March 13, 1997|By Mark Miller

(with apologies to Allen Ginsberg)

I saw the best minds of my generation transformed by Cybertech, wired hysterical online plugged-in,

prowling the highways, backroads and alleys of cyberspace at all hours looking for misadventure or a pithy chat,

angelheaded nerds, soccer moms, corporate execs, sports authorities, catty secretaries, et al., hungry for the impersonal connection to the impersonal masses out in the impersonal vastness of cyber night,

who red and blurry-eyed sat up clicking and key-stroking in the subdued darkness of luxury high-rises and tract houses, sprawling ranchers and crash pads, contemplating cheap thrills zipping through fiber cable and infrared,

who bared their souls to America Online and saw virtual reality through MUD and MOO dancing across their monitors illuminated,

who emerged from their cyberatic cocoons to touch the humanity behind their screens and ran back screaming delusion and betrayal,

who passed through computer-science curriculums with fire in their bellies hallucinating California among the paragons of Silicon,

whose intellects disgorged in total recall tales of the adipose Eniac and Brainiac filling entire rooms belching numbers and glowing from 18,000 vacuum tubes,

who sat up for 7 days and 7 nights hacking hacking hacking decoding decoding decoding passwords to places with signs reading classified: do not enter without authorization,

who hunkered down in dank garages with motherboards and toggle switches and soldering irons and blinking lights and dreamed dreams that would change civilization as they knew it,

who talked continuously shuffling from dorm room to lab to dorm room to lab, a lost battalion of cyberpunks sustaining themselves on cholesterol and caffeine, erasers and girlie mags,

yacketayakking shouting spewing facts and anecdotes about random access memory, graphic user interface, data bases, binary number systems, algorithms, kilobytes, megabytes, shmagabytes,

who programmed in Cobol and Java, Fortran and C++, feeding information to information systems language left unspoken save for cognitive elitist brats ensconced on the upside of the bell curve,

who passed through MIT and logged-on at IBM writing off MS DOS to the Great One from Seattle doing Windows not floors and multiple covers for Time and Newsweek,

who stood transfixed and horny watching sexy brainy blonde secretaries climbing though Windows spreading spreadsheets like bedsheets and cranking out reports from multiple databases for bosses in high places conferencing in plush offices with commanding views,

who stood transfixed and anxious watching typewriters and postage stamps, civility and intimacy pass into artifacts and museums flashed online to a gigabyte of monitors pulsating through the cyber universe like a billion suns yet unborn.

Pub Date: 3/13/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.