~ nomen est omen ~
Version April 2005
IN RETE NOMEN EST OMEN
by fravia+ ~ text in fieri (I doubt I'll ever finish this section)
Nothing more than the web, in this new Millennium, underlines the old truth aboutnomen est omen. I could hardly find a more telling demonstration of the deep link between old-medieval sources research and today-web understanding (and researching).
Just to make a simple example: think at all the querelles about and around Internic, where people are buying and hoarding domainnames for vulgar commercial purposes: if I would have bought Altdorf.com, say, soon or later (probably not very soon, seen the slowness and incompetence shown in every web-related matter by all european local administrations :-) the swiss city of Altdorf would have to pay me in order to get it back. And that is exactly what has happened: if you check the following altdorf.com link, you will see how some clown (in this case "ultimate search inc" in Hong Kong) has bought it with this hope.
Whanna make money? Buy all domainnames corresponding to the big cities of, say, Morocco and wait for that country to catch up on the web (which btw is happening more quickly than you would suppose).
Domainnames are cheap, and you could buy yourself a dozen every year just for fun.
People do that all the time, as you may check using netcraft (which is useful also for other searching purposes, as explained elsewhere on searchlores).
Actually when you search for internic itself you'll immediately bump into the 'name' problem once again: dozens of commercial bastards have set up half-bogus internic sites, each one with a name slightly similar to internic, in order to cash easy money from all the zombies of this planet, unable to search and thus also unable to buy directly themselves their own domains from the real internic.
Here you can gaze in awe yourself, using the incredibly useful netcraft, at the high towers of names... discover how many people have already registered, say, altdorf.com
Think -moreover- at all the difficulties you will have, when searching, if you don't know the NAMES of the querries. Think reversely at how easy it is to find any application (for instance, say, softice) on the web, using search engines and/or the ftp-search servers, once you know (or imagine :-) THE EXACT NAMES the files or zippeed archives you are looking for have been stored into.
You'll often have to try it for yourself. You'll need to understand the 8.3 old dos convention. Try to access 'not found' pages, or pages you suppose should be there, alternating lower and uppercase (significant for Unix severs), or trying the suffixes *.htm, *.html, *.shtml. Try jpg and gif as suffixes for your target EXECUTABLES, try doc, pdf or txt as suffixes for your target PICTURES or mp3.
Many interesting approaches are listed on the 'rabbits' section.
Do you actually know what all these formatnames REALLY mean? Did you ever have a look at the format of -say- a jpg image? Do it. Hexedit it.
A searcher MUST be able to recognize a gif or a jpg image looking at the code.
It is extremely important that you can imagine synecdochically the NAMES of the targets you are searching! Note moreover that such names are a-changing all the time. This happens routinely for the names of the most interesting targets you may seek :-)
It is true that you can search for something even WITHOUT knowing it's exact name, but it is worth OVERESTIMATING the importance of names.
Compare the following searches (and try to understand why they work):
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of names on the web. Let's take a simple example: the robot.txt file, that is used to tell search engines which directories and files they should not index on a specific site. Thus anything that has been put inside a 'robots.txt' file will not be found by your searchqueries. This file is just a list of names. And you can access this file easily, looking for it in the main directory of your target site, entering per hand the URL with the following pattern:
Thus, once you have seen the names, you can type them directly into your browser in order to access the various 'non public' subdirectories and pages.
Another classical 'nomen est omen' problem is encountered when you search for programs. Let's take Wdasm for instance as an example, this is a 'speedy' disassembler written by Peter Urbanik (hi Peter!) that has helped whole generations of both wannabie and capable crackers. This program anyway is not known to be on the net under the nameform "wdasm" and its stemmings (wdasm89, wdasm.zip wdasmdis.exe etcetera), yet you'll probably fish it (through ftp, local/regional fishing, deja or agoras) in its 'w32dsm' nomenestomen incarnation... therefore anyone knowing this will be able to fetch this program, and those that don't know this wont be able to fetch it... it is as simple as that.
You begin to understand what I mean, don't you?
What I mean is that ANY program or game or image or sound is ALREADY somewhere on the web, you just need to know its name to fish it out.
But names (well... words) are also powerful WEAPONS.
As the reality cracking section of my site demonstrates, an interesting observation is that a correct use of TERMS when cracking reality, can help quite a lot (by the way: the very term 'reality cracking' is quite catchy eo ipso, should you have not noticed it... :-)
Rhetoric is a very neglected yet incredibly powerful science (these two aspects being most probably correlated :-)
Whomever reads (and heads) his "Lausberg" will soon be able to destroy anything in sight!
As an example let's take MacDonald. The experience demonstrates that simply explaining to the poor slaves how awful (and dangerous) is the food there, will not break the 'perceivness of coolness' that especially young zombies are frequently victim of. So what is necessary is to 'break', or to 'crack' their PERCEPTION, throwing against their teeths a 'truth revealing' phrase that will forever destroy the plastic wrappings i.e. the 'bounds' of their consumistic slavery.
This is extremely easy if -at times- you can build a powerful (and sharp) rhetorical statement.
I won't go here into the rethorical tricks hidden inside the phrase you have read. There is a section of my site that deals with this kind of tricks. Let us just state (and hope) that we will use always such tricks in order to 'illuminate' people for their own good (I repeat: let's hope it, who knows? Just cross your fingers and toes, trying to control feelings is always a very dangerous ave...)
Anyway: this is just a simple example: The real message is: you should never underestimate the amazing power of words! A capable linguist is as powerful (and as dangerous) as a capable advertisement 'creative' (these morons being evil dark forces whereas... us 'reversers'... being of course sons of the light :-)
Fact is, that few of those that have heard or read the above 'reverse shitting' definition will hencefort be able to feel once more - when eating a BigMac - their advertisement induced 'coolness'... See? Using a couple of well-chosen terms we have compensated (and destroyed) the power of their advertisement propaganda :-)
You wish to understand more about this 'nomen_est_omen' stuff? Here a 'medievistic' yet rather useful 'cut' (if you follow the three hints below you are in for a long ride... see you back in a couple of years time :-)
- As a foretaste in english:
Gudmund Schuette's Our forefathers ('The Gothonic nations'), Cambridge, Unipress, 1933 (especially vol.II) read it and be prepared to gasp in awe.
- to keep rolling (in German):
M.Schoenefeld, Woerterbuch der altgermanischen Personen- und Voelkernamen, Tilburg 1910, reprint Heidelberg 1965, his 'etymologischer index' is almost unsurpassed, note his assertion: "Zu den unvollkommensten Erzeugnissen der Menschen gehoeren unstreitig die Woerterbuecher"
- dulcis in fundo:
Ernst Foerstermann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch, Bonn 1900, reprint Muenchen 1966, this is a book that IMHO anyone researching to-day web names-matters should carefully and seriously study in order to learn some metodology... Bienenfleissig was Foerstermann...
Do not worry too much. This linguistic AND web-related problematic is quite relevant for all sort of searchers, yet there are different ways to 'countourn' (or even to solve) it. Reading the essays and lessons on my site you'll be again and again confronted with the old nomen est omen truth, and you'll find ways to avoid confronting it, paths that will go trough it and ways to harness its power for your own aims.
(c) III Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved