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Shpongled
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A Virian, ~15 years later...
« on: 2015-02-22 12:42:32 »
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I found this forum when I was in early high school.  I had just come to terms with that fact that I did not believe in a deity.  I lurked for a while and eventually worked up the courage to create a profile and start posting. 

It was pretty rough at first.  I was far from the best at articulating my points, and far worse when it came to spelling and grammar.  It upset me at the time, but all the harassment I received about such things challenged me to do better.  I was always horrible at debate when I joined.  By the time I took my hiatus from the community, multiple times I had been told me (offline) that my ability to proficiently debate made it hard to have any disagreement with me.  Right or wrong, I learned to argue any angle, and make them like it-- as skill that has come in handy many times in my adult life!  In many ways the way I think and approach life has been highly influenced by the interesting, wordy, and often heated debate that happened on these forums.

This forum connected me with people far more talented and successful than the people I came in contact with in daily life.  I grew up in a pretty rough area, went to rough schools, and didn't have many good role models.  The CoV helped me see life outside of the bubble I was living in.  I met a number of people that I REALLY looked up to: Lucifer, Hermit, Walter Watts, Mermaid, and Tywick immediately come to mind.

As time went on I found myself becoming increasingly sure and militant about my atheism.  As I've become older and more experienced that has began to fade.  One of the major factors in that was that I began to understand spirituality and it's importance.  Spirituality is something I had 0 understanding of until one fateful day at a festival I may been convinced to ingest a mind altering substance and had my first brush with the "spiritual experience."

Now, don't get me wrong here!  I didn't walk away from the experience denouncing my lack of belief.  I still to this day consider myself an atheist.  I just finally understood a critical part of being human that I previously had absolutely no understanding of.  My take-away from the experience more of an abstract and philosophical one than a logical one.  Carl Sagan said it best, "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."  I remember thinking that the closest thing to a god is the universe itself, and we're all a part of that.  Therefore we both individually and collectively are the closest thing to a god we will probably likely ever know.  These weren't foreign ideas to me at the time, but there is definitely a difference between logically knowing something and experiencing it.  There is a lot more to it than that, but I'm going to try to avoid going on and on about this topic.  I am legitimately curious though, how many others on here are similar.  Back in the day, I never felt like anyone here thought spirituality had any real value or should be considered to have any value.  That could very well have been projection on my part though! (And probably was...)

This is all to say:  Thank you!  Even though I haven't been around for a long time, my time spent here enhanced my life and helped correct my course.  My time here was an important (positive) part of shaping me into the person I am today.  Today I have a successful career as a cyber security specialist and software developer.  Skills that a few of you helped me with in the early phases.  In a couple months I will be taking a hiatus (18 months) from my career to backpack across 12+ Asian countries.  A decision I've made to break away from the cubical walls, and push further out of my comfort zone.

I plan to do some lurking around here again.  So, anyone interested in getting some good conversation going on here again?  I'll probably hide behind this screen name to provide some (even if poor) obfuscation from my old account and my real life identity.  I bet a few of you will know who I am immediately, and that's okay, but I'd appreciate not publicly announcing the connection. 

-Shpongled
« Last Edit: 2015-02-22 13:21:40 by Shpongled » Report to moderator   Logged
David Lucifer
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Re:A Virarian, ~15 years later...
« Reply #1 on: 2015-02-22 13:15:24 »
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It is truly a pleasure to hear from you again, Shpongled. You know I know your old name, but your secret is safe with me  I'm a bit surprised the CoV community was so hard on you in the early days, I don't recall that happening at the time but I'm glad you took it constructively. I've stayed in touch with quite a few of the old guard Virians even as they've moved on to other interests, but there are many others I haven't heard from in far too long and I often wonder what paths their lives have taken. Hopefully others will see this thread and reconnect.
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David Lucifer
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Re:A Virarian, ~15 years later...
« Reply #2 on: 2015-02-22 13:24:25 »
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It's interesting to check out the Meridion reputations for the last two columns: registered and last login. Apparently in just 5 days I will have my 20th anniversary on the CoV!

Just a reminder to new and returning Virians, to join Meridion go to the reputation page linked above and click on the "Enter Ratings" button in the top left corner. Once you rate anyone else (even yourself), then others can rate you and you will acquire a reputation so your posts won't be automatically hidden.
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Shpongled
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Re:A Virian, ~15 years later...
« Reply #3 on: 2015-02-23 23:58:28 »
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The hard time I was given (which was mostly from Mermaid and Hermit, if I remember correctly) was TOTALLY deserved and needed. 

Thanks for reminding me about Meridian.  It's so nice to be able to post more than one topic a day! 
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Re:A Virarian, ~15 years later...
« Reply #4 on: 2015-02-26 10:08:28 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2015-02-22 13:24:25   

It's interesting to check out the Meridion reputations for the last two columns: registered and last login. Apparently in just 5 days I will have my 20th anniversary on the CoV!

First CoV message dated Mar 3, 1995 >> http://www.lucifer.com/virus/virus.95/0000.html
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