From: Philip Greenspun
Subject: GSB, Friday the 25th, 5:30 PM, 7AI
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 23:38:26 -0400

In this time of national politicking and general rabble rousing, the air is thick with the sounds of pork-barrel-fed hot air hissing from duly elected members of our representatively democratic government. In the vein of avoiding the issues and pandering to popular rhetoric, calling for change, and stumping to "throw the bums out," we invite you to band together with us, rally round the flag, and come join the Committee to Restore the Honor of Tech Square.

For those of you who do not regularly attend GSB, let me summarize our earlier, grander, plan to Restore the Honor of MIT: "you can only have a research job at MIT if you can be killed in the ordinary day-to-day prosecution of your studies." Departments that stay include Metallurgy, Chemistry, Biology of Mutants, Experimental Physics. All of Course VI would have to be flushed except for Power Systems, but most of us feel that this is a small price to pay for shedding the institutional shame of wimp departments like Sloan, STS, and the Humanities.

Thus far, despite his muscular build, collection of automatic rifles, consistently macho attitude, and reputation for decisive action, Charles "Chuck" Vest has refused to ratify the Restore the Honor of MIT plan. So we've been forced to refocus our attention locally with a more modest plan to educate Tech Square newcomers in our glorious history.

One would think that, working amidst our beautifully curated Museum of Antique Unix Hardware, young graduate students would naturally develop a reverence for innovations developed in this building over the years. However, it doesn't seem to be working that way. These newcomers are pushing back the frontiers, to be sure; I've personally seen students stay up all night studying the Negroponte Inversion (performing handstands naked save for a light wrapping in RG-58 cable TV coax, pausing occasionally to scratch their behinds with a Motorola Micro TAC II cell phone antenna), but one questions the wisdom of this approach to Computer Science.

Nor is dedication lacking among research staff. One scholar has been working desperately to make up for the deficient education he received at Carnegie Mellon. Every morning at 3 am I find him interacting with an Intelligent Agent called "Netscape." The agent seems to have developed a real knack for finding photographs from Sweden and Asia (Olin: I didn't acknowledge you by name because I appreciate your reluctance to publish results without a bunch of impressive looking mathematical equations and proofs lifted from the pizza delivery section of the Thessaloniki Yellow Pages).

Despite all of this good work, it is sometimes a bit painful to hear a student ask "Richard Stallman, didn't he win a MacArthur Fellowship for developing Windows 95?" So at this, our first meeting of the Committee to Restore the Honor of Tech Square, ancient and/or dead graduate students are encouraged to bring stories of how GNU Project efforts have facilitated leading edge computer science research worldwide at this week's

     G  I  R  L     S  C  O  U  T     B  E  N  E  F  I  T

in the 7th floor playroom (just a few doors down from RMS's old 7th floor office; check the emacs online docs if you don't believe me) at 5:30pm.

Legal Note: "Intelligent Agent" is a registered trademark of the MIT Media Lab. "Negroponte Inversion" is a registered servicemark of WIRED Magazine, LLP. "Richard Stallman" is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.