February 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm
Of my many mistakes, flubs, and howlers, few have been as public as my 1995 howler.
At the time, I was trying to speak against the tide of futuristic commentary on how The Internet Will Solve Our Problems.
Gives me pause. Most of my screwups have had limited publicity: Forgetting my lines in my 4th grade play. Misidentifying a Gilbert and Sullivan song while suddenly drafted to fill in as announcer on a classical radio station. Wasting a week hunting for planets interior to Mercury’s orbit using an infrared system with a noise level so high that it couldn’t possibly detect ‘em. Heck – trying to dry my sneakers in a microwave oven (a quarter century later, there’s still a smudge on the kitchen ceiling)
And, as I’ve laughed at others’ foibles, I think back to some of my own cringeworthy contributions.
Now, whenever I think I know what’s happening, I temper my thoughts: Might be wrong, Cliff…
Warm cheers to all,
-Cliff Stoll on a rainy Friday afternoon in Oakland
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