tea, video.

Video stuff.

I used to having done more.

- Especially this style

with probing in the nose,

right up to the nose.

- [Mom] Is that what you meant

when he said he was just
poking you in the nose?

- Okay we'll put another print.

- [Doug] So what are you doing here?

What is this?

- This is a family layout.

This is grandparents,

this is mother and father.

This is our generation, this is you,

and this is your kids.

So we're flowing across.

- [Doug] So this is all tabbed by hand,

meticulously by hand here?

- [Dad] This is all tabbed by hand.

- [Doug] Aren't there
programs for things like this?

- Yes, there are programs

but they're very complicated.

But this isn't bad to do.

- [Doug] It's sort of like doing it

the hard way though, isn't it?

- Well, it takes some time
to get things to line up,

but there are tricks to it.

- [Doug] So what does mom think

of your little computer habit?

- She thinks I am
getting in too intensely,

spending too much time on it.

But on rainy days it's
a wonderful way to work.

- [Doug] How late into the
night do you work on it?

- Never into the night,
only in the afternoons.

- [Doug] When we brought up the idea

of getting a better computer,

or one that you would hook up online,

and be able to get to--

- Yes dear.

We discussed that, this
business of online.

I don't think it's for him.

Because he's not that helpful writing,

than truth.

And that's what you have to do,

you have to really essentially
like write a letter, right?

When you get online?

- [Doug] Yeah, it doesn't
have to be long as a letter,

it can be short.

An email can be very short.

You don't even email?

You're not even curious about...

- What?

- [Doug] ...emailing,
you're not even curious?

- No I'm not curious about, to myself?

- [Doug] Yeah.

- No, I like to talk on the phone.

Look, it's not exactly free, right?

You have a monthly charge,

plus extra time for your local get stuff?

You know, you don't get

the same kind of meeting interaction.

Email, you finish what you're doing,

and then they respond,

but there's not this immediate

kind of picking up on cues and stuff,

and one thing leading to the other,

and that's the kind of thing
that I find very valuable.

One thing reminds you of another,

and you don't walk away.

My expertise.

(soft jazz music)

- I always feel like this
is a wonderful blessing,

a wonderful power that's been given to me,

so I want to share this with
as many people as I can.

What's so great about the web,

is that I was just saying,

I go out there and talk
about what I care about,

what I feel strongly about, and
people have responded to me.

Because every high school's got a poet,

whether it's a rich high
school, or a poor high school,

they've got somebody who's into writing,

who's into getting people
to tell their stories.

You give them access to this technology,

and all of a sudden they're
telling stories in Israel,

they're telling stories in Japan,

they're telling stories
to people in their town

that they never would
have been able to talk to.

That's a revolution.

- We are a clubhouse model for
people who are mentally ill.

- [Justin] Yes.

- So, we deal with the negative,

and the stereotype, and
the stigma all the time.

And so we just kind of like let that go.

Because that's everybody else's opinion,

or someone else's opinion.

And we don't let that determine
what we think of a person.

You're younger.

- One thing we can do is
have people just start

making web pages that you just type in,

learning stuff, you have a front page,

that's Welcome to the Breakthrough Club,

and then sub areas in that,

maybe one folder or one
directory on the thing,

that's gonna be members, and
another is gonna be services.

In other words, three to
five or seven main areas,

of the Breakthrough Club.

- Cool, okay.

- [Woman] Justin, what do
you think about Doug Block?

- That's a great question.

You know, there was a point when I was

talking to Doug Block more
than I talk to my mother.

The thing is he leaves these

really really really long messages,

really really detailed instructions.

And even though he's videotaping me,

or people are hosting me,

are kind of excited about
coming up with something about,

I guess it's like the ultimate embodiment

of the whole documenting process,

and it's kind of secondary
to the primary action,

and always sort of,

it's like the voyeur calling you up

to ask you to open your
shades, or something.

- [Doug] What do you
make of what I'm doing?

I don't know, I'm not looking

for intense melodrama on camera.

- Maybe that's why you
stay away from shooting me.

- [Doug] Maybe.


- You're not looking for
intense melodrama in life.

- [Doug] No I'm not.

- So often when I have like sex,

or have sexual experiences it's like,

they're never of the type,

they're not often enough
of the type where like,

we're on the same wavelength,

so it's completely messed up,

and often it's fraught with anxieties

or poor timing or whatever,

and so it's like at that point,

I'd rather be just
processing, or something.

Processing thought, or
processing experience.

See, 'cause when I think,

'cause when I think about it, I think,

if I was writing about it,

and publishing it, then
maybe that'd be a way

that I wouldn't be doing this.

'Cause you know, sex, when
it's not working is mediocre.

(child muffled)



- I mean it runs the gamut.

People are saving money,

and people are like I
want to kill or hurt you

or blah blah blah blah blah,

but you know,

if I let the fear of those
people screw me over,

rule me, then I'd never do
anything, I wouldn't be here.

And then something more
could be in a few years.

It'll be so much fun,

you know, to put everything out there.

Do you have questions?

It's looking for a link.

♪ Clock Lord Nelson I'm
Lord of the victory ♪

(lyrics muffled)

♪ The humor of building (muffled) ♪

(lyrics muffled)

- The best kind of computer world

is where it would be like a storybook,

because the thing about the web right,

you can like link this stuff.

Imagine if all your
relatives had web pages,

and all their relatives had web pages,

and some of your dead
relatives had web pages,

telling stories about
back before you were born!

I write every day about
what happens to me,

and who I interact with,
and how they affect me.

I even got a digital camera,

and I take pictures of
people and I put 'em up,

and I talk about my life,

and it's really like
coming closer and closer,

reflecting who I am as a person, and like,

one way I put it is like,

I have this girlfriend,
and I used to spend

so much time trying to get along with her.

I wrote like 80 poems about this girl,

I was totally in love with her,

but it was like, you smother someone

when you try and love them that much.

It's really not about that person,

it's really about like you
wanting to love somebody,

but like I found the web

and I can sublimate
the hell out of myself,

and I can put it all on the web,

and now people will respond.

Actually it's crazy, you know?

You're here because I sublimated
for two and a half years.

- You think I've fallen

under the undo influence of Justin Hall?

I don't know, I hope not.

But in my discussions with people,

and I've expressed this to you, I think,

there may have been other people

who might have been more
worthy of talking to.

You'll be 21?

- No.

When they have (muffled),

I will be,

oh something happen?

- No.

I'll tell you, if you (muffled).


He asked (muffled).

In this apartment, on a
Saturday, or a Sunday morning.

That smell of the coffee has to.

Don't do that.

And when I say, this apartment.


- Today, I'm going to meetings
in Paris, Prague, and Toledo,

without leaving my chair!

The world is evolving and
connecting, at the same time.

You don't even need an office.

If you can think it, you can go do it,

in absolute full digital color.

- This is really something.

I'm gonna be living in Marin County,

which is some of the nicest
real estate in America.

I'm gonna be living with Howard,

who is one of the coolest
guys I've run into in a while,

and who teaches me so much.

I mean I have room and board provided.

It's like when you pay rent,
you don't get a family,

but here I get a family.

Family comes with the rent, I love it.

I love people, just being able
to wake up in the morning,

and have witty repartee.

It's awesome.

I'm FTP-ing into Cyborganics

to get that on the site for Mandy,

so I got all the information from Jim.

- Did you call him?

- I did, I just called him.

- Okay, I want to make sure
you get in all the details.

- [Doug] Howard, is this a terrible time

to ask you a question?

- No.

- [Doug] You haven't made clear to me

what role Justin is

working at with you,

and how he's helping you out.

I understand you're putting
up a electronic magazine?

An online magazine?

- Yes.

And Justin's my guru.

Can't you tell by looking?

- [Doug] In what sense?

What role is gonna be playing?

- What would you say?

How would you characterize it, Justin?

- I don't know, that's too easy.

You answer.

- See? He's my guru.

I could have taken the easy way out.

He's making me search
my soul for the answer.

Well, when I met Justin,

I was the executive editor of HotWired,

which was actually the first
of the commercial webzines.

And there was a crew,

and some of them were employees,

and we conducted a nationwide
search for interns,

and Justin, because he
had the coolest web page,

got to be an intern,

moved out to San Francisco,

took a semester off school,
got paid $100 a week.

And we went out to dinner,

I think maybe like the first
day, I met Justin, very early.

And we went to this, and
he was seated next to me.

- I scammed my way in.

- I tried to make smalltalk, and I said,

what brings you here, Justin?

And Justin looked at me with
a big smile on his face,

and said, the opportunity
to work with you.

I thought, wow, boy.

It's that kind of a week.

I have a very comfortable,

beaucoup do career that I
was in total control of,

and I just kind of tossed that
all out the window forever,

and now I'm in a world that's unknown,

and I don't have control over it,

which the chances of
failing are very high.

And see, you've gotta
have a Justin around.

He laughs, what does he care?

He doesn't have a family to support.

He doesn't have a mortgage.

- [Doug] It's not his money.

- It's not his money.

- Yep.


- How are you?

- Doing pretty good, how are you doing?

- Good.

What are you doing, by the way?

- Well I took the camera
around the country,

on a 20-city tour of the internet,

and I put a notice up
on my page, that said,

thanks to my great generosity
I'd love to come to your town

and I'll stay on your floor,

and teach people about the internet.

I get back after 17 cities.

I just got here four days ago,

and I'm living with Howard,

and getting to work on his
(muffled) for a few weeks,

and then go somewhere else.

See you.

What about you, what are you working on?

- [Louis] Same old shit.

- Same old shit, come on.

World domination, television, cable.


Looks like the second
shift is arriving here,

and I'm like, I'm like

not on board for the meeting shift.

You know, it's that feeling
like I haven't slept enough,

and I haven't eaten,

so I feel real lean and mean.

Especially being here, there's
some weird power state.

- [Doug] What did you expect to see?

- Same.

It's largely the moon

with craters of
friendliness, or something.

Definitely another planet.

Where's Miss Pearson?

- Sorry about that.

- [Doug] No, I'm sorry about that.

What do you make about the
phenomenon of the home page?

And people putting up their
little auto-bios on the web.

- It's something that became very obvious

to a lot of people in the late 80's,

is that mainstream content
is kind of bankrupt.

It's like you go to movies,

and you're not gonna
see your life onscreen.

The whole Generation X thing,

even though it's a very tired, cliche now,

was a very important development because

for about 20 years after

the heyday of the baby boom,

you would turn on the radio

and the best songs that
you would hear were like,

the Beatles and Bob Dylan,

and it's not that they were bad songs,

they were great songs,

but young people were not seeing

their own culture reflected
in the mainstream culture,

in what was being played on the radio.

Now it doesn't even matter

what the mainstream culture is doing,

because you can cut right to

people who are interested in
what you're interested in,

and put yourself up there unedited,

and unedited data is a pearl beyond price.

So that's what I think

that the real potential of the web is.

Sure, AT and T will come up with some

fascinating implementation of Java,

but personally I don't care.

- I shouldn't be talking to you,

I should be sitting
down working on the web.

I shouldn't be sleeping on
the (muffled), whatever.

- [Doug] Well what would you do

if you had to support yourself
out in the real world?

- I'd make my web pages all the time.

- [Doug] This is Suck?

- We have eight people now.

This is the Mac-quarium I
put together on my last job.

It doesn't have a fish.

I keep moving around so much,

I can never get a fish,
and give it a nice home,

much like myself.

I get up over there, it's probably what,

30 feet to struggle over to my desk.

So it's not,

commute time has been cut down,

to a very small, small number.

I get to bed about two,
and I get up at six,

I'm only getting four
hours of sleep a day.

What happens to some of the
most interesting people,

playing together, some
of the most interesting

content on the web is,

they get hired.

They get hired by Paramount Interactive,

or HotWired,

or Microsoft,

to put together the
next corporate website.

- [Doug] Or Suck.

- Or Suck.

Well Suck was a creation of me and Joey.

We sold that.

When you talk to Joey

he may argue that Suck is his home page.

In a way it is our home page.

- Suck is so happening.

It's so right on target for
the blossoming worldwide web.

That's what I'm noticing.

- [Doug] How does it
feel to be a cyber-celeb?

- Very unrewarding.

We never, we get no groupies.


- The lowdown?

With the logo and the
comic, the comic imagery.

When HotWired bought us,
we were certainly already

a big site.

It was good

to cut the deal,

and get some sleep.

- [Doug] You've gotten a little sleep,

but did you get a life?

- No, but I got some sleep.

Sleep is good.

- God damn, you look like the Joker.

- Thanks.


You don't have any conflict.

- Have you said that before?

- No, I haven't, this is new, totally new.

- Wow.

- [Doug] So like, are you like
engaged for a little while?

- No, I just got done.

I'm just kind of wiped out.

- Yeah, what was that little gig?

You were rollin'?

Video projector?

What town?


Is that the building the
Rolling Stones started?

This is a new thing.

This is a new project, with
new people, doing new stuff,

and I'm getting in on the ground floor

as part of one of the
most intense moments,

the week before launch,

when you're living on pizza and Jolt Cola,

and staying up late, hacking,
all the time together.

That's what I'm in for.

- [Doug] Julie was very envious
of you being on the road.

- Really? Yeah, that's her
thing, she liked, mm hmm.

Yeah, well she has did the road thing too.

- [Doug] But she ended up back home.

- Well, where am I?

You always end up back
home somewhere, don't you?

I mean, tell me I'm wrong, please.

- [Doug] San Francisco isn't your home.

- Yeah it is.

You've gotta get this on camera, right?

So here are all his books.

Here we have like his, I mean, you know,

the Virtual Community,

that's like a book,

where he's taking a
pretty intense subject,

and taking it downtown.

Oh look, he's got this
kind of wacky stuff.

But then, these are his first books.

These are like, these are like,
the famous Mama Liz trilogy.

Love-crazy nymphs of the sisterhood.

Moonlight acid orgies are
perverse sacrifices are performed

in the chambers of Stella's pad.

Ancient love satyrs,

and the weird lifestyle
of modern drug cultists

or woven into a sensual web
sexual delight and terror.

Howard Rheingold shatters
the existing boundaries

of sensual literature.

All right, so I gotta read.

I like that cranking action, Stella mused.

Momentarily she shaded her
eyes with her hands to stare,

but the hot, gleaming pile driver,

as it rammed its piston
into the warm gooey

asphalt of the street.

All right, but then, but then,

you thought that was it.

War of the Gurus.

- [Doug] What do you make
of the privacy issues

that come up, when
somebody puts their life--

- I think somebody's gonna
punch him in the nose,

and then he will realize

where his rights to reveal ends,

and I think that he's gotten
away with a lot of stuff,

for a long time.

Of course every writer does that,

to a certain degree.

I think this,

enables Justin to spread the word around,

without having to get a book
publisher to publish it,

so everybody who encounters
Justin, has to deal with that,

and I've had some privacy issues,

and we've had discussions about it,

and I haven't had to punch
him in the nose about it,

but he definitely pushes the line.

- [Doug] And you've told
him you don't want him

writing up about you?

- There are some things I think that,

you don't want the world to know.

- [Doug] Like what?

- Like what?


- [Doug] Isn't there a bit
of exhibitionism though,

to putting the intimate
details of your life online?

- I think I found really early on,

that this medium, you know,

because of the way it is,

you can spill your guts completely,

you can say anything you
want to say about yourself,

and you're saying it a million people.

It's like being in a play in front of like

a gigantic group of people,

and yet, you're not there.

You're in your home, and
you're really protected,

so in one way you're
exposing yourself completely,

but in another way, you're very safe.

(bells ringing)

- [Doug] So what's your
role here at HotWired?

- Keep all the computers working.

- [Doug] Mister Fix-it?

- Yeah.

- We just need it like,
in alphabetical order,

by the initials.

If we could get a different perspective

on humanity, we might find out

a lot of really interesting things,

that because of our perspective of being

one person in one body with one mind,

never revealed itself but,

we can use computers as a way to

give ourselves a meta view of

the pool, the people pool,

and my hope is that something
really strange happens,

just to make life interesting.

It really feels like cyberspace,

taking your physical self

and sticking it through the monitor,

and somehow your finger
comes out on the other side,

and hit someone in the chest.

I just think that's so cool.

- [Doug] Whatever happened to the concept

of having good friends?

- Well, maybe that's
my problem personally.

I moved around quite a
bit, when I was growing up,

so I never did get to get one of those

forever good friends,

because every time I got
close enough to someone

to be good friends with
them, we would move.

- [Doug] I was very affected by the link,

the newspaper account.

- That was two weeks out of my life.

I got a phone call on Saturday,

that Andra had died, and of course,

the first thing you think
when you get that phone call,

is that this is some sort of joke,

and then it sinks in.

So there wasn't a lot of time to reflect

in that space.

But when I came back to Minneapolis,

what I had with me, were all
these papers I had collected,

which were newspaper accounts, obituaries,

of what had happened.

And frankly, I didn't know
what to do with those.

I had this stack of paper,

they're not even easy to file,

all my filing cabinets are
for eight and a half by 11.

And newspaper doesn't
store, it falls apart.

So I chose to scan them
in and put them there.

I don't know if that was a wise decision,

but that's what I did.

- [Doug] Is it very odd,

for people who you've just met,

who perused your home page,

to know such intimate
details of your life.

- I put together what I
thought was a home page,

which discussed me and the things

I was going through at the time.

And from that point, I
haven't changed things much,

but I certainly wouldn't
do the same thing today.

- [Doug] Why not just take it down, then?

- It's there,

and it tells a story.

Stories are good.

- [Doug] So, you know what's coming.

- What do you want to know?

- [Doug] How bizarre was it to read about

your wife's adventures with her lover

on the web, every day?

- Well,

I guess it was bizarre.

I mean it was normal to me I guess.

It's not like I have anything

to compare that situation to, I suppose.

Again, for me, it was great because

I knew what was going on.

If she wasn't doing this thing on the web,

then I wouldn't have even known

where she was or what she was doing.

We didn't speak to each other,

on the phone, we didn't call.

- [Doug] Did you send email to each other?

- Not a lot, as I recall.

I think that I sent more emails to her.

Since she was posting
these things on the web,

I wasn't doing that, so I let
her know what I was doing,

by sending private emails to her,

but her way is different.

She posts it publicly
and then I read it there.

I got asked the question every single day.

How's Julie, what's she doing?

How's Julie, what's she doing?

And I would say,

that's all I would say, too,

That was my standard answer
to how's Julie doing.

Then I would check the logs,

to see who was actually
going and reading it,

and very few people actually did,

which I guess indicates
that all the people

who asked that question,
they don't really care.

They don't really want to know.

- [Doug] I'm curious, at what point

did you decide to both

put up an account of what was going on,

between you on the web?

- I don't remember if we ever decided.

I think it was just a given.

Julie put up hers, and I put up mine.

That was just a given, that was just part

of who we were at the time.

Our lives were on the web.

I mean, the web was our life
and our life was the web.

It was seamlessly inter-meshed.

- [Doug] So what happens in the end?

- Well,

part of our dream of moving away,

and running away to
Chicago was that we would

have lots of free time to
work on our creative projects,

mainly our writing.

And that turned out not to be the case,

because of course we
both had to hold jobs,

and then at night when we came home,

there was only one computer,

and we had to share it,

and that just didn't go over too well.

I just remember one night in particular,

I asked her if I could use
the computer for a while,

and she said sure, fine,

and she went into the kitchen to write,

so I was there tapping away
at the deck for a while,

and then went into the kitchen
to get something to drink,

and she was sitting there on the floor

staring at a blank page,

and she had tears running down her cheeks,

because she was so frustrated,

because she just couldn't work on paper,

and she just wanted to be on the computer.

She didn't want to be sharing it it.

Of course, at that time,

well that was her computer,

I didn't really have the
money to buy my own computer,

so yeah, I felt bad.

- I sort of feel in a way,

I'm back in the same place
that I was when he left,

and what have I got to show for it?

Except for,

nine letters,

incredibly powerful letters I think,

and a website.

And that's when you start wondering,

what's it all about?

What's really there,

and what does it mean?

And I don't know.

But we're going public soon,

so hopefully I get some money out of it,

and then maybe I can quit working.

Pursue this again, and try to
get back to the same place.

That's what I want to do, I think.

I feel like I'm on the shore now,

and I want to jump back into the river.

That's why I just totally
admire what Justin is doing,

because it's just,

it's where I want to be.

- I think it's important for us to

think about why we need to use computers

to build communities,

and why our old communities
have deteriorated,

and I think that technology

certainly has a good deal to do with it.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Man] How do you feel
to be a guru of HotWired?

He said, a guru, you know.

- Well yeah, it's definitely
a reciprocal relationship.

I feel very fortunate, I feel blessed.

- You are the master,

the debate on tradition,

the incarnation,

they are master when they are young.

- [Justin] And then they
work and they get dumber,

and then they have to get a new master.

- Yeah.

- Howard barks out orders
spontaneously in his sleep.

Last night Howard,

you yelled out,

we'll, we'll attack at dawn.

- Oh my God.

- [Justin] So has Jim read Patrick's?

- [Doug] Oh yeah.

- What a weird notion.

Did Patrick and Julie
do any drugs together?

- [Doug] I'm sure they did.

I think they write about it.

- So you think they're in it?

Do they tell it with any drugs?

Did she come up with any sex?

- [Doug] A little bit.

- You consider yourself a net addict?

- Net addict?

Do you consider yourself a reading addict?

- God, that's,

it's like something that's over,

it began and it's over.

Just giddy, frustrated, or something.

What about Patrick, what
does Patrick say about Jim?

I mean you used the
phrase, another man's wife.

- [Doug] Well he didn't exactly want

to talk much about it.

I think he felt guilty.

- What do you call the
(muffled) community?

How will you explain it to your children?

- Here in America, people
move six or seven times,

major moves, across the country.

So, where do you find community?

Maybe you don't find it
in your neighborhoods.

Maybe you don't find it where you work.

Look at me, I work here at home.

I was brought up in Arizona.

I went to school in Oregon.

I lived in New York and Boston.

I moved to California.

Where are my roots?

Where am I gonna find people
to build a community with?

Through the computer,

I can communicate with people,

and just by words on the screen,

but I can communicate with people

who share interests with me.

- Everyone's looking for their bobo.

- [Doug] What's bobo?

- Bobo is that person
that makes it all okay.

And that's what home pages are about,

you're looking for bobo.

It's hard to say who bobo is,

or how exactly you'll find bobo.

Yes, or what bobo is?

But maybe if you put up enough
about yourself on the web,

bobo will find you.

- [Doug] If there was
a Marjorie home page,

what would be on it?

- It's a really good question.

But if I was writing a
journal entry yesterday,

I mean yesterday for me
was an exquisite day,

and nothing much happened at all.

It was a day when after
three really hectic days,

I could just slow down,

and just love being here,
working here in this room,

which I love to do, and I wasn't frantic,

because I had time to
do the work I had to do.

And I had time to go register
for an exercise class,

and a swim class for Lucy.

I had time to go sit outside,

it was a beautiful day, and
read outside for a while.

And I just felt blessed.

There was nothing I wanted
to change in my life.

I think one thing that's
very different about me,

and you, and most other people is,

I really am satisfied with my life now.

I don't need to acquire more wealth,

I don't need to acquire more fame.

If I could continue being
as fulfilled as I am now,

I think that would keep me
happy for another 40, 50 years.

And I think that's very
lucky to feel that way.

(crowd talking)

- And many more.

- Thanks for coming, honey.

- My pleasure, I wouldn't
miss it for the world.

- [Doug] So how did you
talk the old man into--

- I don't talk him into
anything, it's useless.

I thought you knew that by now.

Either I do it,

either I do it, and it's a fait accompli,

or I don't do it and let it ride,

and then it goes for years
without anything happening.

Mainly, what it is, is using the,

like the typewriter part
of it, what's that again?

- [Doug] Word processing?

- I guess word processing.

I've used it but only
under his supervision.

Because I type along,

then I get some kind
of crap at the bottom,

and then I can't get out of it and stuff.

So that's another part of it.

No reason for that to happen either.

I could learn the library too I suppose.

- [Doug] So you're worried
that you're gonna get hooked?

- Oh God no, no, I don't think so.

I'm not obsessive,

your father's much more
obsessive than I am.

I may be compulsive.

I don't even think I'm that.

Anyway, but I'll tell you something,

whatever is going on,

it's interesting.

I think life gets more interesting

and more full of
possibilities as we go on,

which is very nice to know.

- [Doug] Are you gonna stay on

with Minds after the launch now?

- I'm beginning to think I am.

I feel like, things
are lining up in place.

I mean, the teachers I
need, the environment I need

to do some real serious like grounding,

and understanding myself, and
I'm really excited about it.

And Electric Minds is on a T3 hub,

which is like, if you take a T1,

that's what all of Swarthmore shares,

that's like one megabit per second.

This is 10 megabits per second,

and it's shared by half as many,

or a quarter as many people as Swarthmore.

I can download a full copy
of Netscape in 18 seconds.

I love it, it's like I'm
back on the net again.

It's like integrated again.

Like I'm linking and surfing all the time,

and my pages are better for it.

- [Doug] It's hard to say when

the short happy dream
of the webheads began.

In the grassroots community
spirit of the web however,

lay the smell of cold, hard, cash.


- What's that smell?

- I'm freezing with cold, hard, cash.

- [Doug] There's quite a
Silicon Valley mythology

that changing the world and getting rich

are not mutually exclusive ideas.

There are thousands of nerds
laboring in the trenches.

- Thousands of nerds.

- [Doug] Their wrists are cracking

from pounding the keyboards.

Their bodies are turning to jello

from all the crappy baloney
sandwiches they eat for lunch.

- What the fuck?

- They're not poor, but
it's becoming apparent,

that they'll never be rich.

The old dreams are fading fast,

replaced by cynicism and self-interest,

and the creeping realization that somehow

the webheads have lost control

of the very medium they created.

♪ Dum dum dum ♪

- We lost the very control
of the medium we created.


Hey my first heart-to-heart
was Peter (muffled).

He just quit HotWired a day after

they informed the employees
of the new IPO effort.

Good timing.

- [Doug] You know it's pretty
amazing when I look back,

it was only May that I started
shooting with you, I think,

and a lot's gone on since.

- Yeah, but a lot's happened to you too.

Well, you went to a conference,

you got funding or not,
you put up a website,

you've written this journal,

you've gone through crisis,
you've been to San Francisco.

You've been to New York.

You've come to Colorado.

You're schlepping your stuff all around.

- [Doug] I'm just the same old guy.

Haven't learned a thing.

- Oh come on, Doug.

I read your journal entries.

- [Doug] How come you haven't
accessed my web journal?

Have you, have you
accessed my web journal?

- I think I looked at it once,

shortly after you got it up,

but that's it.

We've talked about this,
it's a combination of things.

One is, lack of time.

And two, that I'm just not into,

like so many other people
are, just playing around,

and going to these things,

so it would be a very deliberate act,

to access your journal.

And to me it's a little bit like

looking in your morning pages,

that's sort of your private thing.

I think it's more
complicated than that but,

but I'm not suggesting I
understand all the complications,

but I think on one level
it's respecting your privacy.

(bells ringing)

- Have you ever logged on?

Quite a thrill.

Say hi to Caleb.

Someone I've met through this thing.

Not IRL, in real life, but.

- [Doug] What is the thrill?

- For me,

is now, is just talking
to some certain people.

Usually, Justin, Dom, Caleb,

and a line to Jazzy Boy.

People tell me stuff.

- [Doug] So what is Space Bar?

- Space Bar, Space Bar's a fun chatroom.

It's kind of meant to be for everyone,

but it's a little cliquish once you,

when you first log in,
and you don't know anyone,

and everyone's just on the upper channels,

and you're stuck with the newbie people,

and they're not interesting,

and the real people you want to talk to

are on the upper channels.

But they're all Cyborganic SF people,

and they're nice,

but you gotta have something to get in,

and my something was knowing Justin,

and I sent them to the link and--

- [Doug] And your picture?

- [Denise] And the picture.

And of course they went wild.

- [Doug] Does it feel good
just to feel that you're

sort of a unique,
provocative presence there,

in cyberspace?

- I like it, I like the idea of it.

I like that ever since I've been on this,

my photo has gotten more hits off it,

because people just keep
passing around the URL.

Am I nude? No.

Is Justin naked?

- [Doug] Do you have to worry

about your reputation in cyberspace?

- Very much so.

Even here.

'Cause like, you're that girl with that,

you're that girl with that sexy pic.

Private me with messages,

so what are you wearing now?


No, it's not me.

But, maybe a little part of
me is playing with matches.

Playing with fire.

- [Doug] It's more comfortable

for you to be on the computer?

- This year it has been.

I have retreated to the virtual world.

It's much easier to deal
with than the real one.

(crowd murmuring)

- Doug, what are you for Christmas?

Or Halloween?

- [Doug] I'm a documentary

- You're a voyeur.

- One of the interesting
things about this medium

that works in our favor is,

you're not aware of the passage of time.

And I know that actually

for nine and a half of these ten years,

do not know exactly how much
of my time was sucked up by it,

but when I started driving Mamie to school

at eight in the morning,

I started getting up at 7:30,

reading my email and conferencing,

and half an hour had gone by,

and I hadn't shit, showered,
shaved, or put my underwear on,

and I realized, wait a minute,

this just sucked up a
half an hour, like that.

So, we're all going to have to

select the conferences that
we're gonna participate in,

and use the forget command.

Justin you have a conference,

you can't forget any topics
in the Justin conference.

If you're gonna participate

in X number of other conferences,

you're really gonna have to decide

if you want to have a presence there

which of the topics I really
want to put my attention on,

and follow those topics, and
then forget everything else.

- Your Justin conference
should be your first priority.

If you're under a deadline
for a Mark contribution,

then that day you probably
should be spending

more than just checking
in on Justin, right?

- [Doug] Do you have any fears

that there's not as big
a community out there

as you think there is?

- Yeah, sure.

It's always a question of
maybe it's the same 50 people,

who go to all of the places online.

Although there are 10,000 newsgroups,

and hundreds of mailing lists,

and hundreds of MUDs and MOOs.

Yeah sure, I have fears, I
ask myself that question,

and my answer is, well there seem to be

a lot of people communicating out there.

But, you don't know, until you start.

- Do you know what?

I wrote a really long,
intense, personal rant,

about how I thought you were
trying to parent me yesterday.

- Oh great, you put it on your website?

- I didn't put it on my website.

I exercised restraint, Howard.

- Well, you know,

you must know by now, about
my sense of responsibility.

- You know it was summed up
for me perfectly last night.

I was talking to Rebecca Eisenberg,

and we said, you know there's a boss

who tries to get you to
do stuff is one thing,

but a boss who tries
to get you to do stuff

because it's for your own good, oh ow.

- Ow what?

- Ow, that just hurts.

I mean, I'm your employee,
I do stuff because

that fits the company,
not because, you know.

- Oh, is that what you're doing here?

- Well, I mean all the lines are blurred.

- You know, when you rewrite history,

in an astonishingly mendacious way,

I have had to justify you

to every single god damn person here.

Why is your buddy in here
disrupting our meetings,

wasting our time, and
giving us his attitude,

not doing anything to
get us to the launch.

- It happened like, it wasn't like,

buck up Jacko I love ya, you know.

You remember the team, it was like,

produce or shut up,

and stop being some
self-serving web wacks wanker.

- Thank you very much,

for putting it into words.

I am amused but, but why?

- Yeah, my complaint was that

anyone who puts out such
high emotional wattage,

has gotta maintain the connection.

- I don't understand this.

I mean, I have not paid my Justin dues.

I have not wasted enough hours of my life,

arguing over every god damn thing.

You're a very high
maintenance relationship.

- Who me?

Not like you Howard.

- I'm easy.

If you think that there's no difference

between what you experience at Wired,

and what you're experiencing here,

you're seriously stupid,

and you should go back to college.

- If you talk to the
people left at HotWired,

it's about going to work every day.

It's about bringing home the paycheck.

There are still the occasional employees

who come in with the bright
eyes and bushy tails,

but we're able to pound that
out of them in a few weeks.

Somewhere there's this
notion floating about,

that just because people
talk to other people,

differences are somehow erased,

and that's not the case.

People disagree, whether or not you know

what your neighbor's opinions are,

that doesn't mean you'll
suddenly get along.

You very may well not like
your neighbors' opinions.

And so you've gone from
this state where the web

was going to offer the
perfect communications medium,

where everyone could
talk to everyone else,

and difference would be erased,

to this fallout where,

oh my God, it's not as we planned,

and that isn't going to provide

what we wanted it to provide,

and it's not gonna make us all rich.

There's no revolution at hand.

There are new technologies,

but that doesn't change
the nature of desire,

it doesn't change the way people
interact with other people.

(drill running)

- This, take a long time.

But my head is full of so many things,

now, about the web,

that it's hard to figure out

what needs to be done.

- [Doug] So you work on
your own home first, huh?

- Yeah, work on my home,

then redoing my home page home,

to sort of tidy it up,

bring it together to one central mission.

And, then just kind of

bunker down and keep pushing at it,

and see if anything happens.

What I'm trying to build here

is all the stories of my life.

And sort of a process of

uploading yourself into the computer.

After Jim and I had been
married for a while,

I started telling the same
stories over and over again,

and then I realized, that was it,

those were the stories of my life,

and so, to put them here,

so that I can you know,

other people have the opportunity

to know me as well as my husband does.

And what does that do, you know?

Do they know me?

What more is there to me
than my little stories?

And how approximate can,

how closely can you get to know someone

by knowing everything about them?

Sort of an experiment as well.

I'm not very far along but,

I'm working on it.

- [Doug] So it sounds like
your home isn't a physical one.

- No, it really isn't.

It's like, where do I live?

I really do live most on the net,

but whatever I was doing,
I think I would still,

on some level, to some degree,

crave some idealized,
intimate relationship.

I wrestle with that, still.

Oh shit.

Oh yuck.

Kind of looks gross, doesn't it?

Wow, what a trip, which way did it go?

I just got,

it was like I would walk down the street,

and as I was walking down the street,

I had this thing on my head.

And there would be all
these people who would be,

I think it went on the other way maybe,

I can't remember now,

all these people would try to figure out,

who is this guy?

Which planet is he from?

Does he threaten me?

Can I look at him?

Why did he do that?

What is that?

And all those looks, and
questions from people,

were really a lot to deal with.

- Have fun.

Change the world.


- I'm gonna take Jennifer's hand.

This is gonna go all the
way around the circle,

so when she feels my squeeze,

she's gonna squeeze the hand next to her,

and that's gonna go all around the circle,

just gonna send that impulse,

all around the circle.

When it gets back to me
I'm gonna be a happy boy.


Are we on this?

Everybody on the boat?

All right, here we go.




- [All] Nine, eight, seven,

six, five, four,

three, two, one.

(cheering and applauding)

- [Justin] You with me?

- Yeah.

- [Justin] How would
you describe the lesson

that they intended to you?

In meeting me, and rolling
through all these (muffled).

- You know I, I think I've learned, you,

you are trying to make sense of your life,

and you do it kind of this unfiltered way.

You throw out your thoughts,

down onto the web,

in this very kind of raw, unfiltered way.

I'm the opposite.

I'm too filtered,

and what you taught me was,

to let go of that.

- [Justin] Wow, you should
start hanging out on Space Bar.

Can you type fast?

- [Doug] Well, no, I have
nothing to say (muffled).

I don't get the thing, chat rooms.

And stuff like that.

I have friends.

- [Justin] You don't like guys,

you won't get chat rooms?

You won't get chat rooms

for the first 10 minutes
you're in a chat room,

you won't get chat rooms

for the first 25 minutes
you're in a chat room,

but by the third hour, first day

you've been in your chat room,

you'll begin to get it.

- Justin, if I'm in a
chat room for three hours,

please, take me out and shoot me.

- Tales, tales in hand.


It is worthwhile crossing great rivers

in the sense that
something is accomplished

by going along with the flow.

Is crossing the river
going along with the flow?

When traveling over water,
symbolizes dispersal.

Kings of yore set up shrines to honor God.

Go wham.

So, how shall I consider the coming year?


Fidelity is very successful,
beneficial is correct.

If you deny what is right you are mistaken

and will not benefit from going anywhere?


If you have not plowed for the harvest,

and have not prepared new fields,

then it is profitable
to have somewhere to go.

Wow, wu wang indicates
great progress and success,

while there will be advantage
in being firm and correct.

- [Doug] We often joke
when we see a movie that,

the character has changed,

and he's a more evolved
person at the end of the film.

Do you think I've changed?

Have I evolved?

- You've definitely changed.

And I think you've definitely evolved.

I very much see us as still in process.

- [Doug] How have I changed?

For the better?

- Yeah.

Yeah, you're more here, with us,

than you were at the
beginning of the project.

I think you have come home.

I believe you want to be home.

- [Doug] Do you want me home more?

- Yes.

And I want you to want to be here.

(kids laughing)

- Your parents are quite strange.

- [Lucy] Yes they are.

- Yes we are.

- See you.

- See him tonight, yes.

(modem connecting to the internet)

(light instrumental music)