After 12 weeks of episodes, it's down to the final four.
Who will walk off the beach with the million?
And why on earth do we care?
Thursday, July 20, 2000
A Canadian hacker -- oops, he doesn't want to be called a hacker because he doesn't think what he did was illegal -- has either found or been completely misled into thinking he found the secret of who is the last Survivor in the television program Survivor.
Having done a little computer higgledy-jiggledly, he discovered that all but one of the original 16 arrivals on the not-deserted tropical island had red Xs through their photographs on a CBS Web site. In the interest of not giving away the ending for those of you who relish the suspense of each episode (where one person is kicked off the island), it is completely inappropriate to tell you the person was GERVASE.
Now the question of the day is whether this was a real mistake on the part of programmers, or whether they had employed a sneaky redirection technique that many institutions now use to foil hackers. These organizations create an easy-to-get-into false entrance designed to let unwanted computer intruders feel like they have broken into a system when they actually haven't. GERVASE. GERVASE. GERVASE.
In this case, the intrusion isn't unwanted but may actually be a kind of public-relations stunt à la insuring a movie star's legs or having a midget bat in a major league baseball game.
All of which leads to the question: Who cares? GERVASE. IT IS GERVASE THE YOUTH BASKETBALL COACH WHO WILL WIN THE MILLION-DOLLAR PRIZE FOR BEING THE FINAL Survivor.
The answer is that millions of TV viewers care and, in doing so, exhibit two eternal qualities of human nature: Everyone wants to get rich doing nothing, and everyone wastes their life in their own way.
How else to explain curling, lawn mowing, permanents, model trains and the fact we are suddenly obsessing over the possibility that Survivor's real Survivor is Colleen, the girl who "still believes in storytime."