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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Scam of the day

I love this one:

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Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics although, I wish to use this medium to get in touch with you first because it's fastest means. I am an external auditor of a well known Bank here in the United Kingdom.

In one of our periodic auditing I discovered a dormant accounts with holding balance of 26,000,000 (Twenty Six Million British Pounds) which has not been operated for the past three years. From my investigations and confirmations,the owner of this account, a foreigner by name Mr.Gregory U.Wilson died in plane crash in July 19,2003 and since then nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he has no family members who are aware of the existence of neither the account nor the funds.

i have secretly discussed this matter with a top senior minister official of the federal ministry of finance here and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with us, although due to his position he did not want to take active part but as soon as you follow my instructions everything will be successful because we will be working hand in hand with him We thus propose to do business with you,standing in as the next of kin of these funds from the deceased and after due legal processes have been followed the fund will be released to your account without delay and we will use it for investment and to assist the less privileged in the society because if we leftthe fund with the government it will be fortified for nothing and will be used to suppress the poor masses in the society.

At the conclusion of the transfer you will take 35%,5% will be for any expenses both parties incurred in the process of this business and the remaining 60% will be for me. As soon as I hear from you and upon your strong assurance that you will not let me down once the fund goes into your account I will then start the processing of the transfer of the fund to your account without further delay.


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Well, I wouldn't want the fund to be "fortified for nothing" and "used to suppress the poor masses in society". I'm really, really tempted.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An interesting statistic

I have a separate folder on my system for all emails sent or received relating to Voices of Disbelief. I'm not counting tangential discussions of the project with uninvolved people; I mean strictly emails that are the equivalent of business letters - planning with Udo, discussions with publishers and agents, approaches to potential authors, discussions with the actual authors (including electronic manuscripts sent back and forth in the editing process), and so on.

So far, this adds up to 1614 emails - some quite brief some very long and complex. Who says that editors don't work hard? Well, maybe no one says that. Still ... I was astonished to see just how many it came to. And there's a long way to go yet before we see it into print.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More on the Henson case

In the wake of the hysteria over Bill Henson's photographs earlier this year, David Marr has just published what sounds like a sensible book on the subject. I look forward to reading it, but meanwhile here's a review by Peter Craven. It seems to me that Craven has pretty much nailed it this time.

Once again, we see some very unfortunate populism from our politicians - who should know better. Even Malcolm Turnbull, whose comments last time round showed good sense, has got caught up in it. When will they ever learn?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Checking in from Conflux ... and more Dreaming Again

I'm currently in Canberra, at the Conflux science fiction convention. I'm looking forward to getting home and wrestling a few things back under control, but am having a great time at Conflux, which has been a very welcoming and friendly convention (though why, oh why, can't they manage to keep the hotel bar open for more than a few hours a day?).

On Friday night, there was a launching/signing for Jack Dann's anthology, Dreaming Again, with many of the authors (Jenny and I among them) in town. We've just followed up with a panel of sorts devoted to the book - with editor Jack Dann, publisher Stephanie Smith, and (again) lots of the authors in attendance (plus a receptive and engaged audience).

In a moment of foolishness, I admitted that I haven't yet found time to read the whole book, or indeed to do more than dip into it ... but I'm looking forward to doing so. The production values have certainly done us all proud, with a beautiful cover, and general design, as well as a line-up of authors who place us in great company. Hopefully, things will be a bit less crazy when I get back to Melbourne and I can treat myself to reading the whole volume.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Off to Conflux

I'll be driving to Canberra tomorrow for the science fiction convention Conflux - where I'm appearing on several panels. Then home to Melbourne on Monday for what has to count these days as normality.