jeremias' profile (website)


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Name: Jeremy Osborn
Joined: September 8, 2001


MeFi: 57 posts , 940 comments
MetaTalk: 4 posts , 80 comments
Ask MeFi: 121 questions , 689 answers
Music: 0 posts , 0 comments, 0 playlists
Music Talk: 0 posts, 0 comments
Projects: 0 posts, 0 comments, 1 vote
Jobs: 3 posts
IRL: 0 posts, 0 comments
FanFare: 0 posts, 1 comment
FanFare Talk: 0 posts, 0 comments

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MeFi tags: music (6) brokenlink (4) Flash (4) photography (4) technology (4) adobe (3) art (3) games (3) arcade (2) Christianity (2)
Ask MeFi tags: music (13) design (7) OSX (6) education (5) video (5) apple (4) audio (4) books (4) computers (4) kids (4)


What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it? If your nickname is self-explanatory, then tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say "wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?" Was it a website? Was it an email from a long-lost friend? Go on, spill it.

Jeremias was my first username back in the 90s. I was an expat in Central America and when I came back to the states, the nickname stuck. For a while I was [email protected] I'm still [email protected] but don't bother because it's only checked once every 6 months to trash the spam messages and convince Yahoo I'm alive. Yahoo used to look like this and it was still possible to add up the number of web sites it indexed.

The Internet was originally known as a haven for fringe dwellers and that was the best part, somewhere "your people" were out there. You could learn how to play didgeridoos, research alien abductions, dissect Stanley Kubrick's screenplays, scan Salvadoran election results or source suppliers of cereal magnets from the 1970's: a little bit of digging in Usenet or gopher would lead you to the gold. Some of my family were very concerned when I first talked about my interest in the web. Their reactions were shaped by mainstream media's portrayal of "cyberspace" as a hangout for perverts and child molesters as evidenced by this infamous 1995 issue of Time.

I have been a member of this unique community almost as long as it has been around. I can't imagine the Web without it. I love the intelligent folk who populate these pages and when the "filter" works there's no better place online to be surprised and inspired.

Some contributions I've made over the years stick out:

The Ask-Mefi "Life-altering experiences" thread.
Back in February 2005 I posted this question to the still young Ask-Metafilter: Life-altering experiences. Can you point to a single experience in your life, as a child, which you can define as having contributed to the person you are today?

The response was epic and inspiring and way beyond my modest expectations. The thread took on a life of its own, and eventually escaped the orbit of MeFi when people began linking to it outside of mefi. Andy Baio of nailed it succinctly IMO as a "fascinating thread tapping into the soul of Metafilter". The theme was picked up and somewhat bastardized by lifehacker almost a year after the thread was closed.

Lifehacker diluted the original question by changing the singular "experience" to the plural "experiences". My original point was very specific and perhaps why it has so much resonance, I was looking for one experience, not several. It's fascinating to see the thread get "rediscovered": in December 2007 a metatalk thread introduced it to a new group of people almost two years later. It has been favorited over 352 400 450 500 548 times and years later is still high on the AskMefi list of popular favorites .

It's interesting, in the aforementioned Metatalk thread, someone posits the idea that the same question asked today would be deleted as "chatfilter". It's possible, but I do know that I asked the question with sincerest of intentions, and I'd like to think that was somehow intuited by everyone who posted. At the time I was a father of a 4 year old, our family was going through some tough transitions (we had recently moved and both my wife and I had started new full-time jobs). It was clear that his first memories were beginning to take shape. It was my curiosity of the mystery of these childhood memories and what they might say about a grown adult (and by extension how I might change my behavior with my son) that made me ask the Mefi community.

(I'm not sure if the question would spark the same response today, AskMefi was a much different place back then, questions stayed on the front page for a while, so readers could find it on the front page for the entire day and throughout the evening.)

Other AskMefi threads I've started that I enjoy going back to:
Simple pleasures in life?
Help me find an annoying player name for a point-and-shoot computer game.

My contributions "in the blue" haven't nearly matched the AskMefi thread. However I can still remember instigating a notorious thread on web comics and particularly whether or not the strip Achewood was funny or not. Still an entertaining read after all these years.