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]
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 à 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 22.214.171.124
;; Query time: 282 msec
;; SERVER: my.router
;; WHEN: Thu Jan 24 20:02:35 2008
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 45
me@mybox:~$ sudo tracert 126.96.36.199
traceroute to 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206), 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 (220.127.116.11) 21.231 ms 22.798 ms
11 tge7-2.fr3.lga.llnw.net (18.104.22.168) 92.067 ms 94.201 ms 95.060 ms
12 tge1-2.fr4.ord.llnw.net (22.214.171.124) 123.850 ms 125.512 ms 136.330 ms
13 ve6.fr3.ord.llnw.net (126.96.36.199) 128.688 ms 130.699 ms 132.106 ms
14 tge1-3.fr4.sjc.llnw.net (188.8.131.52) 183.133 ms 184.654 ms 186.288 ms
15 ve5.fr3.sjc.llnw.net (184.108.40.206) 188.700 ms 190.019 ms 165.153 ms
16 tge1-1.fr4.lax.llnw.net (220.127.116.11) 176.186 ms 176.714 ms 178.313 ms
17 tge2-4.fr3.las.llnw.net (18.104.22.168) 186.674 ms 181.389 ms 182.842 ms
18 switch.ge3-1.fr3.las.llnw.net (22.214.171.124) 348.972 ms 349.202 ms 349.376 ms
19 gig1-12.esw09.las.switchcommgroup.com(126.96.36.199) 180.932 ms 181.159 ms 182.848 ms
20 cust-188.8.131.52.switchcommgroup.com (184.108.40.206) 175.513 ms 172.047 ms 173.164 ms
21 altdorf.com (220.127.116.11) 184.226 ms 180.983 ms 182.407 ms
or, using scapy, once started scapy as root:
or also, using the mighty useful, dutch mtr ("my traceroute":
allinone traceroute+ping... and more!):
me@mybox:~$ sudo mtr 18.104.22.168
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 :-)
The legit domain is instead
(the almost impossible to type correctly)
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,
or internic, often compelling legitimate owners -ICANN in the
last case- to buy a bunch of domains just in case.
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
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
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
it is worth OVERESTIMATING the importance of names.
Compare the following
searches (and try to understand why they work):
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
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:
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
Another classical "nomen est omen" problem is encountered when you search
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,
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
target is there, somewhere, often enough
you just need to know its name
to fish it out.
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
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? :-)
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 :-)
- As a foretaste in english:
Gudmund Schuette's Our forefathers ('The Gothonic
nations'), Cambridge, Unipress, 1933 (especially vol.II) read it and be prepared to gasp in awe.
- to keep rolling (in German):
M.Schoenefeld, Woerterbuch der altgermanischen Personen- und Voelkernamen,
Tilburg 1910, reprint Heidelberg 1965, his 'etymologischer index' is almost unsurpassed, note his
assertion: "Zu den unvollkommensten Erzeugnissen der Menschen gehoeren unstreitig die Woerterbuecher"
- dulcis in fundo:
Ernst Foerstermann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch, Bonn 1900, reprint Muenchen 1966,
this is a book that IMHO anyone researching to-day web names and onomastic matters should carefully
and seriously study in order to learn some metodology... "Bienenfleissig was Foerstermann"...
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...
(c) III Millennium: [fravia+], all rights