Hilarious post Was: von Neumann documentary clip

Evan Koblentz evan at snarc.net
Fri Feb 27 16:50:06 CST 2015

> So, in the course of tracking down the mentioned von Neumann papers, I ran
> across this:
>    http://www.tomandmaria.com/tom/Writing/MorozovQuixote.htm
> which is utterly hilarious. (Note: it's even funnier if you're familiar with
> the work of Borges.)


The "cabal" references are an inside joke among SHOT-SIGCIS members. 
V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai -- the person who claimed to have "invented email" 
and who several book reviewers took seriously -- referred to historians 
as a "cabal of insiders" who are just looking to protect BBN.

In other words, someone made a ridiculous claim, and when called on it, 
defended himself with an equally ridiculous claim about his critics.

Then he had associates go on the attack for him. One example: an 
associate of his pretended to write an objective piece in HuffPo, 
attacking "this coterie of industry insiders including consultants, 
employees, alumni and an Internet cabal of SIGCIS 'historians' with ties 
to Raytheon/BBN."

The coworker's piece also cited Noam Chomsky, who allegedly talked of 
how "deplorable are the childish tantrums of industry insiders who now 
believe that by creating confusion ... they can distract attention from 
the facts" -- the "facts" being, according to Ayyadurai and his own 
(ahem) cabal, that he alone "invented email".

Soon after, when Medina (another historian) had her article basically 
plagiarized, Tom wrote the satirical message that you found.

Ever since, SIGCIS members jokingly refer to themselves as a cabal.

There's even been discussion of a secret handshake.  :)

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