~ Classrooms ~
Version february 2000
This is the second classroom, I have invited here as teacher, today,
a master searcher I have had the honour to met on my old
messageboards. Just read the
text below, where he goes to great lengths
in order to explain the "values" and "advantages" of leeching, and I'm sure you'll understand and enjoy...
This thread, originally, on private emails.
The subtle art of leeching
by ~S~ nn, January 2000
Slightly edited by fravia+
OK, and sorry for my crap-english, here: fravia+ has invited me to held
today's workshop as a "Master leecher"... a
title which could appear almost
as an insult to some unaware readers ;-] Yet I'll try to explain you WHY it is [at times] important to leech and WHERE you
should eventually practicize this art if you are so inclined.
I'm sure you are aware of the fact that professional leeching is a science in its own rights,
with great and well-known historical traditions. It
is currently practicized [at times with considerable mastership] in all
universities, political parties, corporations, financial advisors companies, newspapers and advertisement agencies I know of, to cite but a few
of the places where you are 100% sure to meet some great leechers.
The web, through its pseudo-anonymity and thanks to the naÔvitšt of many good souls,
who are indeed offering real knowledge for free, has obviously incredibly increased all kind of
leeching possibilities. You can be sure that on any site, messageboard, newsgroup where people
that 'are in the know' are exchanging some snippets of real information there are dozens of
'professional' leechers overing around.
I will not enter now into the curious and arkane world of newsgroup and messageboard tricks &
lures, I'm sure
fravia+ himself and other well known avatars know more that enough about such stuff ;-]
therefore they may explain those things themselves [if they care] much better than
I ever could, but
I'll tell you right away some principle that you should IMO head if you want to master the
subtle art of leeching [or should you aspire to a
"Master Leecher" title as well ;-] which I believe you should by all means for reasons that I hope
will be clear to you before you have finished reading this short essay.
Let's try to list some principles:
I'll now try to explain with some examples how IMPORTANT leeching can be for whatever cause
you happen to fight for ;-]
- Real leeching is difficult: you must constantly resist to the temptation to
interfer with the people you are targeting. Real leechers NEVER really emerge to
the surface. In fact I suspect that there are
even 'leechers hunters' out there [like the owner of this site? ;-] that will try to arpion
you out the
very moment you lower your shields [that's actually what happened to me, thus
I'm writing this against all leechers' principles ;-]
Leeching is "immaterial" [I'm not sure that this concept exactly mirrors what I mean], you gain a
significant amount of knowledge without being involved in any of the tedious discussions
that afflicts newsgroups and messageboards. Your [considerable] advantage is that
you know precisely where you took what, others will have to search a lot to understand and demonstrate
small part of that. The advantages and gains that this offers are obvious.
- Far from being totally separate from the observation field, good leechers
can even try to "direct" their targets. If you feel it is really necessary, in order to
underline a point or to gain a better understanding of a specific question, a quick
intervention by a faked pseudo [to be discarded afterwards and never used again] can
work wonders on any newsgroup. Compare this with the difficulty that you would have
in order to obtain the same informations with a "known" avatar: "Hey, how comes you
don't know this?".
Remember, though, that you'll have to have at least some elementary trolling knowledge to
direct targets correctly. Lower profile and naÔvitšt work wonders in this field.
- Least but not last, you will have to develop the ability to QUICKLY recognize the value
of the information fonts you are leeching from. Nothing is more disturbing for a leecher to constate
afterwards that the material he has laboursomely leeched was after all not so good. You will
have to master the art of FINDING QUICKLY the ABSOLUTE TOP-LEVEL fonts of information
about your target in order to leech effectively. Master leechers know how to recognize a flake
from a mile distance, indipendently from all the professional 'hype' he may have used
to smoke his site and his material...
Leeching is most of the time directed towards your [real or supposed] "enemies". Let's
say for instance that you are trying to fight the spammers that use all tricks of the
trade in order to put their commercial shit sites in the first slots of the main
search engines... well, in that case you would be well advised to leech [certainly
their 'dedicated' messageboards, like, for instance: http://searchengineforums.com/bin/Ultimate.cgi
You had a look? Impressive stuff, isn't it? Ideal field for brave leechers!
The proxy-leeching example
Another typical example: you may be a fairly passable hacker, and yet you may personally
not have enough time
to research and learn all the many things you should
know about proxies. Now, proxies [hope you know what they are] is a big field,
with many branches, specialities and specialists. The ideal target for leechers ;-]
I would begin with these sites:
Then I would continue with this messageboard:
And then carry on with the following sites:
Of course you'll need at times some linguistic knowledge, fort instance for http://members.tripod.co.jp/tkoike/
And finally use a dummy identity on the following maillists:
You will soon discover that there are well-known AUTHORITIES about proxies: one of the top
priorities for a good leecher is to find out quickly WHO is a real "kenner" in the target field,
in order to avoid loosing time with lamers. A good leecher developes quickly a 'sixt sense'
for evaluating people on the web, behind all hipes and/or smokes.
Craig Carey [research(at)ijs(dot)co(dot)nz], see http://www.ijs.co.nz/basic.htm, father of the snooz metasearch engine
Jeff Wierer http://proxyfaq.networkgods.com/
This all borders with the huge field of anonymizer services
and automatic proxy-judges
Finally, NEVER forget the usenet groups: in this case you'll soon find out that
alt.privacy and microsoft.public.prox are the two most important groups for
leeching purposes, but you'll have also the opportunity to visit japan.www.proxy.squid,
Finally, should you want a list of ready-made proxies.... http://members.xoom.com/8001/a4.html
Or you may use the services of this famous <& href="http://www.infovlad.net/internet/proxydata.html">proxy look up
You should also not forget that some proxies experts hover around the old fravia "main" messageboard at
http://www.insidetheweb.com/mbs.cgi/mb155985, and you should
by all means leech thoroughly the archives at http://www.multimania.com/ephemeric/, don't underestimate
some of these guys!
Of course even this small leeching tour will have convinced you that the related field of
is at least
as interesting as the dedicated proxy leeching I used as an example ;-]
I used the field of "proxies" only as an example for the power of leeching, because it is
related to the fraviesques activities that this site is hosting ;-] and thus can be of some help
for any future leecher reasonably concerned about his anonymity when leeching. I hope that many of you
will join the legions of professional leechers out there and that you will put to
personal profit the knowledge you have leeched to-day from this essay.
Tools for brave leechers
Some useful tools for leechers [I mean, besides the common search tools]:
I hope this short approach to the magic of leeching was of some interest for at least
some of you. I hope it will also help to counter all this propaganda against 'bad' leechers
that never contribute and only leech.
That's exactly what a good leecher should always do :-]
OK, ok, enough blabbering: forget this
funny and probably useless contribution of mine, just a faux pas I reckon, I'm going
back into the deep waters where the great black lurchers dwell...
of course this is still in fieri...
(c) 2000: [fravia+], all rights