[spectre] Re: Welcome to the "SPECTRE" mailing list

Michael Benson michael.benson@pristop.si
Tue, 28 Aug 2001 12:10:12 +0200

Greetings Spectre!

Thgis film's called Spectres of the Spectrum (Baldwin's)

Just to point out, as Walter's 007 URL made clear, SPECTRE in Bond mythology
actually stands for Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism,
Revenge and Extortion. Slightly different wording from what I posted, from
shaky memory.

Janos says that the name SPECTRE: 

>has still a touch of this post syndicate bitterness

...but if so, imho, the humor outweighs the edge. And it least it's not
SMERSH! (Another Bondism derived from an actual NKVD assassination squad.
Apparently they 'terminated' Trotsky, for example.)

I also have to say, as a long-term observer of NSK, I sometimes like the way
they deploy(ed) names and acronyms which appear to indicate a certain
purpose but instead actually invite a type of awareness of, or analysis of,
the purpose they appear to signify. Not that I propose that the above be the
subject of spectre -- at least, not in the long-term! 

Though, now that it's too late, I'm intrigued by sjn's New Zealandisms:
raranga and whiriwhiri, as potential names for a list. Oh well. Still, maybe
they're too close in meaning to Rhizome, though on the other hand they're
not derived from D&G. (Thanks for the clarification of the bistro
background, sj. I suppose even the Russians try to keep the actual on-duty
soldier from indulging, even now. And a good thing, too, given the number of
nuclear launchers still ready to go...)

I agree with Geert about the announcements, why not digest them a-la
nettime? Otherwise the signal-to-announcements-ratio (s.t.a.r.) can get
tilted. It's also handy to have them as a digest.

Regarding the issue raised by Janos and Geert -- that Syndicate be "properly
dealt with" (a line of Bond dialogue if I've ever heard it), I'm also of the
opinion that good understanding of the mechanism of what happened is
absolutely a pre-requisite for moving forward. That means analysis the way a
brain surgeon does analysis, i.e., presumably to further the healthy
functioning of the brain -- not in an emotional way. In other words, not
"wound-licking", as sjn suggests. What is the mechanism? How did it work,
exactly? How does it relate to what happened to recode? What happened after
the exodus from recode, and what will happen now to syndicate
(interestingly, this Balint is floating ideas now that ideas like
"nettiquette" are outmoded [!! hollow laugh]. And meanwhile there was an
extended debate about how individual subscribers can set up filters and keep
various unwanted spammers out [!! ibid]). How is it similar/different from
"meatspace" actions (for example, there was an interesting piece of
journalism I read recently about what happened, a very long time ago, in an
organization called the Weathermen in the US. What was at one time a
moderately radical leftist movement turned to terrorism -- uh, actually, to
Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion -- after an in-house putsch. The result was
that it shed most of its moderate membership, became the Weather
Underground, and started bombing buildings and robbing banks. And I'm sure
there are stories about the Red Army Faction. But maybe these comparisons
are a bit too inflated. The point is to understand the mechanism).

However, I understand if people are sick of this whole subject for a while. 

Lastly, I wish I could read German, regarding the discussion. Oh well.

Later, MB