Thursday, March 30, 2006



by Bill Lipton

Have you notice that your life, your privacy, your time to think, have been invaded? It has been happening for a long time, but has finally reached the point of quantifiable notice.

Do you have e-mail? Than you know about spam. You are on the Internet, so you know of viruses. These invasions fo your time, space, and property can be defended against by the systems used.

But there is another invasion. It is more insidious and has been with us for ages. At first, distance, inconvenience, and body language served as defenses. But that was before the advent of the telegraph and telephone.

Prior to e-mail, the telephone offered the most convenient means of interjecting distraction and disruption into the lives of others. But now there is e-mail – and the forward button.

Yep! “FORWARD” – that devilish tool used to clog mail with inane comics or “uplifting” spiritualization – with the attendant curse of misfortune to all who fail to forward the “luck”, or “blessing”, or “reminder” back to the sender and on to everyone else in the recipient’s electronic address book.

Oh but it’s cute, it was so funny. Gee, don’t you think “love” is an important thing? Oh, I just wanted to remind you how I feel, or care about you. How do you get angry at that?

Yet there is a reality. That passing deed, that momentary click on “FORWARD” has interjected into someone’s life, and commanded of their time, something which must be handled – and worse, in the context of what they were engaged in, a distraction.

Large organizations are losing the equivalent of several full time workers to that “nice” intention, that sweet thought, that momentary click on “FORWARD”.

The American economy is losing tens of millions of dollars – costs of bandwidth, employee time, and raw energy – over stupidity which many delete almost as soon as the file opens; and occasionally as soon ast they read the subject heading.

Denial of service. A form of virus which can circumvent any standard spam filter, or anti-virus filter. Since the sender is probably in your address book, even bulk mail filters become useless.

These sweet uplifting messages, of unknown origin, could not be more disruptive or destructive than any alternative attack – for their damage is sustained, rather than immediate and finite.

If Bin Laden wished to quietly cripple American productivity, he could find no better tool that to broadcast devotional messages, and cartoons – even “support the troops” patriotic messages have a repeater market. It wouldn’t matter what he sent – if he had a sense of humor, he might choose self-effacing, or anti-Islamic cartoons.

The critical element would be to disrupt our communications – to clog areas of bandwidth with crud that will slow communications and distract workers from their duties ... if only long enough to hit “delete”.
It doesn’t take another 9/11 to hurt an industrialized nations – that type of exercise serves the dramatic, gains and attention, and assists in recruitment of those whose lives have no purpose except to die.

Economic attack, done quietly, with the assistance of the victim, is the most effective form – it is the modern fifth column organization. A few computer geeks, sitting with their Islamic equivalent of pizza and Pepsi; that’s all it takes.

Broadcast the messages to company employees – government employees – any individuals whose e-mails can be obtained – and let them do the rest. Time is money, and if you can get people to occupy productive time with trivia, a lot of money gets flushed.

So support the enemies of capitalism – the enemies of America and the free world – keep passing that sweet thought on ... keep utilizing that “FORWARD” button.

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