Before Satoshi unleashed bitcoin on the world, private bitorrent communities were where you wanted to be and I was a well respected leader within community.
I had more responsibilities than I ever bargained for and it seemed like everyone wanted something from me. My inbox was blowing up with every technical question that you could imagine about hardware, software and networking.
It was my job to find solutions to everything; to help manage thousands of users and keep the website online, but I had a secret: I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t even know how to seed a torrent.
How could this happen?
To properly tell this story, I have to start with my health: my health sucked! And I had developed a healthy addiction to opiates to help me get through the day. Also, I was just placed on probation for crashing too many cars while on drugs and the owner of the company that I was managing, noticed that I was spiraling out of control and I was promptly fired.
Since most of my friends were in a cult, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of them seeing me like this, because I knew that they would pounce on my bad fortune to try to convince me that I was being punished by a higher power that was demanding my return.
So, in order to stop the crazies from attempting to wash my brain, again, I posted on social media that I had moved away and I also deactivated my cellphone.
With my life screeching to a grinding halt, I became confined to my home and on most days I was too sick to even get out of bed. With no income, I couldn’t afford cable or internet and I was so bored that with each passing day the walls inched closer, making me feel like trash inside a compactor. I began to wonder how long it would be before I started hearing voices, and, without the internet, I couldn’t even Google it.
To combat the extreme isolation, I decided to build a wifi cannon: I purchased a 30 foot USB extender and a wifi adapter and attached them to a round, metal cooking screen. This thing looked like a cross between a chromed-out dream catcher and a ghetto satellite dish, that focused the sun’s rays at any unfortunate soul that was stupid enough to be outside in the daytime.
Things weren’t much better at night, because the wifi cannon contained green and red LEDs that constantly blinked; and since I placed it right up against my neighbors window, their kitchen looked like one big Christmas light.
Before they knew what hit them, I had maxed out their bandwidth, downloading every movie and TV show that I could think of, but then I realized that most of the videos were really bad quality.
I tried watching a Batman movie that literally had a guy standing in front of the movie screen the whole time. In some scenes, I couldn’t even figure who batman was fighting and I wished that he would kick the shit out of people who stand up in the middle of the movie theater; I began to sympathize with James Holmes.
Then out of nowhere, my asshole neighbors, shoved a password on their router, which cut me off from the rest of the world. I had a lot of problems with these neighbors, I first met the wife by accident. I was coming out of a blackout and I found myself smoking a cigarette in the back yard while listening to her weird questions about local schools.
“What do you mean? I don’t go to school.” I said as her cryptic words kept repeating in my head: “We just moved in, how are the schools around here?
My mind began racing: ‘ “We just moved in.” What? With me! Have I picked up a stray woman? And what does she mean by, “we?” Are more women coming?’
She was somewhat attractive, but in that moment, she seemed like too much work and I began to find her threatening, as I realized that I was standing there in my underwear.
Then, in a bubbly manner, she said: “Oh that’s OK. What do you do for fun around here?”
“Listen lady, I need to go put some clothes on!” I said while storming back into the house and locking the door, so, she couldn’t get in.
I later apologized to the woman and explained my drug use, so, she wouldn’t think I was weird and then her and her husband began describing their religion, which began to sound more and more like a cult.
I played along as if I was interested in joining another cult, so, they gave me about dozen weird looking pamphlets to read over and they asked me to come back during their prayer time, but I never did.
So, after snubbing them, there was an awkward tension every time we saw each other outside and by putting a password on their router, they were basically declaring war. My first instinct was to strike back, but then I remembered that Sun Tzu says: “Never commit felonies, like brute forcing thy neighbor’s passwords, while on probation.” His words really are timeless.
I decided to target a different neighbor, but since I only had a finite amount of neighbors, I knew that I needed to use a little more stealth, or I would run out of open connections and I would be forced into committing felonies.
I hid the wifi cannon within a bush and I only maxed out their bandwidth in the middle of the night, but this created a new problem. Most torrents had terrible speeds and even though I was downloading dozens at a time, most torrents would take over a week to complete.
While looking for a solution, I realized that there were private torrent communities that advertised insane speeds. So, I joined one site and, for the next week, I began living the high life, watching everything I could get my grubby little hands on, but then, out of nowhere, my neighbor’s IP address was banned for not seeding.
“What the hell is seeding, do they think I’m a farmer?” I thought to myself while attempting to google, “seeding”, but this seemed confusing and I was too sick to handle learning. So, I gave up and I signed up for another torrent site, only to eventually be banned, again. After being banned from a few more sites, I realized that the only ones that were left required an invite.
After a week of begging people on the IRC, one kind soul offered an invite to a prestigious torrenting site, with the instructions: “Please don’t get banned or they will deactivate my account too.” I assured him that he had nothing to worry about and I began developing a strategy to stay in good standing with this site.
I had realized that there were very few girls on these sites, so, I chose the name Sally, in the hope that they wouldn’t ban a girl for something as silly as not seeding. Then, I downloaded a few small torrents, some pdfs about programming, so, it would show that I was an active programmer, but the files weren’t large enough to get me banned.
My next step was to apply to be on staff by claiming that I was a programmer and I used a few terms that I saw in the pdfs. The owner asked if I had experience with networking and after googling, “networking,” I copy and pasted some fancy words that impressed him enough to hire me.
Before I knew it, I was receiving messages from all the big names inviting me to secret chat rooms and I was officially in the inner circle. I was let in on all the inside jokes and they wanted my opinion on everything; I assumed they just wanted female’s perspective.
At first things were great: they gave me the power to edit messages in the forum and to ban users for breaking rules, so, I instantly went on a little power trip, banning people right and left. One moderator asked why I banned one of his friends and I explained that I thought he might be an asshole. He then laughed and explained that he was an asshole, but he couldn’t understand how I figured it out by looking at his question about which router to buy.