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NELSON RESPONSE TO 'WIRED' LIBEL
- To: xanews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: NELSON RESPONSE TO 'WIRED' LIBEL
- From: ted@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 28 May 95 16:52:27 JST
- Reply-to: xanews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: avatar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- FEEL FREE TO RESEND OR REPOST
UNDER YOUR OWN NAME AND INITIATIVE. -
Originally from: Ted Nelson, 28 May, 1995.
Dear friend, or person on my mailing list:
The June issue of WIRED magazine contains an extremely nasty
and mean-spirited article entitled "The Curse of Xanadu,"
by Gary Wolf, which purports to be the obituary of Project Xanadu.
(It was available earlier at the HOTWIRED Web site, where it was
used as a come-on for inaugurating HOTWIRED's pay-per-copy
The merely factual errors begin in the first sentence. More
importantly, I believe the article contains material which is
offensive, false, damaging, and dishonest in reporting, thereby
meeting the legal test of libel.
The article is an affront to the alumni and veterans of the Xanadu
project, some fifty of us over the years, contriving to make our
endeavors look impossible and asinine; the article materially
misstates the intentions of the project and our technical
assertions; the article severely damages the "Xanadu" trademark,
which (Wolf neglects to mention) has been divorced for two and a
half years from the software he takes such pains to misrepresent
and malign; and the article claims that my work in the 1960s and
1970s was "absurd," based on "inability," "ignorance" and "fantasy."
WIRED magazine is a well-funded, lavish, and very successful magazine
with connections throughout the upper reaches of the computer
industry, so Wolf had ample resources to research these matters
thoroughly and get them right. But his supremely well-honed
literary craftsmanship can leave little doubt of his malicious
and destructive intent.
Accordingly, on behalf of my colleagues of Project Xanadu, and myself:
I am sending out this letter to everyone in my email files;
I will soon send a long letter to WIRED (to be available to anyone
by automatic responsebot on June 8; for a copy, send any email to
libel@xxxxxxxxxx after that date);
I will publish a list of errors in Wolf's piece, and related material,
at http://xanadu.net/wolfsbane, opening June 8;
I will give a talk at Xerox PARC on Tuesday, June 13, pm 730,
entitled "What Did He Know and When Did He Know It? Xanadu and the
Curse of WIRED," summarizing my life's work to date, including my
non-computer work. This will be an official part of the evening's
I will announce my next moves in response to the WIRED article at
a press conference at the Digital World Conference in Los Angeles
on Wednesday June 7, pm 230.
I cordially invite you to pass this letter on to interested individuals
or newsgroups to which you believe it has legitimate relevance (but
please, however enthusiastically supportive of us, do not pester
inappropriate groups or individuals with it).
Sadly yours, I look forward to the full airing of the truth and to
the restitution of damages resulting from this article.
Theodor Holm Nelson
Permanent address: ted@xxxxxxxxxx