[SIGCIS-Members] A fresh tissue of lies...

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Thu Mar 24 11:53:28 PDT 2016



I’d say “fresh tissue” is overselling it. The material here (and in two other new “ebooks” posted to Ayyadurai’s propaganda site http://vashiva.com/) is largely remixed from his book, website content, and the series of posts that the Huffington Post pulled from its “blogger-generated” PR section after an internal inquiry confirmed “factual and sourcing issues.” All the substantive assertions are already evaluated at www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai <http://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai> .


So this particular tissue is more than a little stale –like one of those tissues that is used to mop up something sticky and then gets lodged between sofa cushions or under a pillow until it is rediscovered months or years later. You might be tempted to reuse it in an emergency, but probably better to treat yourself to a new one from the box.


I’ll avoid the impulse to repeat myself on this case, but there were a few thoughts that came to mind as I skimmed through:


1.       Team Ayyadurai has made an attempt to dress this up as scholarly work by including a bunch of in-text author/year citations. Yet they continue to ignore the existence of the most prominent works of Internet and network history: Abbate’s Inventing the Internet, Hiltzak’s Dealers of Lightning, Waldrop’s The Dream Machine,  Hafner’s Where Wizards Stay Up Late, Russell’s Open Standards and the Digital Age. That’s even more prounounced in the other “eBook,” “Invention of EMAIL in Newak NJ (1978)” which finds dozens of blog posts to reference, from such authoritative sources as ask.com, historyofemail.com (another Ayyadurai domain), and innovationcorps.com (yet another Ayyadurai domain). It’s hard to escape the feeling that one is reading a story that takes place in a different universe in which only a handful of paid hacks have ever suggested that email was the most widely used application on the ARPANET by the mid-1970s.

2.       TA still refuses to cite me properly! Many of the alleged “misuses” are taken from www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai <http://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai> , which has a title, a date, a URL, and an author. But, unlike all those vital sources from inventorofemail.com, it’s cited merely as “SIGCIS blog.” Could it be that they’re scared people might follow the link and be convinced by my careful and well supported analysis? In fact some of the “Misuses” where the quoted text comes from my page are misattributed to Compuserve and to Dave Croker.

3.       As science fiction fans know, any imagined universe needs to be internally consistent. TA doesn’t manage that. They continue (p. 39) to dismiss the XEROX PARC email system Laurel for lacking the relational database found in Ayyadurai’s system. In the other “eBooks” the same authors mention that Ayyadurai’s system used a network (i.e. non-relational) database.


As well as the nuggets on SIGCIS that Dag found, here are a few more:


This manuscript itemizes and exposes these

misuses, many of which are deliberately perpetuated by a cabal of “historians,”

who promote this false narrative as their allegiance, in spite of the overwhelming

and overt facts, is to the larger narrative that great innovations, such as email, can

only emerge from the military-industrial-academic complex (‘SIGCIS Blog’,





What is unfortunate is that even scholarly “historians,” like Mr. Thomas Haigh,

a leader of the SIGCIS group, and others either purposely wanting to deny the

facts of email’s origin from 1978 at UMDNJ, or unconsciously cutting and copying

the Gizmodo article, believing Biddle’s sensationalistic article to be the truth,

continue to use Biddle’s article as a primary and scholarly source reference to deny

email’s invention by Ayyadurai in Newark, New Jersey. Such tabloid articles

are referenced as the primary source on Wikipedia and some major media to attempt

to perpetuate false assertions that RFCs are email, and predate Ayyadurai’s





Mr. Haigh leads SIGCIS, which is a group of computer “historians”

that denies the invention of email in 1978 at UMDNJ, in spite of the clear

facts. Their disinformation and historical revisionism is based on equating “electronic

messaging” with “email.” These “historians” had already written “email

history,” prior to Smithsonian’s acquisition of Ayyadurai’s artifacts on February

16, 2012.


The fact is “email” was already clearly defined in 1978 as the electronic interoffice,

inter-organizational paper-based mail system, and formally recognized in

1982 by the issuance of the U.S. government’s issuance of the first Copyright for

“Email” to Ayyadurai. Such an attempt to provide a revisionist definition of

“email” by industry insiders, in 2012, served one purpose, to allow them: Tomlinson,

Van Vleck and Crocker, who worked with the early messaging systems

SNDMSG, MAIL and MS, respectively, to retroactively define their work as

“email” so as to ensure their primacy to “email,” which they did not create, and

had no intention of creating, while misappropriating credit from Ayyadurai.





with these efforts, as the timeline shows of attack on Ayyadurai (Abraham,

2014) industry insiders, supported by SIGCIS “historians,” Ray Tomlinson, BBN

supporters, and ex-BBN employees continued to perpetuate a false history of

email by discrediting Ayyadurai's invention as well as character assassinating him

as an inventor and scientist. They used historical revisionism and confusion to redefine

and misuse the term email.


Not to mention (from the other “eBook”)


“Historians,” loyal to Raytheon/BBN and the ARPAnet community, prior

to the Smithsonian acquisition of Ayyadurai’s papers, had already written a “history”

that attributed the credit of email’s invention to members of the militaryindustrial-

academic complex (Judy, 1995; Leiner, et. al., 1999; Partridge, 2008).

The acquisition of Ayyadurai’s artifacts into the Smithsonian and its worldwide

disclosure had thrown the proverbial “monkey wrench” (W. Uricchio, personal

communications, 2012) into this false and revisionist history.


To discredit the facts and misinform journalists and bloggers, the cabal of “historians”

and industry insiders collaborated to present a listing of false claims of

email’s existence prior to 1978 (‘SIGCIS blog’, 2012; Song and He, 2014)




The deplorable and insidious collusion of those claiming

to be “historians” who deliberately supress or argue these facts, deserves a serious

public inquiry as public funds are granted to such “historians” to tell the

truth of human progress. The struggle to share these facts demonstrates how “historians”

have become sophisticated public relations agents that manufacture and

package “histories,” no different than clever propaganda, to perpetuate lies of the

pre-eminence of the military-industrial-academic complex.


The account given there of the process whereby Ayyadurai’s box of materials found its way to NMAH may also be of interest to some on this list:


Following his

mother’s death on January 7, 2012 (‘Meenakshi Ayyadurai Death Records’,

2012), he contacted Dr. Deborah Douglas, curator of the MIT Museum, with the

intention of donating the historical materials to MIT, his alma mater. After consideration,

Dr. Douglas wrote to Ayyadurai (Ayyadurai and Douglas, personal

communications, February 1, 2012):

“I wanted to follow-up with you but first I'd like to extend my sympathies to you

and your family. The loss of one's mother is often a great blow…. Naturally, I and

my assistant are always interested in learning about pioneering science and technology

projects, so it may be worthwhile for us to meet. Have other stories besides

the Time magazine article been written? We'd love to get materials for our

bio files.”


Once Dr. Douglas realized the extensive nature of the artifacts, and though she

was excited for MIT to own and house the artifacts, Dr. Douglas wrote to the

Smithsonian and the Computer History Museum (Douglas, Molella and Bedi, personal

communication, February 2, 2012), stating:

“Shiva generously offered this collection to the MIT Museum and while part of

me wants to acquire this, I honestly think it deserves to be at a place like the

Smithsonian or the Computer History Museum. I also mentioned the Lemelson

Center (which caused him to perk up as he has won a Lemelson-MIT prize!).”


This led to the both the Smithsonian and Computer History Museum communicating

directly with Ayyadurai vying to have the materials housed at their respective

museums (Ayyadurai, Kidwell and Weber, personal communications, 2012).

Ayyadurai finally chose to allow the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American

History (NMAH) to acquire the artifacts that his mother had archived. His

decision to place it in the NMAH was based on discussions and an understanding

with the Smithsonian that the NMAH would create a special exhibit that would inspire

and educate other young innovators on the possibilities for innovation (Ayyadurai,

Kidwell, Oswald, Molella and Edwards, personal communications, February

2-20, 2012). Based on these discussions and agreements, Ayyadurai did not

charge the Smithsonian anything for the acquisition.


The abstract of the other “eBook” does an interesting job of attempting to thread the needle by portraying Ayyadurai, whose promotional materials prominently featured his claimed status as an MIT “faculty member” and holder of many MIT degrees, to portray himself as an underdog outsider victimized by elites of the kind associated with MIT.


Abstract: The invention of email in Newark, New Jersey reveals fundamental

truths about the nature of innovation and exposes the “histories” and propaganda

of the “golden triangle” of the military-industrial-academic complex whose multitrillion

dollar brand advertises itself as the source of all revolutionary innovations.

Such propaganda are constructed and packaged by those consecrated as “historians”

who hone this branding to brainwash humanity that war brings good things to

life. This cabal anoints and exalts its “innovators,” predominantly whites, and a

few persons of color, who pledge to its hegemony of innovation. The indisputable

facts of the invention of email in 1978 by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, a 14-year-old,

dark-skinned, lower-caste, Indian immigrant prodigy, working as a research scholar

at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark,

defy such “histories.” The boy’s invention, the first electronic system replicating

the complex and myriad functions of the interoffice, inter-organizational

paper-based mail system (inbox, outbox, memo, address book, etc.), which he

named “email,” was motivated by his desire to create and to do the “impossible.”

Email was invented to digitize this entire system of civilian office communications

and not just to exchange text messages reliably for military battlefield communications.

Email was the first end user software application that made the digital revolution

accessible to ordinary people who had never experienced the computer keyboard

or terminal. Ayyadurai’s evolution as an inventor and scientist continued,

far beyond email, to his completing four degrees at MIT, receiving worldwide acclaim,

and being exalted as an innovator during his thirty-three years at MIT,

while within the triangle. He served their needs as a penultimate ambassador and

“model minority” to enhance their brand’s image of “inclusivity,” “diversity,” and

“equality.” However, when the Smithsonian requested and obtained artifacts documenting

email’s origin in 1978, in Newark, on February 16, 2012, and when Ayyadurai

accepted this great American honor, he unwittingly pitted himself against

their brand. The cabal unleashed disinformation claiming email was created before

1978. When these claims were debunked and Ayyadurai continued sharing facts,

the attacks escalated to a public “lynching” revealing an insidious side of racism,

which exalts persons of color when needed, and expels and annihilates them when

they challenge false histories and propaganda. Email did emerge from “collaboration,”

but not from their triangle, but organically in a local, and indigenous ecosystem

of a small medical college, where a brilliant young boy, committed teachers, a

loving family, and a dedicated mentor, solved a civilian problem, exemplifying

countless other innovations across millennia, inspired to advance life not retrofitted

from technologies intended to maim and kill. Such histories are deliberately

not documented to perpetuate lies that war is good and to mask its rapacious profits.

Documenting the invention of email in Newark, New Jersey, therefore, is a

historical imperative towards breaking this diabolical trance to reveal a fundamental

truth: innovation can occur, anytime, anyplace by anybody, and war and profit

are not its necessary and required impetus.


Best wishes,




From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Dag Spicer
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:52 AM
To: members at lists.sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] A fresh tissue of lies...


Now available from S.A.’s dupes…


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