International Conspiracy of Mad Scientists/origins
Below is something I wrote in a chat room some years ago, describing the idea as I saw it then.
Since that time, it occurred to me that the "collective sanity" of trusted individuals could also be a powerful force for making the world better, not just a support group. This grows directly out of the original concept, however, in that one of the main reasons for a lot of the crap which some kids have to put up with is due to society's lack of sanity; fixing that – or at least calling it out for what it is, identifying the problem and sticking a label on it which says "this is not right, and no, you aren't crazy for noticing that" – will take care of a huge chunk of the problem.
The only missing piece now is to design it in such a way that there is sufficient reason for anyone to bother with it (other than just having a cool name) when there are now so many other social groups and venues out there.
- <TheWoozle> Ok, so once upon a time (way back in 1997 or so) I had this idea for a society of weirdos...
- <TheWoozle> (where "weirdo" is a stand-in word for a concept that is somewhat more difficult to encapsulate or even define... but I think it basically has to do with the sort of people who get teased a bit because they are different, and tend to get teased more when they overreact because of being "too sensitive"...)
- <TheWoozle> (where was I? Oh, yeah.)
- <TheWoozle> ...where people who were going through the teasing-thing could talk with people who had been through it... and people who had various weird things in their heads, like phone phobia or gender dysphoria or general depression or general different-brained-ness or whatever, could talk with others who had been through those things... or knew a little bit about them, or had maybe just *heard* of them, because sometimes that's over half the battle...
- <TheWoozle> And the society was going to be called The International Conspiracy of Mad Scientists, or ICMS. And I bought the domain "iseeamess.org", because icms.org was taken and "iseeamess" sounds like "icms" and it's also funny and stuff.
- <TheWoozle> But then, along came sluggysquad, and... it was suddenly kinda redundant. Except that I couldn't exactly print up little cards with irc://irc.villageirc.net/#sluggysquad and a brief description on them (especially since there wasn't really much of a web site until the wiki happened).
- <TheWoozle> But it was still kinda redundant, because there were the misfits and so on, already there. Complete with webcomic to attract more of them.
- <TheWoozle> But then, just now during Kitten's story, it occurred to me...
- <TheWoozle> ...that the ICMS could be specifically a thing (branch of SluggySquad, or affiliated but not part of, or whatever would work best) for reaching out to the younger set.
- <TheWoozle> I mean, the name is perfect for appealing to intellectual but slightly offbeat kids, without being... um, what's the word... "talking down" to them.