[linux-elitists] random questions

Jason Whittle jason@well.com
Sun Dec 9 18:49:11 PST 2001

On Sat, 8 Dec 2001, Rick Moen wrote:
>>> I highly recommend his small but deft volume of memoirs, _My Secret
>>> War_.  Much more interesting and worthwhile than, say, Wright's
>>> _Spycatcher_, which came out about the same time.
>> Hmmm... A book presented a non-fiction, written by a man who was
>> arguably one of the great manipulators of the century. I sense that
>> you have a greater desire to be deceived than even a devout Mormon.
>> Seriously though, _My Secret War_ contains a great deal what is
>> presented as factual information that other members of the spy trade
>> have deemed apocryphal. I don't know about _Spycatcher._
> I can't help noticing that these judgements you allude to fail to
> address the question of whether Philby's book is interesting and
> worthwhile -- while gratuitously attributing to me (in your first
> paragraph) views I nowhere stated.
> I don't believe I've met you, sir.  Do you have some particular reason
> for this sort of behaviour, or were you just having a bad day and
> determined to share?

I don't believe we've met, either; I have no particular pedigree to
recommend me to this group. I've been attempting to work up a request to
this list for advice regarding the generals of web design. Having acquired
some knowledge of the specifics, I find myself frustrated to discover that
the only way to guarantee that I'm not excluding anyone is to use pure
text, and that by using pure text I will probably not endear myself to the
people in charge of hiring at the engineering firms I'm currently applying

I'm additionally frustrated that just by asking questions of this list I
may get badly burned. At the same time, I find much of the discourse here
to be enlightening, in a rather Socratic way, and so don't want to
intentionally exclude myself by getting pegged as a luker. Apparently, all
this filtered through me, making my post rather more acerbic than I had
intended. For this I apologize. I also don't generally make snide comments
involving religion to groups whose makeup I know nothing of.

Furthermore, I don't dispute that Philby's work was interesting. Both
Philby himself and the architecture of lies he created were extremely
interesting, and his take on that situation only compounded it's
entertainment value. It was your assertion that it was worthwhile--to use
precisely your word--in regards to a request for information that I took
exception with. While I agree that _My Secret War_ is an excellent read, I
cannot recommend it as an introduction to the subject for reasons I have
already stated.

Jason Whittle

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