At the beginning of last month, a young Melbourne woman got a birthday present. It wasn’t jewellery, or clothes, or the latest electronic gizmo; it was a collection of code called Wondergirl. It was a computer virus, named after her and written by one of her friends, Caffeine, from the Melbourne-based collective they both belong to called “mindrape.org.”
In these post-Love Bug days, when even your mum knows not to click on any attachments promising love or jokes or even free sex-site passwords, what will this latest virus do? “Maybe it doesn’t INFECT computers,” writes Caffeine by email, before quoting anarcho-techno-libertarian philosopher Hakim Bey at some length – not the easiest thinker to sum up in a pithy phrase.
“The Temporary Autonomous Zone [a ‘free enclave’ not part of mainstream society, the anarchist’s dream] wants to live in this world, not in the idea of another world.” Wondergirl is more to the point. “The Wondergirl virus will do some serious shit, so watch out. It could destroy your PC pretty quickly. Hahahahaha.”