03.12.08

Patrick Durusau. And That Trip to Seattle, Washington…

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 7:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With all due respect to Mr. Durusau, we wish to pass on various bits of information without making any direct accusations.

Over the past few years — and particularly in the past few months — we have identified a pattern where people have their minds flipped upside-down after encountering or meeting with Microsoft. The stories are sometimes complex and we covered many examples before.

“Microsoft was also seen inviting journalists.”Some of the many examples include Slashdot editors and Webmasters who are considered "Microsoft doubters". They were invited to Seattle. Microsoft was also seen inviting journalists. Yes, they were flown in to ‘brainwash sessions’ before spreading Microsoft’s twisted version of the stories in the press (e.g. [1, 2, 3]). Then you have Miguel de Icaza and open source project leaders who became partners with Microsoft. They are subsequently caught inviting others to join hands with Microsoft, sometimes making special deals (e.g. XenSource, Zend).

We know about no contact between the ODF Foundation and Microsoft, but some people have their suspicions.

And now comes Rob Weir’s report about Patrick Durusau.

From the start Patrick has remained publicly silent on the topic of OOXML. No blog posts, no press, nothing. If you asked, he would say that this was his policy. Privately, you would get an earful (all negative), but as befits the unbiased chair of the committee which is responsible for the technical recommendation for the US NB, he kept his personal opinions out of the public arena.

This public orientation changed recently. As best I can figure it, on returning from a conference in Seattle in late January, Patrick was a changed man. Patrick is now an enthusiastic OOXML supporter and is eager to inform the world of his delight in OOXML at every opportunity. He posts his “open letters” on his web site, which are linked to, often within minutes, by the various Microsoft bloggers, and then sent around by Microsoft employees to the press and the various JTC1 NB’s.

[...]

Of course, Microsoft will not be so careful to distinguish Patrick’s personal opinions from his professional affiliations. So a post from Patrick’s personal web site is retold on a Microsoft blog as “The ODF Editor says….”, and then the next day is sent in an email to NB’s with a larger set of “endorsements”: . . .

Thanks to a poster who goes by the name “linonut”, here is a relevant writing that may explain what we see here. It’s titled “Manufacturing Consent: A Propaganda Mode”.

In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear that the media serve the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent. This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and governmental malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest. What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality in command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.

What to make of this? Your call. The document above contains many more techniques such as the calling of something “communism” to create backlash and receive consent from the media. Memories of Microsoft's "Jihad" against its rivals return to mind (“Jihad” is Microsoft’s own word, which applies to internal E-mails from Netscape- and Java-era Microsoft). There is no gentle way to put it, but Microsoft has not changed its ways. It just got better at hiding it, and not only because of its E-mail shredding policies.

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