Subject: Re: "Losers" Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 00:42:22 +0100 From: Tom Holt <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv Message-ID: <email@example.com> The message <firstname.lastname@example.org> from "Alison Hopkins" <email@example.com> contains these words: > > > >OH? He gave out his boss' name? Not to be doubtful, then, but how does one > know > >that that's truly his boss, as opposed to a friend or fake e-mail address? > > > How do we know that Theron is real.... <g> You mean you don't know? Nobody told you? For shame. "Theron Fuller" is the code name for a moderately secret Army research program designed to create an artificial intelligence (note specialised meaning of the word 'intelligence' in this context; cf 'military intelligence') capable of disrupting the e-communications of hostile nations in time of war. (The name itself is something of a giveaway; it's called 'Fuller' in honor of General John Fuller, influential military theorist and author of 'Decisive Battles Of The Western World' and other popular classics; 'Theron', as previously noted in this group, is the Greek word for the Great Beast in the Book of Revelations) The project specification requires, among other features, the ability to scan a broad range of e-communications and home in unerringly on certain key words and phrases - rather like the present Echelon system, but more precise and less easy to jam; the ability to avoid killfiles by creating threads in which its messages will be repeatedly quoted; and a synthetic personality so profoundly annoying that even usually strong-willed individuals won't be able to resist the urge to reply to it, even if they know it's only a computer program and not a human being. Arguably it was a little naughty of the military to test out 'Theron Fuller' on Usenet, and to select for the test such key words as 'B5', 'JMS', 'Michael O'Hare' &c; however, the potential importance of this field of information warfare is surely enough to justify the inconvenience caused. As Major-General Ford A Thaxton, i/c special projects development at Fort Mayne VA, remarked in his speech announcing the test, "We have selected Babylon 5 fans as a target audience because they alone are likely to have the level of perseverance and sheer bloody-minded stubborness necessary to give 'Theron Fuller' a fair workout; indeed, given the vital role we expect the Fuller device to play in preventing war in our time by quite literally boring our enemies to death, I feel it would not be overstating the case to say that the Babylon project is our last, best hope for peace."
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