Backbone cabal

The backbone cabal was a group of large-site administrators who pushed through the Great Renaming of Usenet newsgroups during most of the 1980s.

Credit for organizing the backbone about 1983 is variously claimed for Mark Horton [ [http://www.maryannhorton.com/MaryAnnHorton-extended.html Mary Ann Horton, Ph.D ] ] or Gene "Spaf" Spafford, [ [http://www-cse.stanford.edu/classes/cs201/projects-98-99/controlling-the-virtual-world/history/rename.html Controlling the Virtual World ] ] in an effort to stabilize the Usenet propagation. While many news servers operated during night time to save the cost of long distance communication, servers of the backbone cabal were available 24 hours a day.

During most of its existence, the cabal (sometimes capitalized) steadfastly denied its own existence; those involved would often respond "There is no Cabal" (sometimes abbreviated as "TINC"), whenever the existence or activities of the group were speculated on in public. It is sometimes used humorously to dispel cabal-like organizational conspiracy theories, or as an ironic statement, indicating one who knows the existence of "the cabal" will invariably deny there is one.

This belief became a model for various conspiracy theories about various Cabals with dark nefarious objectives beginning with taking over Usenet or the Internet. Spoofs include the "Eric Conspiracy" of moustachioed hackers named "Eric"; ex-members of the P.H.I.R.M.; and the Lumber Cartel putatively funding anti-spam efforts to support the paper industry.

The result of this policy was an aura of mystery, even a decade after the cabal mailing list disbanded in late 1988 following an internal fight. [cite web |url=http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=backbone+cabal |title=backbone cabal |publisher=TechWeb|accessdate=2007-09-07 ]

As Usenet has few technologically or legally enforced hierarchies, just about the only ones that formed were social hierarchies. People exerted power through force of will (often via intimidating flames), garnering authority and respect by spending much time and effort contributing to the community (by being a maintainer of a FAQ, for example; see also Kibo, etc.).

References

External links

* [http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/B/backbone-cabal.html Jargon File entry]
* [http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/cabal-conspiracy-FAQ/ Cabal Conspiracy FAQ]
* [http://www.catb.org/esr/jargon/html/L/Lumber-Cartel.html Lumber Cartel]
* [http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/TINC.html Entry for "TINC"] at the Jargon File
* [http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/cabal-conspiracy-FAQ/ alt.conspiracy.usenet-cabal FAQ on the Cabal and TINC]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Backbone Cabal — ● ►en loc. f. ►USENET►INTERNET Littéralement, la cabale de l épine dorsale . Conseil de surveillance informel composé des administrateurs des sites véhiculant le trafic Usenet, aux origines de celui ci. Disparue depuis. Il existe plusieurs FAQs… …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • Cabal (disambiguation) — A cabal is a group of people united in some design, often secretively. The term is derived from Kabbalah, the mystical Jewish teaching.Cabal, Kabal, or The Cabal may also refer to:* The Cabal Ministry, a government under King Charles II of… …   Wikipedia

  • backbone — ● ►en /bak bo n/ n. m. ►CABLE dorsale. Utilisé pour les réseaux, c est l ensemble des artères principales du réseau qui interconnecte l ensemble des éléments du réseau. Lebackbone est constitué de quelques liens longue distance à très haut débit …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • There is no cabal — Cabale de la dorsale La cabale de la dorsale (backbone cabal en anglais) est un groupe d administrateurs de sites web qui, en communiquant au moyen d une liste de diffusion privée, ont imposé la restructuration des newsgroups de Usenet (great… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cabale de la dorsale — La cabale de la dorsale (backbone cabal en anglais) était un groupe d administrateurs de serveurs qui, en communiquant au moyen d une liste de diffusion privée, ont imposé la restructuration des newsgroups de Usenet (Great renaming) pendant les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Il N'y A Pas De Cabale — Cabale de la dorsale La cabale de la dorsale (backbone cabal en anglais) est un groupe d administrateurs de sites web qui, en communiquant au moyen d une liste de diffusion privée, ont imposé la restructuration des newsgroups de Usenet (great… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Il n'y a pas de cabale — Cabale de la dorsale La cabale de la dorsale (backbone cabal en anglais) est un groupe d administrateurs de sites web qui, en communiquant au moyen d une liste de diffusion privée, ont imposé la restructuration des newsgroups de Usenet (great… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tinc — Cabale de la dorsale La cabale de la dorsale (backbone cabal en anglais) est un groupe d administrateurs de sites web qui, en communiquant au moyen d une liste de diffusion privée, ont imposé la restructuration des newsgroups de Usenet (great… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gene Spafford — Eugene H. Spafford (born 1956) (known colloquially as Spaf ) is a professor of computer science at Purdue University and a leading computer security expert. A historically significant Internet figure, he is renowned for first analyzing the Morris …   Wikipedia

  • Great Renaming — The Great Renaming was a restructuring of Usenet newsgroups that took place in 1987. B News maintainer and UUNET founder Rick Adams is generally considered to be the initiator of the Renaming.MotivationThe primary reason was said to be the… …   Wikipedia

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