To paraphrase an old Yossarian quote, where are the Kibos of yesteryear? The other day I read a question that Jeff Atwood had tweeted about Kibo, a name I had not seen in a very long time. Kibo was the handle of James Parry, and he was famous for responding to any message posted on Usenet that contained the word “Kibo” in it. Wired did get a great article about Kibo in their September, 1993 issue. To get in touch with Kibo, they posted a couple of messages with the word “Kibo” in them in some random groups. He replied to each message.</p> </p> </p>
Basically Parry had written some code that grepped every new message posted to Usenet for his handle. And Parry would reply to those messages, with strange and often surreal posts. Eventually, he got his own Usenet group, alt.religion.kibology. This took place in the early 90’s when public awareness and access to Usenet was limited to mainly colleges and computer hackers. He was also known for having a hideously long .signature (a block of text tacked to the end of every message) with one example here. Some of his collected work can be found on his site.
Oddly enough, Sonicwall’s content filtering categorizes the www.kibo.com site as a forbidden category. “Cult/Occult”. Easy enough to get around, but still pretty odd.