NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Mixing politics and religion

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Mixing politics and religion

Talking religion and politics in a technology column was a tough job. So I thank you for all your thoughtful comments in response to my suggesting forgiveness last week. I've read every one of them. Many of you agreed with my sentiments, and many didn't, and I respect your opinions.

I think I understand both sides, and it's important I clarify one thing: I'm not advocating "forgive equals forget about it". The sentiment says we must bring the perpetrators to justice. I just can't subscribe to the view that this response must also include the deaths of more innocent people - those we saw labelled in past conflicts as "collateral damage".

I also agree that the world will never be the same. But this is also true: we must continue on with our lives despite the difficulties, and for me this means more Notes from the Field.

Read a book

Meanwhile, others are doing their own background research. A friend e-mailed me the top-selling books at last week. It offers an interesting insight into our thoughts at this time - and no, I've got no idea why so many of you are reading about GE's Jack Welch right now.

Here's part of the list, in order of popularity: Germs: America's Secret War Against Biological Weapons, by Judith Miller et al; Jack: Straight from the Gut, by Jack Welch; Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center, by Angus Kress Gillespie; The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden, and the Future of Terrorism, by Simon Reeve; Black House, by Stephen King and Peter Straub; Nostradamus:

The Complete Prophecies, by John Hogue; Bin Laden, by Yossef Bodansky.

Windows XP

Still wondering about the XP fuss? A few weeks ago I wrote of CompUSA's online fumble, listing the full upgrade at $US1025.01. A few of my spies observed the official release date was October 25, pointing to data-entry incompetence. Or perhaps the company was dreaming of the day when money would again grow on trees?

Sun-ny days

When AOL recently laid off 500 people from the Sun/Netscape alliance iPlanet, Sun said it strengthened its role in the company. Now one of my spies observes that the agreement between Sun and Netscape is due for renewal in March 2002. There's no official word yet on the renewal plans, but my spy says we can expect Sun to take full control of iPlanet after that date.

"I was amazed at the message of unity, peace and tolerance," Amber gushed. She had just attended a huge interfaith prayer meeting in San Francisco last week, and was awestruck. Sure, she might echo more of the "liberal California" sentiment I was attacked for, but at least everyone's thinking.

The peace-loving Robert X. Cringely can be reached at

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