Kean University 2017, The Network

april showers bring netnarr personas

Hi all! I think like a lot of my fellow alchemists, I’m feeling the struggle in the lull that was last week. I did, however, want to mention my excitement for the upcoming month, and I’m really interested in where our journey will go as we create our alchemical identities and enter the “mirror world”…

I wanted to put some thought into the online alter ego that we are building. I tried the Alchemy Name Generator, and even the Rot-ify program; however, none of the names seemed all that appealing to me. I didn’t find myself connecting with any of variations of them, so I started to look elsewhere. My next idea was to try finding my alchemical name through an anagram generator of my actual name – while I liked some of the versions of my scrambled name better, I still wasn’t able to envision a character in any of them. I hate to be cliche, but I think it’s important to remember Shakespeare during this creation process, and to really consider what is in a name, because it really does give shape to the character.

I thought back to other characters I have created over the years. I used to play an MMORPG called Furcadia, where I had a few original characters. I loved to explore these characters by drawing them and writing small stories to flesh out their existence; even though I don’t know how “in-depth” this next month will be, I still wanted to imagine an alternate identity that had the potential for me to envision different dimensions of their character, as well as to be able to have a creative drive when thinking about them.

I went thinking about what was meaningful for me in this character. I wanted to add a “foreign” spin, namely a Ukrainian one, to my persona. Thus, I chose the name “Ketsunya,” a cute nickname for something can pretty much be translated as “kitten.” As I’m thinking about alchemy and who I want this online part of me to be, I always find myself relating to cats, as unoriginal as that sounds – I wanted Ketsunya to have that witchy side, maybe have a cat familiar or some similar relationship to the species, but that’s something for me to think about more as we are introduced more to the game we’re playing in this next month.

And speaking of mirror worlds…

The “arganee” code has been driving me crazy for a few weeks now. I tried cracking it, but found myself frustrated. I knew that “netnarr” and “arganee” were the same word, and I thought the key for that was n = a / a = n, r = e / e = r, and t = g. However, it didn’t work when I tried to apply it to a tweet that @dogtrax had written in response to something @RebegMaestro had said. I got frustrated, bashed my head against the keyboard a few times, and ultimately gave up… BUT! There have been recent developments!

As we were introduced to Rot13 this week, Marissa made an interesting connection through the codifier. Rot# translates whatever word you type in to replacing it with letters that are programmed to be # amount that you want. Thus, Rot13 replaces them with whatever comes 13 places after the letter. However, that still didn’t make dogtrax’s tweet make any more sense. When we ran it through Rot13, it still was gibberish – but when we messed around with it and put it through (I think) Rot6, it made sense! Also, one of the video intercepts from the week literally had a description with the word “rot” repeated in it, so it almost went over our heads.

Either way, it still doesn’t explain some of the posts on the Arganee World that are just entirely numbers. I think that’s where my alchemical foot draws the line, if I’m being honest! I wonder if it’s another Rot program, or something entirely different? I love codes, but numbers just make my brain shut off! Hopefully we’ll leave lots of numbers behind as we start to enter our mirror world… even “Ketsunya” agrees with me! (;