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~ nomen est omen ~

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omen
Version 0.05, January 2008


IN TELA NOMEN EST OMEN
by fravia+ ~ text in fieri (I doubt I'll ever finish this section)
[The lore of names] ~ [Names of the querries] ~ [Names as weapons]
[The Caravaggio example] ~ [A medievistic cut]


The lore of names

Nothing more than the web, in this new Millennium, underlines the old truth about nomen 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) than the predominance of names on the web.

Just to make a simple example: think at all the "querelles" about and around Internic, with people buying -and hoarding- domainnames for commercial purposes: if I would have bought a free townname domain like, say Altdorf.com when I first published this section, 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 had to pay me in order to get the domain back.
And this specific name (and a zillion other) where in fact bought by third parties later: if you check the following link, you will see how some clown (in 2005 "ultimate search inc" in Hong Kong, sic!) bought this domain using it for commercial purposes.

Note that now (January 2008) whois will give you only the trash paid anonimity service covering the real owners.
So let's check together this specific domain-name, which could be useful for those that still don't know how to do it (of course using GNU/Linux, searchers shouldn't use toy operating systems la windows):
me@mybox:~$ sudo dig altdorf.com
; <<>> DiG 9.4.1-P1 <<>> altdorf.com
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 21453
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;altdorf.com.                   IN      A
;; ANSWER SECTION:
altdorf.com.            3600    IN      A       66.116.125.163
;; Query time: 282 msec
;; SERVER: my.router
;; WHEN: Thu Jan 24 20:02:35 2008
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 45
--------------
me@mybox:~$ sudo tracert 66.116.125.163
traceroute to 66.116.125.163 (66.116.125.163), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  my.router					0.302 ms  0.313 ms  0.320 ms
 2  my.adsl.isp					6.322 ms  8.002 ms  9.477 ms
 6  * * *
 7  * * *
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  * ve5.fr3.lon.llnw.net  		(69.28.171.137)  	 21.231 ms  22.798 ms 
11  tge7-2.fr3.lga.llnw.net 		(69.28.171.125)  	 92.067 ms  94.201 ms  95.060 ms
12  tge1-2.fr4.ord.llnw.net 		(69.28.171.193)  	123.850 ms  125.512 ms  136.330 ms
13  ve6.fr3.ord.llnw.net 	 	(69.28.172.41)  	128.688 ms  130.699 ms  132.106 ms
14  tge1-3.fr4.sjc.llnw.net 		(69.28.171.66)  	183.133 ms  184.654 ms  186.288 ms
15  ve5.fr3.sjc.llnw.net 	 	(69.28.171.209)  	188.700 ms  190.019 ms  165.153 ms
16  tge1-1.fr4.lax.llnw.net 		(69.28.171.117)  	176.186 ms  176.714 ms  178.313 ms
17  tge2-4.fr3.las.llnw.net 		(69.28.172.85)  	186.674 ms  181.389 ms  182.842 ms
18  switch.ge3-1.fr3.las.llnw.net	(208.111.176.2)  	348.972 ms  349.202 ms  349.376 ms
19  gig1-12.esw09.las.switchcommgroup.com(66.209.64.198)  	180.932 ms  181.159 ms  182.848 ms
20  cust-66.209.87.100.switchcommgroup.com (66.209.87.100)  	175.513 ms  172.047 ms  173.164 ms
21  altdorf.com 			(66.116.125.163)  	184.226 ms  180.983 ms  182.407 ms
or, using scapy, once started scapy as root:
>>> traceroute("66.116.125.163")
or also, using the mighty useful, dutch mtr ("my traceroute": allinone traceroute+ping... and more!):
me@mybox:~$ sudo mtr 66.116.125.163 
Back to the point... you could have easily bought, a few years ago, many domainnames corresponding to existing european regions... try now the region names of whatever country you might think of adding the suffix *.com and you'll seldom find a "legitimate" domain: it's mostly commercial crap, waiting for unwashed to blunder inside the trap. Here "schleswig" as a typical example where -lo and behold- we find -once again- our very "altdorf" clowns :-)
http://www.schleswig.com/
The legit domain is instead (the almost impossible to type correctly) http://www.schleswig-holstein.de/.
This "triumph of the bogus com sites" situation -once you reverse it- can be used to our advantage.
In fact -as all searchers know- simply adding the -".com" [minus com sites] parameter will automagically ameliorate most queries' results :-)


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 more general 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 clowns have set up bogus "internic" sites, each one with a name slightly similar to internic, in order to cash money from the unwashed of this planet, unable to search and thus 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 or internic, often compelling legitimate owners -ICANN in the last case- to buy a bunch of domains just in case.
Search: search tips
Example: site contains [searching] (a thousand sites eh!)


Names of the querries

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 or text on the web, using search engines and/or bots and/or ftp-search servers, once you know (or imagine and guess :-) THE EXACT NAMES given to the files or zipped archives you are looking for.
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 GNU/Linux 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.
Try all the bazoo of the archived formats: rar, zip, ace, arj, 7z, tar, lpm, lha, bz2, deb, iso...

Many more interesting approaches can be found on the 'webbits' section.

Do you actually know what all these format names REALLY mean? Did you ever have a look at the format of -say- a jpg image? Do it. Hexedit (or rather "khexedit") it.

Searchers MUST be able to recognize -say- a gif or a jpg image just looking at the code of an unamed file.

Another important approach is to enlarge synecdochically the possible NAMES of a target you are searching.
Note moreover that some filenames are being changed all the time, and that this will happen routinely for the names of the most interesting targets you may seek :-)

While it is true that you can search for something even WITHOUT knowing it's exact name (as explained below, you'll find more in the searching images section), it is worth OVERESTIMATING the importance of names.

Compare the following searches (and try to understand why they work):
Petit image


It is in fact 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, provided the search engines and bots you are using behave.
Yet 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 site URL following this pattern:
http://www.targetsite.com/robots.txt
Thus, once you have checked this txt file and seen the names, you could type these addresses directly into your browser and access all these 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 nice "speedy" -if rather old- disassembler for windows written by Peter Urbanik, (Hi Peter!), that has helped whole generations of both wannabie and capable crackers. This program anyway was 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 servers, local/regional fishing and/or usenet or agoras searchers) in its w32dsm "nomenestomen incarnation"... therefore anyone knowing this name... it is as simple (and "magic") as that.

You begin to understand what I mean, don't you?
What I mean is that ANY program or game or image or text, or book, or sound, or film is ALREADY somewhere on the web, any possible target is there, somewhere, often enough you just need to know its name to fish it out.

Names as weapons

But names (well... words) are also powerful WEAPONS.
As the reality cracking section of my site tries to demonstrate, a correct use of TERMS when cracking reality, can help quite a lot (the very term "reality cracking" is devised to be quite catchy eo ipso).
Rhetoric is a very neglected yet incredibly powerful science (these two aspects being most probably nowadays correlated :-)
Whomever reads (and heads) his "Lausberg" will soon be able to destroy any advertiser in sight!
As an example let's take MacDonald. The experience demonstrates that simply explaining to the unwashed how awful (and dangerous) is the food there, will not break the "peer pressure of perceived 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" catching phrase that will forever destroy the plastic wrappings i.e. the 'bounds' of their consumistic slavery.
This is extremely easy if you simply build a powerful (and sharp) rhetorical statement.

 Eating at MacDonald is just reverse shitting 

I won't go here into the various rethorical tricks hidden inside the phrase you have just read.
There is a section of my site that (tries to) deal with this stuff. Let us just state (and hope) that such approaches could "illuminate" people for their own good.

Anyway the real point is: never underestimate the amazing power of words.
A capable linguist is as powerful (and as dangerous) as a capable advertisement 'creative' (these clowns being just evil dark forces whereas we reversers are 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 million-euro heavy advertisement propaganda, isn't this fun? :-)

A medievistic cut

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 :-)
Do not ne surprised: this linguistic, rhetoric AND web-related problematic is quite intertwined and relevant for all sort of searches, yet there are different ways to approach it.
Reading the essays and lore you'll find here (and elsewhere on the web) you'll be again and again confronted with the old nomen est omen truth, and you'll find both paths that will allow you to ignore it and ways to harness its power for your own aims.
Far from being finished... your help, suggestions and critics would be welcome...

Petit image

(c) III Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved