[SIGCIS-Members] Ayyadurai: it gets more complex

David Golumbia dgolumbia at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 06:50:27 PST 2017


thanks to Jonathan for pointing to this. the video is now available, and it
is every bit as outrageous and infuriating as we could expect. an
unexpected aspect (at least to me, not following Ayyadurai all that
closely) is a full-on attack against academic peer review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7mfjmSNnOk

On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 10:59 PM, Jonathan Coopersmith <
j-coopersmith at tamu.edu> wrote:

> While idling in traffic today, I listened to the Alex Jones show (don't
> ask but I learned a lot about the human body's need for selenium), and
> learned he had a specific guest whose efforts to uncover the truth about
> GMOs led to attacks to destroy him professionally as a way to discredit his
> GMO, um, findings.
>   To quote, "On this *Tuesday, January 10* broadcast of the Alex Jones
> Show, Trump insider *Roger Stone* discusses what to expect in the last
> ten days before the inauguration. Also, the inventor of Email, *Dr. Shiva
> Ayyadurai, Ph.D.* joins the show to explain the connection he found
> between email and GMO’s. On today’s show we’ll also look at the Jeff
> Sessions confirmation…
>
>http://www.infowars.com/watch-alex-jones-show/
>
>>
> Jonathan Coopersmith
> Professor
> Department of History
> Texas A&M University
> College Station, TX  77843-4236
> 979.845.7151 <(979)%20845-7151>
> 979.862.4314 <(979)%20862-4314> (fax)
> http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/author/42
> :
> latest post is "Coal Comfort.  Is Hillary Clinton being 'Al Gored'?" at
> *http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/153818
> <http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/153818>*
>
> * FAXED.  The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine* (Johns Hopkins University
> Press) is the co-recipient of the 2016 Business History Conference Hagley
> Prize for best book in business history.
>
>
> On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 8:35 AM, Thomas Haigh <thomas.haigh at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Hello SIGCIS,
>>
>> In response to the various suggestions that a comprehensive rebuttal would
>> need to engage with Ayyadurai's efforts to define email in a very specific
>> way: yes. A comprehensive rebuttal would. That's why my page
>> www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai is very long and detailed, which also makes it
>> off
>> putting to casual readers. I urge anyone with an interest in the case to
>> read it before commenting further.
>>
>> My comment was more about a concise and convincing way to explain why this
>> is not a usual invention priority dispute. I do not recall anyone prior to
>> Ayyadurai claiming that things like mid-1970s Arpanet electronic mail or
>> Xerox Laurel were not email. For example, Janet Abbate's book Inventing
>> the
>> Internet talks without reservation about "email" as the killer application
>> of the ARPANET in the mid-1970s.
>>
>> The SIGCIS community does not need to anoint a "first" for email to agree
>> that something produced in 1978/80/82 cannot possibly be the first email
>> system. Here's an analogy: not everyone believes that the Wright Brothers
>> were the first to fly when they took to the air in 1903. There are other
>> contenders, other definitions, etc. Some people favor Whitehead in 1901.
>> But
>> if someone tells you he invented the airplane in 1918 you don't need to
>> ask
>> about the details of his system. A lot of well documented flying had
>> happened by then. Just show a dated photograph of the Red Baron. And if
>> the
>> would-be inventor of the airplane justifies his claim with a new 60 point
>> definition of airplane you are not obliged to take that definition
>> seriously.
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Tom
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of
>> McMillan, William W
>> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2017 6:56 AM
>> To: Sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
>> Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Resources on Ayyadurai saga
>>
>> Isn't the claim more to the well-developed metaphor of a mail system
>> similar
>> to a physical office mail system?
>>
>> For example, Kay and Xerox can claim priority to the UI desktop metaphor,
>> even though all the operations it implemented existed previously in
>> command-line systems.
>>
>> The parry and riposte to pointing out mail/messaging capabilities of early
>> systems is that, yes, they had similar functions, but that they had not
>> been
>> developed into a coherent metaphor for a complete real-world mail system.
>>
>> .... not that this is a valid claim ...
>>
>> Once you get into the UI widget, look-and-feel, metaphor space, the ground
>> gets soft.
>>
>> - Bill
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Jordi
>> Fornes
>> [jfornes at ac.upc.edu]
>> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2017 4:41 AM
>> To: Guy Fedorkow
>> Cc: Thomas Haigh; members at lists.sigcis.org
>> Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Resources on Ayyadurai saga
>>
>> That’s the point. What is an email? At least since 1975 (in the sixth
>> edition of the Unix programmer’s manual) the command “mail” exists “to
>> send
>> mail to designated users”.
>> I have not access to the source code of BSD Unix, but it was developed
>> with
>> a source control revision system, so it should be available somewhere. I'm
>> almost certain that the “mail” command in 4 BSD (circa 1980)  sent mail
>> over
>> TCP/IP.
>>
>> At all events, we need a definition of email, accepted by the community of
>> experts, before talk about “firsts” (in my opinion, a trap keyword in
>> history of science).
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>>>> Dr Jordi Fornés
>> jfornes at ac.upc.edu<mailto:jfornes at ac.upc.edu>
>> +34 934 054 064 <+34%20934%2005%2040%2064>
>> Computer Architecture Department
>> Room D6-102
>> Campus Nord, Barcelona
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 5 Jan 2017, at 20:30, Guy Fedorkow
>> <guy.fedorkow at gmail.com<mailto:guy.fedorkow at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>> Tom,
>>   As I remember from the last round, the disagreement seemed to be over
>> the
>> definition of "email", wasn't it?  I don't think there was a denial that
>> messages were sent between computer terminals prior to the plucky young
>> contributor's work, but that only after that point did the technology
>> truly
>> deserve the appellation "EMAIL", as allegedly proven by the grant of
>> copyright?
>>   It does seem like there's been a certain fluidity in choosing whether
>> the
>> argument of the day is based on the name or the functional
>> characteristics...
>>   But a refutation might want to consider both factors, i.e., evidence
>> that
>> the term email was in wide use, and that the claimed functionality (beyond
>> just sending a message, although I don't remember what it was) was in use
>> prior to the alleged invention.
>> /guy
>>
>>
>> On 1/5/2017 12:56 PM, Thomas Haigh wrote:
>> Thanks Dave,
>>
>> The other advice I have for anyone commenting on this case is to keep the
>> argument simple.
>>
>> There are a lot of invention controversies along the lines of “Big famous
>> company X says that it invented technology Y in (date 2), but actually
>> plucky inventor Z had previously come up with the same technology in (date
>> 1). Because date 1 is earlier than date 2 we should remember plucky
>> inventor
>> Z as the true inventor of Y, despite the PR and legal resources of
>> company X
>> which denied him recognition.” That’s the narrative that Ayyadurai is
>> telling about himself, and reporters are liable to turn it into an
>> Ayyadurai
>> vs. Tomlinson contest. Discussion of such claims head in the direction of
>> debates on whether plucky inventor Z’s simple prototype really counts as
>> inventing the technology.
>>
>> What’s different about this case is that plucky inventor Z claims to have
>> invented email in either 1980 or, more recently, in 1978 (and has shown
>> code
>> snippets that appears to come from 1982). Whereas historians already knew
>> that simple electronic mail systems were in use at MIT in 1965, that
>> electronic mail was sent over what became the Internet in 1971, that spam
>> was sent in 1978, that Xerox had a recognizably modern GUI client by that
>> time etc. So the features of Ayyadurai’s system are not the important
>> thing
>> in assessing his claim to be “the inventor of email.” I have no reason to
>> doubt that he produced a perfectly good local email system. But Ayyadurai
>> is
>> only “the inventor of email” if nothing done prior to 1978 (or 1980 or
>> 1982)
>> was email.  In other words, he’s trying to use the classic “plucky
>> suppressed inventor” narrative even though his date 1 is many years later
>> than the established date 2.
>>
>> To rebut this claim one doesn’t need to designate any individual as THE
>> inventor of email, merely to reiterate the historical consensus that email
>> is a synonym for electronic mail and that electronic mail was in use prior
>> to 1978 (or 1980 or 1982). However smart and likeable you are, you can’t
>> invent something that’s already been invented.
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Tom
>>
>> From: dave.walden.family at gmail.com<mailto:dave.walden.family at gmail.com>
>> [mailto:dave.walden.family at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2017 10:02 AM
>> To: Thomas Haigh <thomas.haigh at gmail.com><mailto:thomas.haigh at gmail.com>
>> Cc: Christine Finn
>> <christine.finn at gmail.com><mailto:christine.finn at gmail.com>; David
>> Golumbia
>> <dgolumbia at gmail.com><mailto:dgolumbia at gmail.com>;
>> Sigcis<members at sigcis.org><mailto:members at sigcis.org>
>> Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Resources on Ayyadurai saga
>>
>> Maybe the document should be something like a friend-of-court brief that
>> is
>> provided to the defense attorney rather than a public document and the
>> court
>> if the case ever goes to court.  There is plenty of time for public
>> documents later.  I would think that passing Tom's list below to the
>> defense
>> attorney would already be useful.
>> Best regards, Dave
>>  http://walden-family.com/bbn/email-invention.html (not updated in
>> several
>> years)
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>>
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>
>
> _______________________________________________
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-- 
David Golumbia
dgolumbia at gmail.com
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