[network] Disconnect my brain

Sometimes, a memory from the past comes back.
I remember walking around Washington square park in Manhattan, it must have been around 1987 as I was living in New Jersey (the ultra west side :-)), appreciating the street artists. The talent mix was incredibly wide, from jugglers keeping 7 balls in the air to kids banging on trash cans. Somewhere there was this guy with a guitar singing the blues. I remember his lines verbatim, almost 20 years later:

My life is like the water
It’s going down the drain
I’m gonna take a shotgun, baby
and disconnect my brain

Now there is a fine piece of blues lyrics for you. The most striking feature is that it uses the word `disconnect’, which is a networking word. At the time there were 20.000 to 30.000 computers on the Internet. Even for elite universities, having an Internet connection was something to brag about. Equally notable is that this usage draws upon metaphores that were fairly modern then in artificial intelligence, and later popularized in the movie “The Matrix”. On top of that there is a deliberate confusion between this metaphorical level and the physical level. After all, this is how Ernest Hemingway committed suicide.

2 Comments on “[network] Disconnect my brain

26 June 2005 at 04:53

>What about the decades-long history of hand operated telephone networks with operators saying “I am going to (dis)connect you”

27 June 2005 at 06:53

>Probably right. That leaves the thinking as computing metaphore, although that too might be in the eye of the beholder.

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