Re: Reasons for freeing the primary research literature

From: Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang_at_INRIA.FR>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 18:30:31 +0200

On Fri, Aug 17, 2001 at 03:23:01PM -0400, Jean-Claude Guédon wrote:
> PS I heard a strange piece of news recently: a fellow apparently named Albert
> Henderson has found himself incapacitated in some manner. I do not know the
> exact cause, but what is clear is that his computer is spewing off a number
> of messages from a fixed bank of statements, a bit like the mechanical Eve in
> Villiers de l'Isle Adam's novel, L'Eve future. These statements, many of them
> quite outrageous in their claims, and some actually funny, are found all over
> the networks, a bit like the chinese cookies messages one finds on Unix
> systems. I began to notice this phenomenon when I saw the same repetitious
> claims recur regularly over this list. The worst part is that he appears no
> longer capable of stopping his computer.
> Does any know how to help break the kind of infinite loop in which this
> fellow's computer appears to be caught. If he is still capable of thinking,
> he may be getting a little embarrassed by it all, and he might be very
> grateful for such charitable help.

Dear Jean-Claude,

  there has been some technical investigation of this strange
phenomenon. Apparently no computer is at fault. It seems to be a
software issue, a bug in mailing list management systems. Somehow,
when mailing lists start criticizing corporate behavior, or
questionning the well-foundedness of ultra-capitalistic economy, or
even simply quoting the US constitution, the bug is activated, and
some drone list member starts spewing off outrageous statements, or
simply drown discussions with totally irrelevant statments regarding a
variety of issues, netiquette being one of the most common choices.
  These drone interventions are sometimes taking the place of an
actual living human being, even possibly a member of the list, and
sometimes (quite often actually) cannot be connectd to anyone real
other than an (aptly named) hotmail account.
  The phenomenon is observable on many lists that concern themselves
with non-conformant topics.
  Some people suspect that this is a result of the increasing
complexity of the network which induces the emergence of an obviously
still rudimentary form of artificial intelligence. The currently
increasing business bias of the Internet probably does the rest.

 Bernard Lang

         Non aux Brevets Logiciels  -  No to Software Patents
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         Je n'exprime que mon opinion - I express only my opinion
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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