Re: misquoting . . . .


Dan Lynch (LYNCH@A.ISI.EDU)
Wed 2 Nov 88 23:55:07-EST


Stev, The press does a mixed job, for sure. But they fill a need for
many persons who want to get a feel of what is going on "out there".
I look upon it as "awareness training". When I see enough articles
about something I am peripherally interested in, I then do something
more "serious" about gettin gthe next level of information. I remember
having the follwoing three experiences in my life with the press:
1) When I was 16 I got in a fender bender in my small town. It got in the
local paper, of course! The article had me going north instead of south,
driving the other person's vehicle make, etc. They did, however, get my name
right.
2) A few years ago there was a Datamation article about me and my efforts
to resolve theissue of whether there was going to be a big push to mandate
TCP/IP protocol testing. The article had numerous "quotes" from me and
from at least a half dozen other persons. Essentially every "fact" in
the article was wrong. (All the numbers were off by a factor of at least
10 and in random directions!) The "story" was, however, very accurate.
3) A few months ago I had a long interview with some reporter about the
evolution of TCP/IP. In our conversation I told the reporter about some
of my (dark) past and one item had to do with how I worked on managing the
transition from the old NCP protocols to the new TCP/IP protocols. In the
ensuing printed article the reporter said that I led the conversion of
IBM's Network Control Program for the 360/370 architecture to Arpanet.
That poor reporter took my acronym, NCP, and translated it to something
quite normal in the "real world". No harm. No one called me up and
called me a charlatan because I actually know nothing about IBM's NCP!

In short, Stev, you are right! Just say it the best way you know how
and take the "losses in translation". That's the beauty of humans.
They can compensate for a lot of bogosity. If, howsomever, they take
a tight, efficient, accurate algorithm from someone like Van Jacobson and
contort it in any way, it cannot be compiled by a computer, for sure.

Now that I've started and ended this with "Valley Speak",
Ciao,
Dan
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