Does “big brother” read the bovine?

Are we starting to "bleed through" into the dystopian plot of a Philip K Dick novel? This illustration is by R. Crumb, from his graphic novella rendition of "The Religious Experience of Phillip K. Dick"

Are we starting to "bleed through" into the plot of one of Philip K Dick's novels? Picture of Mr. Dick from R. Crumb's comic, "The Religious Experience of Philip K Dick".

A funny thing happened between the time a comment was written and when it arrived on this blog. This was on the story last week about the NAU and raw chocolate. Winifred posted a comment and what we received at this end included the following text:

“…Beyond the questioning, I couldn’t imagine someone forcibly taking my baby away, especially when I had committed no crime. Are the authorities being held at all accountable when such a travesty occurs?  True         s happen, of varying magnitude, and         s need to be recognized as         s.  But if an         ….is there at least an acknowledgement of the travesty and a learning curve occurring?  I somehow have my doubts.”

So we posted it, in spite of the nonsensical part at the end. Then Winifred commented again to say:

“please change the three “s”s in the last three lines to the word %          s” -thnx  …s could stand for another word….and one I don’t tend to use.”

So we did change the “s” to “%s”, not that it made any more sense than the first time. Later we talked with Winifred in person and she told us unequivocably that what was written in both comments was the word “accidents”, not “s” or “%s”.

Then we took the issue up with wordpress support, saying:

“…The commenter typed the word “accidents” three times in the first comment. It came through at our end with each of those words appearing as “s”.

Then in the second comment, the same commenter typed the word “accidents” again. This time it came through as “%s” at our end.

Of course we then edited the first comment to replace “s” with “%s” as per the apparent request of the commenter.

So, to sum up, we have the same transformation repeated three times in the first comment. Then in the second comment, the same word is transformed but in a different way. It’s hard to imagine that this could be the result of any sort of “bug” in a deterministic system such as wordpress software.

What do you think?

And the response from a wordpress support person:

There is no one altering your posts and we also don’t have some kind of blacklist or something for such words.

If this should happen once again – then please let us know as I will get worried, too 🙂

Seems like we’ve entered a parallel universe here that has more than a little in common with the dystopian novels of Philip K. Dick. It’s like “someone” messed with the comment. But if they did, what’s their message? And what’s their agenda? Perhaps, by their choice of words to mutilate, they were telling us that the mutilations were NOT an accident.


Philip K Dick official site
The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick, by R. Crumb (highly recommended). This is an 8 page graphic novella from issue 17 of “Wierdo” magazine.

For those who don’t know his work, Philip K Dick is one of the most acclaimed sci-fi writers of the 20th century. In his books and stories he used hypothetical worlds of sci-fi fiction to explore themes of individual freedom and social control.

Michael Schmidt has suggested, though not in relation to this incident, that at least 10 of the typically 50-200 hits we get each day on this site come from government regulators of various sorts, educating themselves about the world of raw milk. Hey, everyone’s welcome here. But we don’t send just anybody to the back of the bus.

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