Who are you?
What do you want?
Never ask that question. Who are you?
My name is Bryce Alexander Lynch. Most call me The Doctor.
Are you the same Doctor Who that was interviewed in Phrack Magazine all those years ago?
No, I'm not him. The one you're thinking of was in the LOD (the Legion of Doom) in the heyday of the HPAC/V scene in the 1980's. I've spoken to him a few times, though, and think he's a pretty cool guy. I'm not pretending to be him, I just happened to pick the same handle independently. To differentiate us, he asked me to use standard BBS notation, hence, the list of area codes after my name.
You're not a web designer, are you?
Hell, no. My original website's design was very simple, and in fact represented the absolute upper limit of my web design skills. I've since migrated my website to a CMS called Bolt because I'd rather someone who knew what they were doing write the code, which leaves me more time to write stuff.
What do you like to do?
Oh, lots of things, though most of them are solitary in nature. I like to read, I write, I go wandering a great deal, listen to music, program, sometimes I give sketching a try. I enjoy travelling, especially to new places, though I do not get to go very often due to the fact that traveling long distances costs more money than it used to. I once enjoyed driving but since moving to Washington DC (and hence dealing with 3-5 hours in Beltway traffic every day) I lost my taste for it.
What music do you listen to?
My tastes tend to run old-school goth and death rock, synthpop, some industrial, some filk, chiptunes, nerdcore hip-hop, synthwave and whatever else I happen across.
Where can you normally be found?
Nowhere most people can find. I spend most of my time at the office doing sysadmin-type things like pulling CAT-6 cable through crawlspaces, making Linux and Windows systems happy, fighting with Windows networking, dealing with end users and emergencies, stuff like that. If I'm not there then I've crawled back under my rock; maybe I'm jacked in, maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm completely exhausted from the crisis du jour, maybe I'm just tired and trying to catch a few hours of sleep. If it's the weekend it's entirely possible that I've gone on another cross-country jaunt or that I've dropped off the grid to recuperate.
What books have you read?
As a general rule I try to read five or six books per week, though in practise it usually works out to be one or two. I prefer science fiction to any other style of fiction; my favourite genre of all time is classic cyberpunk, though there is a soft spot in my heart for pulp sci-fi (ala the Lensmen series or Tom Swift). Anything else is subject to a case-by-case decision.
What's your favourite book?
Neuromancer by William Gibson. Blindsight by Peter Watts runs a close second.
When were you born?
15 February, 1978. Long enough ago that I fondly remember the 1980's but missed the Nixon administration.
What's your take on indefinite life extension?
I plan on living forever or die trying.
What is your favourite song?
Mirrorshades, by Information Society. It's on the album Hack.
Hail Eris?
All hail Discordia.
Do you dance?
I'm told that I can cut a rug.
Do you sing?
I'm no Sharon Apple.
Do you play any video games?
Sometimes, yes. I still have my Nintendo 8-bit console and a few dozen games for it, which I bring out occasionally. I also still have a Sega Genesis unit with a handful of games (one day I'll get around to beating Phantasy Star II and III). Most recently I purchased a Playstation (June 2002) and I'm currently chipping away at the second quest of Parasite Eve. I should have it finished by the end of the summer if I keep up my "play it when I've got nothing else to do" pattern. I also have a small number of video games for DOS and Win32, which I'll probably try to play again once I get around to building the necessary system emulators for Linux (because I'm too lazy to build a Windows 95 system just to play Burn:Cycle or Adventures of the Smart Patrol). I have an extensive collection of Infocom games which I've been known to mess around with using Xzip or Frotz (homepage appears to be missing). I also have Quake 3 Arena and Descent 3 for Linux but I rarely play them, as I have no desk space so I can't configure my console conveniently. I've also been known to play Uplink for Linux). I one day hope to start playing nethack, but right now I don't have time. When I really do have time to kill I break out the C-64 or Atari XEGS to play some of the old school 8-bit games.
You're weird.
I'm not rich enough to be eccentric.
I have lots and lots of interests and I cycle through them from time to time. Sometimes I study this, and sometimes I study that, and sometimes I play around with this other thing... I really don't see why I have to limit myself to being just one thing: Why should I define myself as a magickian and nothing else? That's not my identity, it's just a part of it. Why should I define myself as a computer geek? That's not my identity either, it's just a part of it... all of these things are parts of who I am. I can no more neglect a single part than I can the sum of the parts. I am defined through synergy: The interplay of multiple facets making something more. It could be said that my W/will is defined by figuring out exactly what I am, which will no doubt alter who I am in the process. And someone's opinion of me will not change that. I walk my own path; I stay out of the way of others and if people get in my way I will go over them or around them to continue in my own.
If your life could be made into a movie, who would the production team and actors be?
William Gibson and Masamune Shirow would write the screenplay; the Wachowski siblings would direct; narration would be provided by Hunter S. Thompson (RIP); Val Kilmer (circa Real Genius) or James Spader (circa Crash) would play me. Information Society, the Cruxshadows, and Nyarlathotep would write and perform on the soundtrack.
What single event has made you feel the oldest you've ever felt?
Explaining to someone what a dot matrix printer was.
What are your favourite languages to program in?
Assembly (VAX and MIPS); C; Lambda; Perl; Python. I've also been known to try to do the impossible with shell scripts just because I'm too lazy to program in C anymore.
What's your Renn Faire Purity Score?
I am 86.8% pure.
Did you really fail the Turing test?
Yes. I was mistaken for a bot in an undergraduate artificial intelligence class.
Are you really 944 years old?
No. It's just a reference to my namesake. I do it to see if people are actually paying attention or are just smiling and nodding. I tend not to trust people who take that at face value.
Liberty or safety?
Art Bell or George Noory?
Art Bell. (RIP)
Give us a pithy quote to remember you by.
"If anything ever happens to me, it won't be an accident." --John Lennon
Why do you put a string of numbers ([412/724/301/703/415/510]) after your name when you post to public forums and mailing lists?
Those aren't gematria, those are area codes.
In the days of dialup and BBSes (bulletin board systems), it was inevitable that some people would select the same handle. To differentiate themselves, users would often put the area codes they were from or that they were most active in inside hard brackets after their names (for example, "Point Blank [512]"). The numbers are the area codes I was most active in back in my BBS days, and serve to disambiguate me from the other Doctor Who's out there.
Hot anger? Cold anger? Blind rage?
My patience knows no bounds.
What's your Myers-Briggs personality type?
INTJ - Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging. There's a description of this personality type here. This is pretty much how I roll.
Got a character sheet?
No. How about some tropes?
You have synaesthesia?
Yes, I do, though I don't really go out of my way to publicize the fact. It took me years to learn that not everybody gets visual feedback and distortions from what they hear, nor that people could feel (in a literal proprioceptive sense (and no pun intended) as well as in an emotive sense) music. In hindsight it makes a strange kind of sense; I'm a very visual thinker and remember things most strongly when interacting with or manipulating them. I may not remember a word or where I put something, but I vividly recall the strange feeling in the first and third fingers of my right hand and the olive green/grey blotch a book made when I set it down. My favorite songs are those that manipulate my emotions most strongly. Not in the "I like this song," sort of way, but in the "this song evokes very powerful emotions regardless of the content of the song," which may have nothing at all to do with the subject matter of the song itself. For those who are interested in such strange cortical wiring, my sense of hearing is cross-wired to my senses of (in descending magnitude of degree) sight, touch, proprioception, and inner emotional state.
What's your high score on Space Paranoids?
9,999,920 points. Anybody got a quarter?
Many of your blog posts seem to appear some time after the events have happened, or in a strange order. Why is that?
I use timed posts to automatically put up content according to a schedule. It helps avoid the writing pattern of posting two or three things every day for a solid week followed by weeks of nothing new. Not only does it make it difficult for people to follow my site but it also messes with some RSS feed readers that automatically give up after a couple of weeks of no content. So, I it's to make a smoother experience for readers. And, you know, I've got other stuff to do.
You should be ashamed of yourself!
I'm 944 years old. I give precisely zero fucks.
"Nya" or "meow?"
What is you opinion of the Roko's Basilisk hypothesis?
I think it's a great way for people who are so selfish they can't even conceive of the possibility that they might be selfish to justify to other people calling them on their bullshit that their refusal to help other people might be anything but sadistic bullshit.
What kind of brand are you trying to build here?
I'm not trying to build a brand. I don't write 'content'. This website is a personal one, in the grand tradition of... the beginning of the Web, I suppose. I'm not trying to position myself as a thought leader or a rockstar or anything. I write about things that interest me, things going on in my life, and stuff I do when the mood strikes. Maybe I post stuff I think about while I'm in the shower once in a while. Occasionally, I post files pertaining to something I'm working on or pictures I take when I'm out and about. In other words, I really am this ridiculous in real life.
Rickrolling? Really?
Think of all the horrible things you've been exposed to online. hello.jpg. Two Girls, One Cup. Partial Birth Abortion (the techno remix). Turbo facepalm. Ted Bundy's autopsy pictures. chechclear. Compared to most of the unpleasant surprises you've gotten on the Internet over the years a slightly daffy music video for a love song is by far the least terrible thing on the list.
Why don't you like dark mode on websites?
I'm not fourteen years old trying to hide the fact that I'm up late dicking around on a computer on a school night anymore.
If you're such a security geek, why does your site fare so poorly on the Mozilla Observatory?
All of those security headers and features assume that you use a CMS written in PHP or Ruby or something. My site doesn't have any dynamic content, it doesn't use a CDN, and doesn't pull anything from anywhere else. It's a static website with plain old HTML5. Everything it uses is self-hosted.
Why does it take you so long to write about ?
I'm not trying to pump out opinion posts or thinkpieces. I write about things when I get around to writing about things, which the vast majority of the time is fine. I like to poke around and see what's going on, think about things a bit, maybe run an experiment or two. Sometimes I realize that I really don't have anything to say or that it's outside of my wheelhouse, so I let it go.
Unfortunately, the last ten years on the Internet have a lot of people convinced that they have to be "on" all the time - on their brand, always advertising their stuff, always posting new "content" to stay "relevant"... if that's your thing, fine, but it's not mine. Sit back, relax, and have a cup of coffee or something.