Two interesting codas to this story, I realize. First, by Cc:ing FoRK
with my message to Michel, I accidentally put the Algorithm in the
Web-accessible FoRK-archive, leaving it free to be slurped up by Web
spiders galore in a place I have no control removing it from. Hence,
the problem he emailed me about isn't solved at all, even though I
removed all references I could to him from my site.
Second, it turns out that Michel really IS the person in said Algorithm.
How was I to know that the ".es" stands for Xerox El Segundo? I get
email from crack addicts, psychotics, neurotics, lawyers, pimps, drug
dealers, teenagers, agents, headhunters, and morons looking for
"e-friends" every day, so how could I know out of all the spammity crank
e-mail I get that this guy was legit?
> From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Apr 29 05:43:03 1997
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Please remove message
> X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
> > The fact that the main character of this little narrative is named
> > Denber is coincidental at best, since I don't even know you.
> Yes, well the original poster of that "joke" works for Xerox (note the
> ".es" (Xerox El Segundo plant). I worked for Xerox for 14 years. He
> was talking about me. This message was originally posted to a Xerox
> internal distribution list about 12 years ago (I forget which one just
> offhand but it was probably wither lispusers or crankmail). I don't
> know how you got ahold of it.
> > However, so you will feel better, I will change the name "Denber" in
> > the story to "Rifkin", my own name, to demonstrate the universality
> > of the joke regardless of what the name of the character therein is.
> > What's in a name, after all? A name is a name is a name.
> > The Web is a big place, so you shouldn't assume every reference to
> > someone named Denber is necessarily a reference to you.
> And you shouldn't assume that I don't have my facts straight before
> complaining. Whatever... thanks for changing it.
> - Michel
He will completely erase any preconceived notions you may have about
marketing reps for fish fertilizer companies. Of course, if you've ever
bothered having preconceived notions about fish fertilizer marketing
reps in the first place, maybe we need to talk.