Remembering Carmen Hermosillo

by Alphaville Herald on 15/08/08 at 7:09 pm

The Herald is sorry to report that Carmen Hermosillo (aka humdog, aka Montserrat Tovar, aka Montserrat Snakeankle, aka Sparrowhawk Perhaps) has died irl. Below the fold are my memories of Carmen, starting from when I met her on the WELL back in 1993. Others of you will have very different memories of her because you knew her in very different ways. Please feel free to add some remarks in the comment section.

–Peter Ludlow

I met Carmen Hermosillo in 1993. That was before Al Gore invented the internet. We used things like telephones and modems and we used 1200 baud modems to call in to stand-alone bulletin boards and we chatted in ascii. Still, it was a thrill. Carmen and I bumped into each other on an electronic conferencing system called the WELL. The WELL (short for Whole Earth ‘Lectonic Link) was spawned by Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalogue and was populated by lots of granola crunching fattie-huffing visionaries ranging from Howard Rheingold to Mitch Kapor and John Perry Barlow. It was supposed to raise us all into a universal harmony of well-hole consciousness. And then Carmen, in the guise of her avatar humdog, called BS on the whole thing. In an essay called Pandora’s Vox, she vented:

the WELL occupies an interesting niche in the electronic-community marketplace. it markets itself as a conferencing system for the literate, bookish and creative individual. it markets itself as an agent for social change, and it is, in reality, calvinist and more than a little green. the WELL is also afflicted with an old fashioned hippie aura that lead to some remarkably touching ideas about society and culture. no one, by the way, should kid themselves that the WELL is any different than bigger services like America OnLine or Prodigy–all of these outfits are businesses and all of these services are owned by large corporations. the WELL is just, by reason of clunky interface, a little bit less obvious about it.

This was the WELL that I knew too. But then there was the Mondo 2000 conference on the WELL. It wasn’t populated by fattie huffing hippies so much as designer drug chuffing yippies and hyper-cynical degenerates, all presided over by Mondo Editor R.U. Sirius and his merry band of sycophants fueled by cocktails of smart drugs, endless nights of lucid dreaming, the music of Mondo Vanilli, and visions of a future in which a nano technology accident would turn the surface of the Earth into key lime pie.

The Mondo conference was her base I believe; it was certainly mine. These were the people that Carmen was drawn to because they didn’t see the developing internet through the rose colored glasses that Howard Rheingold and most well-holes did. These people had a more jaundiced view of what was emerging. They would venture into the larger WELL community to challenge the conventional wisdom, and to engage in some classic flame wars. And oh the flame wars we saw then; back when a flame war meant more than an endless exchange of the words ‘fail’ and ‘yiff in hell, furfag’. This is when people with unbounded energy, stunning literary powers, and absolutely no filters whatsoever would rail at each other for days at a time. Mike Godwin, Mark Dery, Gareth Branwyn, the notorious boswell, the Mondo crew, and others made for one of the most vicious yet enlightened salons in the history of the world.

I would say that Carmen thrived here, but I should also note that she had a knack for pouring gasoline on the fire. She wasn’t trying to be a troll; she just had a tendency to personalize attacks on her position, and to return the attack at intensity X2. Many discussion threads spun out of control with her in the mix. But she never backed down and never walked away from a flame war. It should also be observed that her observations cut straight to the core of people’s online lives and all that those people had invested in those virtual lives. Where many saw love, Carmen saw a confusion of a projected image with an actual person. Where many saw an open sharing of problems and feelings, Carmen saw people commodifying themselves — turning their personal lives into freak shows that would bring eyeballs to corporate owned bulletin boards. In Carmen’s words (from Pandora’s Vox):

i have seen many people spill their guts on-line, and i did so myself until, at last, i began to see that i had commodified myself. commodification means that you turn something into a product which has a money-value. in the nineteenth century, commodities were made in factories, which karl marx called “the means of production.” capitalists were people who owned the means of production, and the commodities were made by workers who were mostly exploited. i created my interior thoughts as a means of production for the corporation that owned the board i was posting to, and that commodity was being sold to other commodity/consumer entities as entertainment. that means that i sold my soul like a tennis shoe and i derived no profit from the sale of my soul.

and she illustrated it with some examples from WELL history that tore the place apart. For example:

in october of 1994, couples topic 163 was opened. in this topic, user Z came on to discuss her marital problems, which involved a daughter who was emotionally disturbed. it began in a very ordinary way for this type of thing, with the woman asking for and receiving advice about what to do. in just a few days, though, the situation escalated, and the woman put another voice on the wire, who was alleged to be her daughter, X. the alleged daughter exposed her problems and expressed her feelings about them, and the problems appeared to be life-threatening. this seemed to set something off within the conference, and a real orgy began as voices began to appear to express their identification with the mysterious and troubled daughter X. the nature of the identifications and the tone of the posts became stranger and stranger and finally user Z set the frightening crown upon the whole situation by posting a twistedly lyrical monologue of maternal comfort and consolation directed at the virtual Inner Children who had appeared to take refuge within her soft, enveloping arms. the more that the Inner Children wept, the more that the Virtual Mommy lyricized and comforted. this spectacle, which horrified more than one trained mental health professional who read it on the WELL, went on and on for several days and was discussed privately in several places in disbelieving tones. when the topic imploded, the Virtual Mommy withdrew reluctantly insisting that only a barbarian would believe that she would commodify her own tragedy.

…Couples 163 was killed. that means it was destroyed, and does not exist at all anymore, except on back- up tape or in the hard disks of those persons (like me) who downloaded it for their own reasons. what i am getting at here is that electronic community is a commercial enterprise that dovetails nicely with the increasing trend towards dehumanization in our society: it wants to commodify human interaction, enjoy the spectacle regardless of the human cost. if and when the spectacle proves incovenient or alarming, it engages in creative history like, like any good banana republic.

I published Carmen’s vox in my anthology High Noon on the Electronic Frontier, and it immediately set off a firestorm of anger the likes of which I had not before or since seen in cyberspace. Understandably, people do not like being told that they are commodifying their inner lives, for that puts them on a level with the guests of Jerry Springer and Montel Williams, giving up their personal anguish for the entertainment of the masses and to harvest eyeballs for advertisers.

I drifted away from the WELL and lost touch with Carmen for a while. Then, in early 2004 I was heavily involved with editing The Alphaville Herald in The Sims Online (TSO) and was exhausted from all the abuse coming via Dyerbrook (the proto-Prokofy Neva), Coco, and various forum trolls who had decided that attacks on TSO were ipso facto attacks upon their very lives. The Stockholm syndrome had taken effect, I was the unwelcome messenger, and the daily grind of an endless haters parade was wearing me down. It didn’t help that the Stratics moderators left up the attacks on me and removed my replies. And then humdog appeared out of nowhere and my ass was saved.

Humdog arrived in the headquarters of the Alphaville Herald armed with of boundless energy and, as always, her uncanny perceptiveness about virtual worlds. It was funny that she saw the forrest while I (the philosopher) was obsessing over trees and she wrote a brilliant essay on the phenomenon of board culture, entitling it “The History of the Board Ho.”

In that essay, Carmen spoke about the social structure of gaming boards, the role of the game board “queens” and all the doting attendants who took their marching orders from the queen. She also returned to the topic of commodification, noting that EA and other companies reserved the right to keep our posts and use them however they wished (including data mining for marketing). Once again, the board denizens were being commodified.

people who participate in chat boards like stratics often fail to realize that they are really part of a corporate data mining project in which their posts are scanned for personal information, preferences, buying habits etc. they are, by virtue of their contributions, giving away valuable information about themselves valuable to corporations that build video games and other tech toys. by providing this personal information, they also provide a jerry-springeresque spectacle for the entertainment of others, hopefully drawing more eyes to the board, hence more posts, hence more data for the marketing data crunchers. the participants, by giving away valuable personal information about themselves have commodified their private lives they have become board ho’s. the social structure of these boards is highly controlled to maximize this effect, with certain types of elite posters encouraged and rewarded these are the board ho divas. these posters play a pivotal role in ensuring that the product delivered to the marketing machine will be as useful as possible. in return the board ho divas receive a kind of social capital from the other board ho’s. At least they get something. The rest of us are getting broke off for free.

In the comments to that article she had her first encounter with Dyerbrook/Prokofy, which she took in stride, welcoming Prok to the discussion as only humdog could:

first of all i am glad that my writing has such an invigorating effect on you and i thank you for taking the time to make the attempt towards a coherent reply.

In the guise of humdog, Carmen produced a number of other memorable articles, including a short but important review of a performance of “Waiting for Godot” in The Sims Online, and who could forget her incisive interview with Mrs. President Chomsky of PETSA (people for the ethical treatment of simulated animals) back in the dark days of pet culling in TSO?

Carmen also wrote under the name of Montserrat Tovar, and produced perhaps the best and most chilling interview with Evangeline ever. She began by describing Evangeline’s property to a T:

eve, on the surface, is a lovely sim. dark haired, poised, she presides over her world with a firm hand. eve is a film director and her house is all about making movies. at the center of this world is a blue room. eve conducts auditions for her films in this room and once a sim enters this room there is no way out. there is a bathtub in the room, a reclining chair, lights, a toilet, and a wardrobe closet. sims entering the blue room in most cases seem to enter without fully understanding what they?ve signed up for ? scamming, sexual humiliation, verbal and psychological abuse, and simulated physical abuse.

i saw a sim named holly enter the blue room thinking that she was about to make a lot of money as an actress for eve. she entered the blue room and changed into the gold bikini outfit [which will display her as naked to those wearing the Kingsware Software Patch --uri]. all the female sims in the blue room are required to wear the gold bikini outfit sooner or later. eve likes it. then eve told holly to do certain things: “show me your p”; “take a bath”. the male sims were told to urinate and “show me your d”. some of them were asked questions like “how long is your d”?. one sim was engaged in hot kissing. it was apparently not voluntary because the sim kept asking if she had done enough to get her money. she had been promised 100,000 simoleans. after a few rounds of this, which were accompanied by threats of various sorts, the sim rebelled and became more insistent about getting her money. the exchange became heated and the sim got slapped around. during this exchange several sims entered the blue room, fought hard to get out and finally gave up and disappeared.

Later she contributed to an article on the epidemic of cloning in TSO, and collaborated with me on a play-by-play analysis of the Alphaville presidential debate between Mr-President and Ashley Richardson (an election that made national media and caught the attention of Henry Jenkins in his book Convergence Culture). This particular debate generated a scandal when Ashley left early claiming illness and Mr-President charged she was really off to watch the Sopranos. This was my favorite contribution of hers, because it reminded me so much (and still does) of the kind of free banter we always had together.

When she came to Second Life she began writing under the names Montserrat Snakeankle and Sparrowhawk Perhaps, and she produced a number of important stories, including an interview with Anthropologist Tom Bukowski (Tom Boellstorff irl).

As Sparrowhawk she once again interviewed Mrs. President Chomsky, this time over the horrific scandal of prim babies that were left at home home while their blingtard mom’s went out clubbing. On a more serious note she broke a story about Mafia extortion attempts on Gorean islands and wrote some penetrating analyses of the Gorean lifestyle in her “Confessions of a Gorean slave part 1 and part 2.

She even put in an appearance as a post six grrrl.

In 2006 I took a sabbatical and sold my island to her. When I returned six months later, she had converted the island, now named “Shivar” into a an amazing virtual mico-world. Shivar fused the building skills of Yadni Monde with a interdenominational RP community that had coalesced around Carmen. Goreans, vampires, SL Military, real life nuns and various French tourists passed through, hung out in the chapel and rested their weary virtual bodies. Carmen, Shivar, and the denizens of Shivar eventually figured prominently in the book “I, Avatar” by Mark Stephen Meadows (or as she knew him, “pighed”). The island remains under my protection as a monument to Carmen and her amazing energy.

Although I knew Carmen for many years I never got to know that much about her real life. I vaguely know that she had a college education from somewhere, that she had a sister and a dog and and that she was devastated by the death of her mother earlier this year. I know that sometimes she worked for computer companies, but I forget where. On matters of philosophy I detect she was mostly self-educated. I guess I didn’t want to know about that because it didn’t seem important to me. I didn’t want to judge her by what she was doing irl, because I didn’t want it to color her importance to my understanding of virtual worlds.

You see, Carmen showed me that it is still possible for there to be amateur philosophers and still possible for them to make important contributions — that a working mom with no graduate level academic training can step into the mix and engage at the highest level of discourse with the likes of Howard Rheingold and Mike Godwin and Mark Meadows and offer serious corrective criticism. Indeed, two hundred years from now, when historians comb through the endless chat logs and board postings and blog archives of the early 21st century, they will read her warnings about our spinning headlong into virtual commodification, about our conflation of the real with the virtual, and the perils of virtual identity, but at the same time they will see how she demonstrated the possibility of serious virtual friendships and virtual communities, and they will say:

“humdog got it right.”

19 Responses to “Remembering Carmen Hermosillo”

  1. pixeleen mistral

    Aug 15th, 2008

    I was doubly blessed to count Montserrat as both a friend and colleague here at the Herald. She combined astoundingly insightful analysis with a warm heart. When I would get discouraged and turn to her for advice, I always learned something and felt better – something that I already deeply miss. She had gone through a rough patch after the loss of her mother earlier this year, and I hope I helped her deal with it in some small way when we IMed each other.

    It feels sad and strange to be publishing an obituary for Montserrat, particularly because the last story she wrote for the Herald was an obituary – Morlin Saarinen’s –

    When Morlin died, she said it was important to get his story out. We talked a lot about how to take something positive from a bad situation as she struggled with writing the obituary, something like I am struggling with writing this.

    I’m glad I could do a small part to help you tell your stories, Montserrat, but I already miss you terribly. Let’s talk again when we are both in a place where IMs work, ok? I’m keeping your friendship card with me, just in case. <3

  2. RU Sirius

    Aug 16th, 2008

    It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen or heard from Carmen aka Humdog, but I feel the loss somehow intensely, The thing I remember most intensely about the Well is how conservative and self-important it was, and how Humdog used to just kick shit up with such finesse and eloquence and yet it tended to be treated as punky vulgarity. … The “community” had a knack for turning people into pariahs… and Carmen always stood out as one of them and FOR any one of them when those situations arose.

  3. urizenus

    Aug 16th, 2008

    >and FOR any one of them when those situations arose.

    That’s the truth, RU. When the virtual mob came after you, you could always count on Carmen to be at your side.

  4. Dezire Moonlight

    Aug 16th, 2008

    I have known Montie/Sparrow/Carmen for 3 years, and it seems kind of strange because I was the person she came to with her troubles. I guess you could say I was her spiritual adviser. She was a beautiful person who told it like it is. I was never too busy to talk to her and I will sorely miss our talks. My only regrets are I didn’t get to say good-bye and I never heard her play Brahms (her favorite) on the piano. May she find peace and maybe someday I get to listen to her passion.

    Dezire Moonlight

  5. Rraven Moonlight

    Aug 16th, 2008

    I/we (my wife and I) met Carmen Hermosillo (aka humdog, aka Montserrat Tovar, aka Montserrat Snakeankle, aka Sparrowhawk Perhaps) about 3 years ago she was introduced to us as the Queen of Shivar. Both my wife and I immediately liked her, at the time we owned our own sim Enigma Island and we talked for several hours in our rain forest house. We found that our first impressions of her were true, here was an intelligent articulate person and someone we liked instantly when we met her yet loved by the time she left us to go frittering off on another social errand. Over the weeks and months of first knowing Carmen we spent many hours chatting about all things RL and SL. Then one day she made an odd request, she asked if she could call me Brother and if I could call her sister. I was moved and honored that she een though we were in a VR world felt such a connection with me as to want to make such a request. It was these connections that we talked about allot, Carmen understood as we do that the world is changing or moving on and it seems the more we interact with others in VR worlds the more we can make a “connection” to people that is as ever strong as the one that develops from being around them in RL.

    Carmen Hermosillo (aka humdog, aka Montserrat Tovar, aka Montserrat Snakeankle, aka Sparrowhawk Perhaps, aka my sister) I love you and miss you I know you are looking down at me and tisk, tisking me for the tears. Maybe once the rains subside I’ll be able to get into the trees and then I can connect with you again my tree hugging friend.

  6. she was an angel with a pen warmed in hell. she delivered keen criticisms and warm compliments, and always spoke her personal and far-sighted truth. that truth was based on her deep love for people, and a fierce form of fidelity. a love and a fidelity that, i fear, may have been her undoing.

    Love is my sin and thy dear virtue hate,
    Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving:
    O, but with mine compare thou thine own state,
    And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
    Or, if it do, not from those lips of thine,
    That have profaned their scarlet ornaments
    And seal’d false bonds of love as oft as mine,
    Robb’d others’ beds’ revenues of their rents.
    Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lovest those
    Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee:
    Root pity in thy heart, that when it grows
    Thy pity may deserve to pitied be.
    If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
    By self-example mayst thou be denied!

    - Shakespeare. Sonnet CXLII

    ok, i, also, met carmen back in 1993, and also on The WELL, and we’ve travelled far together. but she was always waiting for me to catch up.

    patiently, she waited for all of us. she was a classicist at heart; a concert pianist, a student of the garden, a devout christian, a delicate cook, and a lover of literature. she was born into a family of cuban aristocracy and saw war at an early age. she offered classical hospitality. i enjoyed, perhaps, a hundred meals with her – pot roast and potatoes and a glass of red wine were always waiting for my arrival, usually with a crumb cake to follow.. what a fine cook and a finer friend! her RL houses or apartments were full of fine art, soft doilies, and hard philosophy. she collected paintings (i’m honored to say that some of my own were in that collection), she collected music, written and recorded. she played piano, and actively studied, and actively performed in public. but despite roots buried in a classic past her broad-winged imagination and keen eyesight propelled her past us all. she lived in future worlds. her classic sensibilities allowed her to view the internet and its emotional machineries as a meteorologist views an approaching storm. and there she waited, and watched.

    and from that high hill, cool telescope in one hand, hot pen in the other, classicist and modernist, she warned us of what she saw, and often. she warned us of a system that, as noted above, commodifies us. she warned us of the emotional engagements it presents. she warned us of the semiotics of simplest messaging. she saw the internet in its true, skeletal, and architectural forms. she was a guide for myself and others and i know that her vision changed the lives of many near her (my own life, certainly). her vision was that good. and many people were so angered by that. she fought often, it is known.

    then her heart broke, and she died and now we’ll hold funerals and moan, as we must.

    but what crap! what crap to moan about no more crumb cake in california afternoons! …she is right next to us, still. let us remember that this is a woman that slipped her false bonds.

    carmen saw so far ahead that, like the speed of light, she may continue to wait for us in the future. she wrote no small amount and i hope that this work can be assembled, collected, collated and reviewed. it is not that carmen deserves this, but instead that her eyesight deserves it. in a decade people will begin to understand her value. in a decade people will catch up. but perhaps the vacuum of her death can assemble, by its wind, all of the papers and scraps of her writings and at the same time propel us forward a bit, too.

    like many of the great philosophers of history i fear that she will be forgotten, that her work will be bulldozed by the coming decades, and that she will simply fade. but despite that fear i’m glad to have known her. one of my closest friends in real life, her passing is of course painful, but it leaves me with a single concern;

    —> few of us paid close enough attention.

  7. Cindy Claveau

    Aug 16th, 2008

    Like the rest of you, I have been struggling with my grief since hearing of our tragic loss. I’ve only known Montie through SL for the last 3 years, but in that time she quickly claimed a place in my heart with her keen wit, her caring heart, her brilliant intellect and the musicality of her soul. I often remarked to her how amazing it was that such things could come through a computer screen, but she found it quite natural.

    As I remarked in my personal eulogy to her at my fondest memory of her was when she was offering me support during a personal crisis. She’s the one who told me that “we all get a ‘Singer’ in our lives who sings to our blood and it’s important to embrace that and appreciate it while we have it, as we never know how long we’ll have them.” It was just like her to put Life in terms of music, an aspect of her that always enchanted me.

    It was eerily prophetic because, at the time, I was focused on someone else in my life and hadn’t considered that Montie was also a Singer. And now that she’s gone I cannot tell her this – that makes me sadder than anything. That regret, however, pales compared to the sorrow of knowing that she wanted so badly to be loved, completely and without reservation, and never quite seemed to find it from the one she wanted most desperately.

    Too soon, too sudden, the loss is too deep to heal quickly. But Montie touched each and every one of us with her style and passion and love and that part is never going to go away.

    Montie, I wish I could send you one more IM today and tell you I love you. I’ll just have to content myself with keeping your memory alive in my heart.

    Be at peace my beautiful, loving friend.

  8. Mortain Bishop

    Aug 16th, 2008

    Few people in my life created a void in me after they’ve died. And it becomes only clear when they do.
    Carmen -or Sparrowhawk Perhaps, as which i came to know her two years ago- has done that. And i feel it as a good thing that she left this void, because it means she made an impact.
    It was tuesday when i saw in one of her online notifications how it displayed “i am clearly not asleep” and the next day she was offline. Suddenly it got a whole other meaning.
    No.. she is clearly not asleep.
    She now joined the vast growing army of people who never update their profiles and which will linger on for quite sometime untouched.
    But she made an impact.

  9. FlipperPA Peregrine

    Aug 18th, 2008

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You’re talking me on a trip back through time; I still have a ton of my Mondo 2000 magazines, despite having moved many times. I just can’t bring myself to throw them out! I never knew Carmen personally, but bet that we crossed paths once or twice back in the day. My best thoughts go out to all of her family and friends.

  10. Tom Boellstorff

    Aug 19th, 2008

    I’m very sorry to hear of Carmen’s passing. I didn’t know her well, but her interview with me was one I’ll never forget – such a sharp mind, the kind of person who keeps you on your toes, but at the same time very generous. It’s clear she was one of a kind. My condolences to her friends, family, and colleagues.

  11. Margarite

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Thanks for your comments about my sister, Carmen. Her Second Life thing was something I knew nothing about, but it sounds like she made a lot of friends.

  12. Albert Patton

    Aug 22nd, 2008

    I loved my cousin, I had no idea that she had this other life, all I remember is I should have told her not to catch the watermelon! Love Albert

  13. callie cline

    Aug 27th, 2008

    i just heard to day that “montie” my queen died. i met her nearly 3 years ago through a dear friend ‘wandering yaffle’. at our first meeting in her office for the herald, i was a bit intimidated by her wit, wisdom and presence. even in avatar form there was something quite powerful about her. she accepted me warmly and i believe in that conversation she asked me to consider writing for the herald.

    i remember being shocked, a mere “newbie” stock skin and all in the presence of such an intriguing woman. listening to her and wandering speak i felt so out of place and ignorant of this new world i had just been “born” into.

    after a few more visits, she and i began to speak more, with me asking most of the questions. we shared a love for music and for wandering (as a friend) and art, literature and even fashion. recently being assigned as a photographer for wanderings, “black library” i shot a photo of “montie” and after giving it to her, she asked me to take more and invited me to see the beginnings of her new sim, “shivar”… it was a passion she held and carried deeply in her. i loved our many “skype” conversations about so many subjects and always was warmed by her encouragement to me.

    one day she invited me to decorate her beloved shivar and even paid me! it was my first real job. she treated me like royalty, giving me an office, beautiful things and one day she told me, “you know you’re the princess of this castle don’t you callie? and i said, “me? why?” and i remember her saying, “you are, you always will be…”

    i was so happy because she was so excited and i found a game where a queen made me a princess! and i didn’t have to kill anyone or shoot people.

    she had our dresses for the opening made by famous designers, mine was made by sachi vixen. i could NOT believe how gorgeous it was and how much montie cared that i LOVED it, and i did!

    she then commissioned me to take portraits of all the shivari tribe and it was quite an honor. they are still there today including the one i took of her.

    she gave me my first shop “logos, photography” and encouraged me when i tried my horrible hand at designing, saying, “oh sweetie you stay at it, you’re gonna go far!”

    she was always a joy to speak with and we shared many hours on skype, in chats and she just had a graciousness and warmth about her that i shall never forget.

    when pighead was doing his book it was she who told me, “caLLie, pighead wants you in his book.” she worked hard to connect us and was always cheering on those close to her.

    i heard of her death today and was saddened greatly. i wont forget her, ever, and the impact she made on my SL and RL. she was an amazing woman and i wish all the love and comfort possible to her friends and family.

    i love you montie, my queen!


    caLLie, your little princess

  14. Dave

    Nov 10th, 2010

    I met Carmen somehow not too sure back in early 1996 I was fresh from the UK, we shared a meal at a Brazilian restaurant on the high street in Santa Cruz, we were trying to hatch a plan to build a website promoting artists and writers ‘works and words’ for consulting gigs trying to sponsor a speaker going around universities. She was funny smiley captivating and had this other world knowledge of deep inner hight tech computers,society and human interaction I had never comprehended, we both got tipsy on wine and discussed virtual worlds (like a friend of her’s had made her a virtual gallery and put pictures in there for her to wonder around and look at), the Well, internet, futurism and such. I brought the book ‘High Noon on the Electronic Frontier’ at Georgina book store she was please to show me it on the new books island there and gave me tons of links to check out. We kept in touch some but then my life got englufed into a startup. Very, very interesting lady, I just finished watching ‘The Gamer’ (been up since 2:30am worrying, one of the hightech jobless many >_<) and for some reason/trigger 'humdog' entered my mind and I looked her up (she always said all I had to do was type humdog) and found she’s gone. -_- what a sweetie.

  15. Darren

    May 26th, 2011

    I’m hoping that there will be renewed interest in Carmen’s thoughts after she was quoted in Adam Curtis’ programme ‘All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.’ It was on BBC2 but I’m sure people who don’t have a UK TV License could find a way to watch it?
    Humdog’s words are something that will stay with me & I’ll be spreading the name.
    PS. Why is there no Wikipaedia page?

  16. [...] far more complicated where power was exercised over the individual in new and surprising ways.  Carmen Hermosillo had been one of the earliest believers in the new communities of cyber space, her online name was [...]

  17. philc27

    Jun 7th, 2011

    To echo what Darren said, I’ve been learning about Carmen’s work and words following the BBC documentary All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, broadcast in the UK. I thoroughly recommend it, and I’m looking forward to learning more about her work. It only saddens me to be doing it after her passing.

  18. frogsmore

    Aug 11th, 2013

    “Imagine me; I shall not exist if you do not imagine me; try to discern the doe in me, trembling in the forest of my own iniquity”
    Vladimir Nabokov

    My partner and I were lead to Carmen just last month through our personal research. And though only a tiny remnant of her life is available to us, that peal has resonated with an unmistakeable clarity, even if its meaning is not yet manifest. Already, Carmen is immanent with our lives.

  19. Shufei Zenith

    Sep 16th, 2015

    I never knew you, humdog. But I have learned as you have learned, and now from you. Virtual worlds fail us, the hopes we poured into them, the riots of colour and desire. It’s inevitable that they do so. In this, I plead a neoLuddite’s invocation of McLuhan.

    But virtual worlds do contain ghosts. They haunt where no one dares to look, in the “silence” of your “signs”, in the shabby corners of design bugs, in the detritus of forgotten, tawdry simscapes, in essays long unpublished, in photos of forgotten “friends”. Is a ghost or two of yours there, too? If you had not played with cyberspace, cyberspace would have found it necessary to invent you. After all, mendacity can not forget the shadows it seeks to negate. This is mimesis. And cyberspace is indeed hung on lineaments of digital mendacity.

    All the same, the ghosts… That’s karma, I reckon?

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