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October 10, 2007

First rule of the Internet: When you stumble across anything interesting — print it out


I happened on this advice in the bibliography of Patrick Radden Keefe's superb book, "Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping."

I have always done this but that's because of my peculiar way of dealing with online information: I don't put stuff in virtual files or folders but always print out things I might want to refer to, then file the paper.

An example: I'm perplexed when people tell me they can't find an email amongst all their saved messages — I don't have any saved messages.

Not one.

I completely empty my email boxes — In, Out, Sent, Drafts, Trash — at least weekly.

All gone.

Anything that seems of interest I've already printed out the moment I received it.

Hasn't seemed to be a problem yet.

But I digress.

From time to time while I'm creating stuff here I inadvertently publish something I'd intended to appear sometime in the future — hours, days, weeks or months from now.

As soon as TypePad goes through its pinging and all, I immediately reclassify that errant post as a draft, then redo the future posting date.

But for that several second interval between the errant post appearing and my taking it down, that post is up on bookofjoe, for anyone to read and, if they're quick enough, print out.

But then it's gone.

So like the proverbial tree in the forest, it may — or may not — have made the visual equivalent of a sound.

If no one saw it, it didn't.

If one person saw it, it still didn't — because unless that person printed it out, how can they prove it?

When it comes to the ultra-secret world described in Keefe's book, it can't be said better than he does, to wit: "Finally, the agencies themselves all have websites these days and will occasionally (very occasionally) post revealing or useful information. See www.nsa.gov; www.gchq.gov.uk; www.cse-cst.gc.ca; www.dsd.gov.au; www.gcsb.govt.nz; and, naturally, www.darpa.mil."

And remember, should you stumble across anything interesting on one these sites: print it out!

You can read the first chapter of his book here.

October 10, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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uhoh forrgot my name

Posted by: Flautist | Oct 10, 2007 1:35:46 PM

Doesn't matter if you print it out or not -- print outs are only as 'legitimate' as your HTML skills. Look at the Loose Change guys...these guys have gone out of their way to create a 9/11 conspiracy even after talking publicly that they wanted to create a conspiracy years before this. Folks have the proof, but for some reason the crackpots are more willing to believe the conartists who want to invent an experience around a tragedy than those telling the truth (or at least a more reasonable facsimile of which than the other guys).

Face it, nothing on the internet is real. I picked my nom de plume from some looser I found on the interweb and hacked his email accounts. I'm actually an angry Chinese lesbian who collects ceramic kittens. Anything you may have read about clifyt on this site is a lie. Nothing on tha intarweb is teh reelz.

Posted by: clifyt | Oct 10, 2007 12:27:16 PM

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