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<%^% Welcome once more to the shores of ^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%> % ___ % < /_ \ /\ /\ /\ /\ > % /| \ / _ _ //\\//\\//\\//\\ % < | | ~ /| /| /\ / \ /| /\ / \ /\\//\\//\\//\\// > % | \ / | / |/\ \ /|\ \ / |/\ \ /|\ \ //\\//\\//\\//\\/ % < \ \ /| | /| / \/ / | \/ /| / \ \ / | \/ \\//\\//\\//\\//\ > % \ \ | | | | | | / | | | | | | / \/ \//\\//\\//\\ % < \ \ | | | | | |/ | | | | | |/ /\\//\\//\\//\ > % \ \ | \_/ | \_/ \ \_/ | \/ | \/ \ \_/ //\\//\\//\\//\\ % < \ \ \_/ \_/ \_/ \/ \/ \_/ \\//\\//\\//\\// > % _ | | \/\/\//\\/ \/ % < / \ |/ "We have a Mask Theory..." \\//\/\/ > % \ \ __/ \/ \/ % < \____/ > % % < A BBS dedicated to free speech and open discussion > % % <%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%v%>
The name of this BBS is taken from the planet of the same name depicted in Jack Vance's short story, "The Moon Moth." On Sirene everybody wears a mask which makes some statement about its wearer's capabilities and "strakh" (prestige). One may wear any mask one chooses, but one had better be ready to back up its implied claim, as the Sirenese are truculent, well-armed, and intolerant of self-aggrandizement.
Two qualities are valued above all others on Sirene: individualistic valor and musicianship. Any Sirenese who is not a slave must sing whatever he says and accompany himself on one of several musical instruments, the selection of instrument serving the function of the tone of voice in normal speech. The Sirenese are not given to interference with one another, and such matters as duels, murder, and threats are left to the individual's conscience. Wealth is widespread on Sirene so there is no groping for economic advantage; one acquires goods through the exercise of strakh or not at all.
It occurred to the founders of this board that Sirene is an excellent analog of what a bulletin board ought to be. Our handles are our masks and are worn with pride. If someone chooses a grandiloquent handle, he faces ridicule unless he proves himself worthy of the conceit. Beautiful writing takes the place of musicianship; one must even convey one's mood through literary merit (emoticons are for fools).
There is plenty for all on this BBS if what you want is interesting discussion and lively debates. Those who are greedy for uploads should probably go elsewhere.
Most importantly, the only commodity worth acquiring on this board is respect among those users whose respect has meaning. We therefore encourage open debate and open access. You are neither required nor encouraged to tell us your real name and address; a true Sirenese never removes his mask. You may adopt any handle you like which has not already been used by another. It is up to you to live up to the promise inherent in your choice of visage.
Belligerence is not required but neither is it punished. You may say anything you like. We take no responsibility for death threats, injured feelings, or any other damage real or imaginary which may be inflicted by an over-loose tongue. You will not be protected against anyone, yourself included.
However, Sirene has much to offer those bold souls who forsake the overly cozy confines of so many bulletin boards whose lazy and incompetent sysops have allowed their squeamishness, love of popularity, and desire for control to rule their better impulses. We offer freedom of speech and a user base whose munchkins are constantly being winnowed out by the brutal process of natural selection. We promise nothing but neither do we impose upon your own prerogatives. We provide the forum; you provide the content.
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