Friday, October 05, 2007

FringeWare Redux: From a Fringe Into the Lion's Den

There is no reason to fear them;
it is what lurks there that you need to fear.

I once worked at a place called FringeWare in Austin, Texas. What I said then in an article by Brad King:

FringeWare has created a place where anything goes, where they, as the weirdest freaks of all, make it safe for alternative ideas to come together; a place to get information from the closest source possible. "[FringeWare provides] the notion of the temporary autonomous zone (TAZ) -- an arena that tries not to put too much of a spin on information," says Deese's assistant Scot Casey, who has been involved with FringeWare since back in the Europa days. "This is what [author and philosopher] Hakim Bey talks about. Immediacy. Get right up there close to it and check it out. Don't just trust what you hear about something."

The following was sent to me via a neighborhood list in response to several muggings. Of course, I immediately noted - and was amused by - the use of the word "fringe." Out of context, and reapplied to what FringeWare was once working towards, it fits all too well. [ Read attacked, mugged or raped in intellectual terms - for the most part. ] It's kind of funny how beautifully Hakim Bey it comes off as in re-context.

Fringe Areas: Where it's most likely to happen

Fringe areas are places "in between." And it is here that criminals usually operate. This is where you are most likely to be attacked, mugged or raped.

It isn't until you begin to consciously look for them that you begin to see how many you pass through each day. A fringe area is not inherently dangerous, which is why we don't normally notice them. There is no reason to fear them; it is what lurks there that you need to fear.

Fringe areas are usually places that you pass through on you way to and from the crowd. In the middle of the crowd, there are too many people for the criminal to operate safely. Too far from it, there is nobody for him to attack. At the fringes, there are enough people going through that the criminal can find victims, but not enough to effectively hinder him.

The main thing to remember is any fringe area is transitional. It is a place that we pass through on our way to something else from something (e.g. from a crowd to your car). This is a large part of why we don't notice them; We are focused on getting somewhere else or on something other than what we are doing. It is that focus on "elsewhere" that the criminal exploits to successfully develop what he needs to attack you.

The best example of a fringe area is a mall parking lot. There are too many people in the middle of the mall for the criminal to be successful. And by the time you are in your car and driving away, you are beyond his reach. A parking lot, however, meets the criteria he needs. There are enough people to find a victim, you are out of reach of immediate help, he can still get to you *and* he can easily escape after he has mugged you.

You don't need to be paranoid about entering a fringe area, but you have to look around when entering one. Things that are "out of place" in fringe areas carry far greater weight than they would in other circumstances. Developing the habit of scanning a fringe area is a critical component of creating your Pyramid of Personal Safety.

As we often say, "You don't want to walk into the lion's den, so the trick is to recognize when an area has turned from a fringe into the lion's den"

1 comment:

db said...

I've been reading The Laughing Bone for quite a while and was absolutely unaware that you had FringeWare ties. Small world.

(My name is Darren; I used to run around with Heath and Scotto.)