Computer underground Digest Sun June 06 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 41 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun June 06 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 41 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Copy Editor: Etaoin Shrdlu, Senrio CONTENTS, #5.41 (June 06 1993) File 1-- LODCOM@ Mail Bounces Fixed -- File 2-- CuD (and other stuff) for Non-Internet readers File 3-- A New public CU BBS in Southern Italy File 4-- Sending E-Mail to Clinton and Gore File 5-- Electronic fingerprinting of welfare recipients in CA File 6-- Email "Etiquette" File 7-- Microstate: Old Empires and New (New Repub. Reprint) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically from tk0jut2@mvs.cso.niu.edu. The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-6430), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet comp.society.cu-digest news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL0 and DL12 of TELECOM; on GEnie in the PF*NPC RT libraries and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" On Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG; on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; and on: Rune Stone BBS (IIRG WHQ) 203-832-8441 NUP:Conspiracy CuD is also available via Fidonet File Request from 1:11/70; unlisted nodes and points welcome. EUROPE: from the ComNet in LUXEMBOURG BBS (++352) 466893; In ITALY: Bits against the Empire BBS: +39-461-980493 ANONYMOUS FTP SITES: UNITED STATES: ftp.eff.org (192.88.144.4) in /pub/cud uglymouse.css.itd.umich.edu (141.211.182.53) in /pub/CuD/cud halcyon.com( 202.135.191.2) in /pub/mirror/cud AUSTRALIA: ftp.ee.mu.oz.au (128.250.77.2) in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: nic.funet.fi in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) ftp.warwick.ac.uk in pub/cud (United Kingdom) COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 04 June 1993 22:51:01 EDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 1--LODCOM@ Mail Bounces Fixed -- CuD 5.39 ran a special issue describing the LOD's ambitious project of "hacker" BBSes in the 1980s. We received a number of inquiries about bounced mail back from lodcom@mindvox.phantom.com. Mindvox upgrade of mail services created a temporary snag. We're informed that mail that seemed to bounce in fact arrived, so those inquiring about LOD's "BBS History Project" should have received a response by now. For more information on the LOD project, including what files are currently available and the price list for each, contact them directly at lodcom@mindvox.phantom.com ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1993 19:32:57 -0600 From: af814@FREENET.HSC.COLORADO.EDU(ERIC PAUL) Subject: File 2--CuD (and other stuff) for Non-Internet readers My name is Eric Paul. I have received your fine publication since midway through volume 4. I have decided to give something back to the "Underground" community for all the service that you have given me. I run The SpellBook BBS here in Plainville, Mass. We run at 14.4 v.32b v.42b. I have all of Volume 5 available for download in a no-ratio area. I also support FREQ in Fidonet, Chateaunet, and Maxnet. Anonymous/ unlisted systems are welcome. Please feel free to add my information to your list of sources to try and take the load off of some of the backbone FTP sites. Thanks again for such a fine publication. Eric Paul BBS: 508/695-9656 Fido: 1:333/596 Chateau: 100:6100/101 Maxnet: 90:171/301 ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 04 Jun 93 10:16:52 GMT From: luc pac Subject: File 3--A New public CU BBS in Southern Italy (MODERATORS' NOTE: Luciano has been working on setting up his system in Southern Italy for the past few months, and it's just about set to roll. As he reminded us, Italy is a relatively under-devopled country and lacks the access to Internet, BBS, and other resources that many of us take for granted. We wish him well in providing a public site for information in his part of the world)). I'm glad to let you know: I have set up a public BBS exclusively dedicated to the computer underground and counter-cultural issues. You can connect and download stuff such as CuD, Phrack, EFF's bulletins, 'zines, academy papers, SPUNK Press writings, and the like. Furthermore, there are a few echo conferences about cyberpunk and libertarian/anarchistic issues. It is NOT a H/P BBS. Its archive is meant to be used by any kind of people: H/P community as well as scholars and researchers. I myself am writing my final dissertation on CMC and the building of virtual communities. BITs Against The Empire BBS is cybernet and *fidonet* node (2:333/412), and stuff can be downloaded via File/Request open to everyone (points and unlisted nodes included). Because of my lack of money/time, the system is *NOT* 24h. It is only open 23.00 to 7.15 local time -- that is GMT - 1 (NY should be six hours late, LA nine hours). I just thought it is interesting to you knowing that CuD can be found outside the Internet in South Europe. The BBS number is: +39-461-980493 ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 04 June 1993 22:51:01 EDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 4--Sending E-Mail to Clinton and Gore THE WHITE HOUSE Office of Presidential Correspondence ++++++++++++++++++ For Immediate Release June 1, 1993 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT IN ANNOUNCEMENT OF WHITE HOUSE ELECTRONIC MAIL ACCESS Dear Friends: Part of our commitment to change is to keep the White House in step with today's changing technology. As we move ahead into the twenty-first century, we must have a government that can show the way and lead by example. Today, we are pleased to announce that for the first time in history, the White House will be connected to you via electronic mail. Electronic mail will bring the Presidency and this Administration closer and make it more accessible to the people. The White House will be connected to the Internet as well as several on-line commercial vendors, thus making us more accessible and more in touch with people across this country. We will not be alone in this venture. Congress is also getting involved, and an exciting announcement regarding electronic mail is expected to come from the House of Representatives tomorrow. Various government agencies also will be taking part in the near future. Americans Communicating Electronically is a project developed by several government agencies to coordinate and improve access to the nation's educational and information assets and resources. This will be done through interactive communications such as electronic mail, and brought to people who do not have ready access to a computer. However, we must be realistic about the limitations and expectations of the White House electronic mail system. This experiment is the first-ever e-mail project done on such a large scale. As we work to reinvent government and streamline our processes, the e-mail project can help to put us on the leading edge of progress. Initially, your e-mail message will be read and receipt immediately acknowledged. A careful count will be taken on the number received as well as the subject of each message. However, the White House is not yet capable of sending back a tailored response via electronic mail. We are hoping this will happen by the end of the year. A number of response-based programs which allow technology to help us read your message more effectively, and, eventually respond to you electronically in a timely fashion will be tried out as well. These programs will change periodically as we experiment with the best way to handle electronic mail from the public. Since this has never been tried before, it is important to allow for some flexibility in the system in these first stages. We welcome your suggestions. This is an historic moment in the White House and we look forward to your participation and enthusiasm for this milestone event. We eagerly anticipate the day when electronic mail from the public is an integral and normal part of the White House communications system. President Clinton Vice President Gore PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV VICE.PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 23 May 1993 11:33:44 -0700 From: "James I. Davis" Subject: File 5--Electronic fingerprinting of welfare recipients in CA I spoke on Thursday (5/13) at a hearing before the San Francisco Social Services Commission regarding their plan to begin requiring that welfare recipients submit to electronic fingerprinting as a condition of receiving public assistance. I am sending out a copy of my remarks (it's a rather long posting) under "separate cover." Here is some background information on the issue: I collected most of the data contained in my remarks from interviews with various people, and some memos and press releases from various agencies. I understand that there is a small piece in a recent _Mother Jones_ about the experience in LA, which supports the points I made in my remarks. I have a more pointed piece in the CPSR/Berkeley newsletter if you are interested. In June of 1991, Los Angeles County began requiring electronic fingerprints as a condition of receiving General Assistance (GA). GA is a state-mandated, county administered program for indigent adults. The system is ostensibly designed to deter people from receiving benefits under multiple names, although their are many aspects of the system that could bear more serious scrutiny than it has received to date. LA is spending some $9.4 million over five years on the Automated Fingerprint Image Reporting and Match System (AFIRM), AFIRM was developed by computer services giant Electronic Data Systems. In February of this year, Alameda County started using the system, at an estimated cost of $1.3 million. San Francisco is currently considering adopting the system. The Department of Social Services says it will cost $1 million to implement, but I think that is low. The AFIRM proposal was approved by the SF Social Services Commission on May 13, and the matter now goes to the SF Board of Supervisors, who must approve a change in the ordinance governing GA, to include the fingerprinting requirement. The next step will be a hearing before one or more committees (perhaps Willie Kennedy's on social policy, and/or the finance committee), most likely in early June. Any suggestions for questions about the system will be very helpful, especially questions about technical, privacy and security issues. It is clear that SF plans to link the system up with other counties and share data with them regularly. Also if you have any expertise on fingerprinting and law enforcement, I need some info on that. The AFIRM system only makes sense if it is installed on as wide a basis, and for as many public assistance programs as possible. On the other hand, the more counties that refuse to participate, the less likely it will be to take root. I think that there is an opportunity to stop it at the SF Board of Supervisors... Jim D. ++++++++++++++++++++++= STATEMENT BEFORE THE SAN FRANCISCO SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION REGARDING THE AFIRM SYSTEM My name is Jim Davis, and I live at 414 Chestnut Street in San Francisco. I am here in two capacities, first, as a San Francisco resident and taxpayer, and second, as the western regional director for Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility is a national public-interest alliance of computer scientists, engineers, users and others interested in the impact of computer technology on society. We work to influence decisions regarding the development and use of computers because those decisions have far-reaching consequences and reflect basic values and priorities. CPSR has 500 members in the Bay Area. Fingerprinting of people as a requirement for receiving General Assistance (GA) benefits is a bad idea, for several reasons: * the proposed system is unnecessary; * its use cannot be justified for the reasons put forward by the Department of Social Services; * it shifts resources from providing benefits to expanding the welfare bureaucracy; * the costs of the system have most likely been understated, and the benefits overstated; * it is fraught with risks for people who receive welfare; * it is an affront to anyone who must rely on welfare; * it sets a dangerous precedent for everyone who receives any kind of government assistance; * it sends a false message to San Franciscans about welfare. Please allow me to elaborate. THE SYSTEM IS UNNECESSARY. The proposed Automated Fingerprint Image Reporting and Match System (AFIRM) is unnecessary. AFIRM is intended to deter fraud by preventing GA recipients from signing up under more than one name. However, current policy requires people to provide a state ID card or driver's license to DSS before they can receive GA. According to Bill Madison, an information officer with the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is extremely difficult to obtain identification under more than one name. DMV personnel are trained to identify false documentation. Suspicious requests for ID are passed along to their security unit, which can utilize their database of digital fingerprints and photographs to determine if a duplicate request has been made. That is, the checks against maintaining more than one identity are already in place. The AFIRM system is redundant, and duplicates government resources. As such, it is a waste of our money. AFIRM'S USE CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED FOR THE REASONS GIVEN BY DSS. AFIRM's use cannot be justified for the reasons put forward by the Department of Social Services. The rationale for installing AFIRM is not to detect fraud per se. In fact, Alameda County, which began using the AFIRM system in early February, is about 80% done with fingerprinting of existing GA clients. With approximately 9,000 GA cases processed, only six matches have been found, and none of those matches were cases of fraudulent behavior. The stated purpose of AFIRM, rather, is to deter alleged fraud by driving away people who would "double-dip" in the GA program. >From Alameda County's experience, in fact the caseload has dropped by 147 cases since the system was implemented. But without any data as to why the caseload dropped, it is spurious logic at best to assert that fraud has been rooted out. Much more likely reasons for the caseload drop are missed appointments, perhaps because of lost or missed mail; fears about being fingerprinted; concerns about privacy; or the inevitable problems of processing 11,000 cases. A 98.5% rate of success in processing would be admirable in most quality assurance managers' book; but the other 1.5% that are failures could still account for all of the dropped cases. In fact any substantial change in case-handling could result in a drop in cases, of people who are entitled to receive benefits. I have yet to see any data to substantiate the claim that AFIRM has deterred fraud. All that can be said is that AFIRM is an expensive, additional obstacle to receiving GA, and that its use coincides with a reduction in caseloads. However, the purpose of AFIRM is not to reduce caseloads, and any other goals of using the system cannot be proven with currently available data. That makes AFIRM an expensive, long-term "maybe." AFIRM SHIFTS RESOURCES FROM SERVICES TO BUREAUCRACY. AFIRM represents additional costs in GA administration, with no rise in the benefits pool. As such, it means that the ratio of administration-to-benefits has gone up; that is, new inefficiencies are built into the welfare system. Computers are not a magic solution, and additional infrastructure is required to install and maintain hardware and software, and train users and adjust office procedure. Inflating bureaucracy at the expense of services-provided is not a wise use of taxpayer money. THE COSTS OF THE SYSTEM HAVE MOST LIKELY BEEN UNDERSTATED, AND THE BENEFITS OVERSTATED. In his letter to Mayor Frank Jordan, DSS General Manager Brian Cahill wrote that the system "would cost in the neighborhood of $1 million over a 5 year period. Our costs would be based on hardware and the number of cases on GA." Yet Alameda County estimates that the same system there will cost $1.3 million over a five year period. San Francisco's case load is 50% higher that Alameda's, meaning that the anticipated cost to San Francisco could be twice Cahill's estimate. In addition, adopting new systems mean many hidden costs: inefficiencies while adopting a new system, staff frustration on the learning curve, lost time due to re-processing cases that were erroneously closed, etc. Such costs could further inflate the $2 million price tag. Furthermore, if data-sharing begins with other counties, additional administrative resources will be required. The dollar costs need to be examined very carefully. Likewise, the alleged savings from using the system could bear more serious scrutiny. For example, Cahill asserts that Alameda County saved $360,000 in four months by discontinuing 35 cases. Cahill is claiming savings that would be realized over a three year period in the first few months. It's dubious accounting to claim all of the benefits before they are actually realized. A more honest accounting using Cahill's figures would be to say that the $21,000 per month system saved $11,000 a month. Using the latest Alameda figure of 147 cases dropped, the system appears to begin to pay for itself. But one must ask, how many of those dropped cases will be reopened, torpedoing the inflated benefits of the AFIRM system? In addition, the largest drop in cases will most likely happen during the changeover period, so projections should not be based on an initial rate of dropping caseloads. To reassert, the claimed savings should not be taken at face value. AFIRM IS FRAUGHT WITH RISKS TO GA RECIPIENTS. DSS has assured the Mayor's office that AFIRM fingerprint information will not be shared with police agencies. The AFIRM and police computer systems are distinct, and department policy forbids sharing of information. However, such assurances are not, and cannot be enough. First, the line between social services and law enforcement is becoming increasingly blurred. The stated rationale for the fingerprinting system is in fact a law enforcement one -- to prevent criminal activity. DSS already works closely with the District Attorney's office in investigating alleged fraud. Information is shared between the agencies; and whether it is the fingerprint itself or information derived from fingerprint searches, the protestations that data sharing will not take place are seriously weakened. "Unofficial" use of the data poses additional problems. Data stored on a computer is much more prone to unauthorized duplication, modification, and transmission than its low-tech counterparts. And such problems are even more likely in the absence of a thought-out policy regarding the security of computer records. Does DSS have a computer security policy? Who will have access to the fingerprint information? What audit trail will be maintained regarding changes to data on the system? Is DSS taking into account where technology will be five years from now, as equipment costs will most assuredly drop, and computing search power will grow. Access issues will continue to grow in complexity. Furthermore, I have been told of cases in recent history where zealous DSS employees have shared information with police, against stated department policy. Local newspapers have reported on police officers keeping duplicate sets of police data on their home computers, against policy. And I'm sure that you are all aware of the current case of former police inspector Tom Gerard, who is charged with stealing confidential police files and suspected of selling the information to other agencies and even to other governments. The point is that once data assumes a digital format, it tends to persist in computer systems, and to leak about. One must carefully weigh the questionable benefits of AFIRM against the potential abuse of the system, and the loss of privacy for GA recipients. The simplest solution in this case is not to collect the information in the first place. AFIRM IS AN AFFRONT TO ANYONE ON WELFARE. The AFIRM system is based on a presumption of guilt. That is, unless you confirm your innocence of not double-dipping, you are assumed to be guilty of it. This contravenes a basic constitutional principle. AFIRM SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT FOR ANYONE RECEIVING GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. If AFIRM takes root in San Francisco, it will continue to spread to other counties, and to other government programs. Social service administrators have made it clear that they intend to extend the reach of the AFIRM system. Other counties in the Bay Area have considered adopting it for their GA programs. More ominous, Los Angeles will begin in June a $21 million pilot program to quadruple the reach of the program to include people receiving assistance from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. Alameda County is rumored to be exploring the same thing, and who knows, it may be under discussion in San Francisco. But why stop the program there? Anyone receiving any kind of government support, from social security to veterans benefits to income tax deductions could be equally culpable of defrauding the government. Why not fingerprint them before providing support. Who knows where it would end? This is a bad precedent being tested on a vulnerable group of San Franciscans. AFIRM SENDS A FALSE MESSAGE ABOUT WELFARE. It shouldn't need to bear repeating, but being poor is not a crime. Yet the law enforcement aura surrounding fingerprinting is inescapable. Last year, for example, the Wall Street Journal reported that airport officials, looking for a way to speed people through immigration at Kennedy Airport, decided not to use fingerprinting technology to match people with their passports. "We didn't want to get into fingerprints because of law enforcement connotations," said Richard Norton, the Air Transport Association's senior director of facilitation. Requiring fingerprinting for receiving benefits reinforces an all-too-common perception of criminality. This is a divisive message to send to San Franciscans about General Assistance. For the reasons just stated, I repeat that the AFIRM system is a bad idea, and I urge you to decide against its implementation. Thank you for your patience. Jim Davis 414 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 398-2818 May 13, 1993 ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 20 May 93 16:07:27 EDT From: Jerry Leichter Subject: File 6--Email "Etiquette" I thought you might find the following interesting for historical value. Some things haven't changed much since 1984, but some have. In particular, while the general ideas in this posting area as much part of the net gestalt now as they were 9 years ago, what I find striking is the change in tone. There's no feeling of a flame war ready to break out at any moment, and in fact there is only a single reference to "flames", and that in a context somewhat different form contemporary usage. For me, it was a bit of a walk down memory lane; the style and tone were very familiar, but hearing them again made clear how the world has changed. -- Jerry Date--Mon, 17 May 93 10:47:44 -0400 From--John Robinson Sender--jr@ksr.com To--silent-tristero@Think.COM Subject--an impressive show +------- Start of forwarded message ------- From--cmb Subject--[deg@wise1.tau.ac.il--Re--Email "Etiquette"] Date--Mon, 17 May 93 10:01:48 EDT I hope enough of this 1984 Lisp-based humor is still funny in a 1993 Unix-centered world. Note that the mail reading and composing software was much more complex than today and that users often used multiple fonts (some of their own creation) in messages. Bug reports automatically included a stack backtrace and the values of all arguments and local variables along with the version and patch level of all software. From--David Goldfarb To--Tom McMahon Cc--The-Usual-Suspects@triple-i.com Subject--Re--Email "Etiquette" Date--Fri 14-May-93 14:37:49 IST Years and years ago there was a rather facetious Email "etiquette" file floating around. CWR seems to remember it having possibly been authored by BSG. If anyone knows its whereabouts could you please send me a copy? I knew my old "humor.mai" file would come in useful some day :-) I've decided that this is such an important message for our time that it should be forwarded to the whole list. Enjoy! Please note the following line from Bernie's message: "Inclusion of very old messages from others makes for an impressive show." David Date--Friday, 13 April 1984, 16:16-EST From--Bernard S. Greenberg Subject--Mail Style To--fun at SCRC-TENEX (For those of of you who have read this already, MLB has just made a substantial contribution of the highest quality to this file, and you should read it again from the string "MLB" on.) Based upon recent discussions of proper etiquette and style in electronic mail, I have prepared a [satiric] document on the subject. SCRC:MAIL-STYLE.TEXT ============= S:>BSG>Mail-Style.text inserted 10/16/85 ============== Proposed Symbolics guidelines for mail messages BSG 4/11/84 It is impermissible to use the term "EMAIL". Mail should be at least a mixture of upper and lower case. Devising your own font (Devanagari, pinhead graphics, etc.) and using it in the mail is a good entertainment tactic, as is finding some way to use existing obscure fonts. Sending the mail from Unix is frowned upon (although this has gotten much better). It is customary to attack the someone by including his or her message, indented (unless you are using MM), and replying point by point, as someone debating someone they are watching on TV, or hearing on the radio. It is considered artful to append many messages on a subject, leaving only the most inflammatory lines from each, and reply to all in one swift blow. The choice of lines to support your argument can make or break your case. Replying to one's own message is a rarely-exposed technique for switching positions once you have thought about something only after sending mail. State opinions in the syntax of fact: "...as well as the bug in LMFS where you have to expunge directories to get rid of files....." If you have nothing to say on a subject, replying with a line such as "I agree with this." puts you in the TO:'s for all future messages, and establishes you as "one who really cares", if not an actual expert, on the topic at hand. Inclusion of very old messages from others makes for an impressive show. The choice of a subject line is of supreme importance. It should be concise and witty. The subject line has to survive once the discussion has diverged far past the original subject. Remember "Hewitt AP0"? Oblique allusion to past famous subject lines is one of the best techniques for generating subjects. So is any reference to drawings of B. Kliban. People can be set wondering by loading obscure personal patchable systems, and sending bug reports. Who would not stop and wonder upon seeing "Experimental TD80-TAPE 1.17, MegaDeath 2.5..."? The same for provocatively-named functions and variables in stack traces. Know the list of "large, chronic problems". If there is any problem with the window system, blame it on the activity system. Any lack of user functionality should be attributed to the lack of a command processor. A surprisingly large number of people will believe that you have thought in depth about the issue to which you are alluding when you do. Know how to blow any problem up into insolubility. Know how to use the phrase "The new ~A system" to insult its argument, e.g., "I guess this destructuring LET thing is fixed in the new Lisp system", or better yet, PROLOG. Never hit someone head on, always sideswipe. Never say, "Foo's last patch was brain-damaged", but rather, "While fixing the miscellaneous bugs in 243.xyz [foo's patch], I found...." You get 3 opportunities to advertise your Rock band, no more. Idiosyncratic indentations, double-spacing, capitalization, etc., while stamps of individuality, leave one an easy target for parody. Strong language gets results. "The reloader is completely broken in 242" will open a lot more eyes than "The reloader doesn't load files with intermixed spaces, asterisks, and <'s in their names that are bigger than 64K". You can always say the latter in a later paragraph. The entire life, times, collected works, expressions, and modalities of Zippy the Pinhead are a common ground for much of the metaphor, rhetoric, and invective which pass daily through the mail. An occasional parenthetical "yow" CORRECTLY USED will endear one to the senior systems staff. So will puns and other remarks addressed directly to the point. +------------------------------------------------------------ MLB volunteered the following, 4/13/84 Including a destination in the CC list that will cause the recipients' mailer to blow out is a good way to stifle dissent. When replying, it is often possible to cleverly edit the original message in such a way as to subtly alter its meaning or tone to your advantage while appearing that you are taking pains to preserve the author's intent. As a bonus, it will seem that your superior intellect is cutting through all the excess verbiage to the very heart of the matter. Referring to undocumented private communications allows one to claim virtually anything: "we discussed this idea in our working group last year, and concluded that it was totally brain-damaged". Points are awarded for getting the last word in. Drawing the conversation out so long that the original message disappears due to being indented off the right hand edge of the screen is one way to do this. Another is to imply that anyone replying further is a hopeless cretin and is wasting everyone's valuable time. Keeping a secret "Hall Of Flame" file of people's mail indiscretions, or copying messages to private mailing lists for subsequent derision, is good fun and also a worthwhile investment in case you need to blackmail the senders later. Users should cultivate an ability to make the simplest molehill into a mountain by finding controversial interpretations of innocuous sounding statements that the sender never intended or imagined. Obversely, a lot of verbal mileage can also be gotten by sending out incomprehensible, cryptic, confusing or unintelligible messages, and then iteratively "correcting" the "mistaken interpretations" in the replys. Electronic mail is an indispensable component of the automated office. Besides providing entertainment, it gives one the appearance of engaging in industrious and technically sophisticated activity. By flaming constantly on numerous mailing lists, one can be assured of a ready supply of makework as well as an opportunity to establish one's reputation amongst the "literati". ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 20:42 CDT From: Subject: File 7--Microstate: Old Empires and New (New Repub. Reprint) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: In the year 2250, some enterprising social scientist might compare the political systems of constitutional democracy and Gatesean democratic technocracy and come up with the following typology): | > "MicroState: Old Empires and New" by Douglas Coupland, in | > _The New Republic_, June 7, 1993. | > | > ============================================================== | > Constitutional Democracy | Microsoft | > ===================================+========================== | > born in 18th c. France | born in | > and the United States | 1970s Seattle | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > People of a common culture | People of a common culture | > ruling a common territory | ruling a common industry | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > constitutions | MS-DOS | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > self-determination | compelling applications | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > freedom | Windows | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > obsolete monarchies and empires | IBM | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > tricoteuses | the media | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > "Let them eat cake" | "The PC will never catch on" | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > Protestant individualism | loner nerds | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > enlightenment | microprocessors | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > secularism | no wardrobe restrictions | > | at the office | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > the rise of science | software upgrades | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > rationalism | Mr. Spock worship | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > Boston Tea Party | Starbuck's coffee addiction | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > radicals | cyberpunks | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > civil liberties pioneers | hackers | > -----------------------------------|----------------------------------- | > preceded industrialism | precedes post-industrialism | > ============================================================== ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.41 ************************************

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