Soon, 36-year-old Jack Dorsey will be the chairman of a publicly traded Twitter, and worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A decade prior, before screwing his friends and changing the internet, he was JakDaemon: a moody young man in St. Louis, desperate to share his beauty with the world. Here's his archive.
Dorsey's homepage, long ago erased but still accessible via Archive.org, is a rough collection of loose blog posts, a resume, Ani DiFranco fandom, and stream-of-consciousness poetry—the sort of thing many of us were doing on the internet a decade ago and would love to never think about again.
Jack tackles loss:
the strange thing is that there is a flow in my mind. right now. right before. for it was so beautiful and fluid. when i attempt a translation (kinetic into keyboard) i become mechanical like the medium itself. the flow is lost, and rigidness and rock stare back at me. i feel sorrow at the departure. at my own forgetfulness. my own inability to remember what was and how it went. just look at this mess. perhaps. perhaps i need to consider this an extension rather than a translation. some place to move something to. a mirror. is beauty lost in the reflection? is the flow dissolved? no, simply reversed. i'll type backwards and unashamed.
A manifesto of sorts from Mr. Dorsey (Update: apparently cribbed from a house song!):
i’m in indiana
In the beginning, there was Jack. And Jack had a groove. And from this groove came the groove of all grooves. And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared, "Let there be House!" And House music was born. I am, you see. I am the creator. And this is my House. And in my House there is only House music. But I am not so selfish, because once you've entered my House, it then becomes our House, and our House music. And you see, no one owns House, because house music is a universal language spoke and understood by all. You see, House is a feeling, that no one can understand really, unless you're deep into the vibe of House. House is an uncontrollable desire to Jack your body. And as I told ya before, this is our house, and our House music. And in every house you understand, there is a keeper. And in this house the keeper is Jack. Now some of you might wonder, "who is Jack and what is it that Jack does?" Jack is the one who gives you the power to Jack your body. Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake. Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm. Jack is the one who learns you how to walk your body. Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all Jackers together under one house. You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew, or Gentile. It don't make a difference in our house. And this is fresh!!!
Jack Dorsey on the nature of beauty:
i have no super powers but i skip reasonably well
i wanted to write the sky today and my wrists are holding me down.
kids are absent from structure, and play in the disorder while creating more
as soon as i record, you become false.
Jack Dorsey on his desires:
the stage stops here
i want horizontal thermal cyclones
wind pushing me millimeters from the ground at speed
fuck escaping to the stratosphere,
meet me in the crosswind let's conquer and solve the ground before we look up, down.
Even Jack's resume is presented in the form of a poem:
jak daemon is your standard, unusual, stentorian, grassroots hacker. jak lives in a chaotic cruise of crypto anarchy, pseudonym federations, 4AM hacks, viral dispatch, reputation taggers, temporary autonomous zones, colony/clan workforces, urban cores, and corporate disorder. jak's past and current efforts manipulate the background process in small ways to drive various aspects of the world. one node at a time.
Jack Dorsey on photographic aesthetics:
i strive for the GOOD photographer who does not give command and instead insists on observing and listening to the vision rather than force a box around yet another be. a pose of a pose. we build too many boxes; i'll let the curve be a curve and you be the spiral that you NATURALLY are, unwound by me.
Jack Dorsey on his tattoos at the time—including an "anarcho-immediatist" star:
explaining the tattoos...
i currently have two organized ink blots on my person and have never really explained them in a digital forum such as this. so here goes. the first is on my right leg. an anarcho black star with an orange half symbolizing anarcho-immediatism which is an idea/dynamic that i enjoy exploring and furthering.
the second is my most important. on my left forearm in thick black letters reads: "0daemon!?" this has multiple meanings which tend to define the ideals closest to me. let me break it down... 0: symbolizes a zerowork lifestyle. nothing exploding into everything. 0d: hexadecimal for the number 13. living in the 13th hour. one of my favorites. this also symbolizes "0 day" which is another metaphor for immediatism. living for and because of the moment. daemon: a background angel. in computer terms, a background process. i live in the background. i strive to be behind the curtain with that subtle influence. that's where i've always found myself. i like to dig deep. find out how things function underneath the covers and thoughts. this also points to chaos theory and the butterfly effect. !: being overly excited and intense throughout life. in every emotion and experience. living with an over abundance of energy that you share with all who will subscribe. ?: living by the idiom "i don't know." maintaining a high level of curiosity and skepticism. finding things out for myself and experiencing them to the fullest extent. it's upside down to my viewpoint to remind me to look at things in different ways and from all angles.
Jack Dorsey on language:
no, this is not my language.
i don't own it. nor do i crave any sort of ownership over it. i simply want to particate. i want the words that vibrate from the back of my throat and off my fingers to perturb the cosmos. i will add my misformed grafts and lack of proper structure. i will rearrange the letters without worry of a 2nd party check. i will add my own imperfections to what is considered the universal perfect and therefore standard.
why should i dot myself in correction fluid when i can instead blow up the next fork? why shouldn't i show the world what it means to converse in the language of me?
give me the grammerless and misspellers. they are the players and creators. and that is who i mark with. that is where you'll find my tag.
every facial twitch has burst
each texture bump into another reality
contrast pops the unmentionable today pushed tomorrow out of the way.
i don't know how. i don't much care.
Outside of his poetry are quasi-poetic pieces of Early Dorsian thought—what he was working on and thinking about at the time. It's strikingly Twitteresque, if you filter out the LiveJournal Beat Poet sensibility:
this was written now.
in fact, this was never written. this is me in real time and that's the way i want to drive this. i no longer want to be recorded and mediated. i want you to experience the raw me. across from all the normal tripe shit some call 'conversation.' you see, i want you to see.
i want you inside of my head leading me around new corners twisting into fog soaked alleys and rougher interactions. i want to do everything in a single instant and then fall hard into nothingness. i want to take all my closest friends and 40 random people off the street and battle them all verbally creating instant and violent word art bleeding into unconscious streams of emotional rage.
then i want to have each draw their fears on the blank page, pass them around instructing all to make it 40 times more hideous, rinse repeat, until it's received back by the instigator as something humorous. the chorus of laughter will fuel the rest of the evening which just swung an erotic corner. you weren't supposed to feel this good. you're not supposed to do that thing with that other thing. i'm going to shatter your rules of the street with a single kiss dripping into 4 thousand and live to pass it on. infecting all until we form a common mix of sweat and tears. i want to feel the blur of action against my skin and through my eyes. i'll stop swirling for you and we'll shift the direction.
ARTIFICIAL UNCONSCIOUS FLOW where a program is fed deeply personal information as a basis for random, but shared selection in order to identify and authorize. similar to a person focusing on a specific playing card and another person taking guesses from the "collective unconscious". the first experiment will take random seeds off a personal blurb and select a simple set of colors. the person selects the same to gain access. it's hoped that the program's efforts create a turbulance so focused and intense that the intended recipient (the one wanting access) can't help but pick up on it. along with this are experiments into general program-human consciousness/psychic flow (if possible). also will deal with deeply ingrained authorization and identity schemes where the methods are so intensely personal that you can't help but pick the right path. this is authorization based on behavior rather than memory.
GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS SYNCS experimentations with synchronizing massive amounts of conscious focus in order to effect some physical reality the group is aware of. a simple way to do this is a basic client program that allows one to broadcast a focus out to the world, with interested people joining. the number of people gathered is made known, and an indicator sounds all when to start focusing thier conscious on the desired result ("it will be a rain-free night"). after a span of time, another indicator sounds, and the group disbands as if never existing at all. participants are made aware of how to keep in touch for futher discussion of the phenomena. reminiscent of raves where the collective focus is a sort of awakening.
The GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS SYNCS would have been a welcome addition to Twitter's otherwise bland S-1—maybe an idea down the road of TV partnerships don't work out.
Dorsey also appears to have been an ardent internet feminist—a feat back when it wasn't so easy to be an internet-anything. This means, as board chairman, he'll make sure there's at least one board member without a penis, right? He seemed dedicated enough back then: sometimes Jack took to the streets of St. Louis to support the cause. Here is one feminist experiment:
I wear my shirt daily to start conversation, to be understood and understand, to dig deep, to recognize and erase any hypocrisies I carry, to put myself in uncomfortable situations that I may grow out simply by walking down the street, and to show brilliant, purple, hard-to-miss intent (LOOKING GOOD DOING IT). Its time has come. It’s not a perfect shirt, or perfect action, or perfect body/person behind, but IT what I have; I’ll make the most.
The lesson here, if you need a lesson, is that you can write as much embarrassing internet poetry as you please in your 20s and still become astoundingly rich, so long as you're willing to betray a couple of people close to you. Read the full Dorsey anthology at your leisure.