*HCS* RIP

Rick Osterberg osterber at hcs.harvard.edu
Wed May 17 23:33:25 EDT 2000


> What I'm seeing right now, is a cadre of seniors who are seeing 'the good old
> days' through rose-colored glasses, and are using the high perch of years as a
> pedestal from which to piss on the rest of us.  I resent this.

What I'm seeing is something in between.  Yes, seniors tend to start
reflecting on four years at Harvard, with everything they've done.
Underclassmen - just let it happen, you'll be there, too, trust me.  But
at the same time, I've seen 8 years of the HCS continuously, and things
haven't changed as much as some people might think.

My first exposure to the HCS was in April of 1992, during my pre-frosh
week-end.  The HCS, and then-president James Gwertzman, did a pre-frosh
thing in I think SC hall A.  They had gone through measures to secure a
VT100 terminal in the room (I think each lecture hall had a serial port
connected to the terminal server just for this reason), and he showed off
some neat things you could do with your husc9 account and a 2.5 megabyte
quota.  There was this cool program called 'gopher', and another one
called 'archie' that you could spend hours playing with.

Things have changed a lot since then, but not all that much.  There have
been dozens if not hundreds of HCS projects that never made it past
meeting #2.  There have been dozens of meetings about "Where does the HCS
go from here?"  There have been dozens of meetings about "Should we can
acctserv?"  Heck, there have been dozens and dozens of meetings where the
only reason to attend was to watch me and David Holland argue for two
hours.

What the HCS has lacked consistently over the years is individual
momentum.  There are a lot of good ideas, I could name dozens of them,
that never got past meeting #2 because nobody really wanted to be the
champion of the project.  Everyone wanted to play a secondary role, and
see where things went, and then get involved with an already-underway
project.  Well, you need individual momentum first.  You need to find a
way for individuals, single people, to take an active pride in a project
ot two, and really be a driving force behind them.  Don't be easily
defeated.  Nothing around Harvard happens overnight, that's for sure.

No, HCS doesn't need to be your #1 priority.  There's not enough
individual momentums within HCS for it to be the #1 priority for many
people.  There's no draw.  It's not like a varsity team, or being a
Crimson editor, etc., that appeals to you and then draws you in to consume
your time.  But if that momentum is started, in individual projects, then
people will get involved, and get drawn in.  And before you know it, more
and more people _will_ be involved with HCS as a top priority.

Should HCS disappear?  Certainly there's no Harvard Telephone Club, and no
Harvard Electricity Club.  But there's the Harvard Republican Club, and
republicans are very common these days.

My suggestion to the membership - pick one thing, and do it well.  Start
up _a_ project in the HCS, and be the force behind it, and get other
people involved, and don't back down.  If you think it's cool, and you
keep at it, so will other people.  But you have to get the momentum going.

</old-timer speech>

-Rick




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