All is well, remain calm, there is no need to panic, but...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/12/26 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

WARNING: Be sure to read the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog before you take your eyes off the screen. 

In the movie Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson's character (Jerry) is programmed (Manchurian Candidate style) to buy a copy of J.D. Salinger's The Catch in the Rye any time he sees it. This allows him to be tracked by the people who are controlling his behavior....

Now I don't want to alarm anyone, but maybe the fact that for years I was buying a copy of v.1 of Developing International Software for Windows 95 and Windows NT every time I saw one available.

I swear to Bob here, people -- I have dozens of copies. I'll probably give copies to my mentees soon, I give them away all kinds of places (though I refuse to autograph them despite requests -- I had nothing to do with the first version of the book and the only way I have ever been willing to sign them is if I point out this fact in the note above my signature!).

Anyway, over the course of my life I have gone through tons of copies this way, I have dozens of them in my possession now, and in fact I just bought one of the copies that was listed on Amazon as I was writing this article.

I have no idea why I do this, and as far as I know I am not being controlled by some evil conspiracy to assassinate anyone.

But I wonder whether someone should warn Ms. Foster anyway, just in case I have been programmed to forget?

This of course leads to the bigger question of who would be using Developing International Software for Windows 95 and Windows NT v.1 to keep track of me, anyway.

I am of course not very effectively trained as a killer, with minimal verified or unverified slayings.

And the scooter would quite a sucky way to be discrete or subtle (plus the difficulty I have getting travel approved is almost certain to be a hindrance for targets outside of Western Washington!).

Not to mention it would be a tad shortsighted to pick an out-of-print book, isn't it?

If this a Microsoft employee, the poor staffing and planning factors of this operation should definitely be a point of conversation in the midyear.... :-)


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DISCLAIMER: This blog, like this Blog, is for entertainment purposes only, and I am in no way suggesting that anyone should seriously consider me a threat of any sort. Just like the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I am truly Mostly Harmless, and in this context can be considered even safer than that....

John Cowan on 26 Dec 2007 2:09 PM:

Some authors go around compulsively buying up the first editions of their books and burning them, so that they will not be exposed to ridicule by people who find all the errors in them -- or worse, misleading the victims who buy the books believing them to be useful guides to the subject matter.

Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Dec 2007 3:20 PM:

True, but I didn't write this one, and the odds are against me hitting a first edition in this case. :-)

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