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1997 Fools: MSIE-3 REPLACES E-COLI IN LATEST CONTAMINATION SCARE
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 13:07:10 -0700 From: scott figgins <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients:;@dnai.com Subject: MSIE-3 Contamination Scare STTF World Wide Wire Service 9 June 1997 DATELINE--Central Valley, Calif. MSIE-3 REPLACES E-COLI IN LATEST CONTAMINATION SCARE Researchers from the University of Tennessee have identified a fungal agent that may soon threaten the stability of the global economy. The virus-like mold known only as "MSIE-3," short for Mildew Sporozite Invasive Exotic type 3, was apparently first introduced into the United States in 1993 by a shipment of laptop computers manufactured in Singapore. The newly identified MSIE-3 mold is the only organism known to man capable of breaking down the coating used to seal computer microchips. The voracious mildew apparently uses a unique enzyme to reduce computer components into a "silicon soup." The fungus can literally melt down a computer, from the inside out, in less than 24 hours. In San Jose, Calif., where the majority of the nation's microchips are designed before being mass-produced in Southeast Asian factories, the MSIE-3 fungus has already closed down three labs and seriously compromised the operations of over 140 computer companies. Even after the UT report on MSIE-3 was published earlier this week, neither public nor private parties have officially acknowledged the presence of a Invasive Exotic in the computer world. WORKERS SENT HOME, SCIENTISTS SHRUG Invasive Exotics, or I.E.'s as they are known in the world of horticulture, are nothing new in America. First introduced by the successive waves of immigrants who colonized this continent, I.E.'s like the Kudzu plant have already destroyed entire sectors of the nation's agricultural base. But before the recent discovery of Mildew Sporozite type 3 no species of I.E. was known to target strictly synthetic environments. "Unlike the sometimes useful Bamboo tree, this mildew I.E. is only destructive," said Dr. Adele Fertihumis, one of the UT scientists credited with identifying MSIE-3," and there is nothing that can be done about it...but prevent it from spreading like a chemical wildfire." There is still no consensus on how the computer-hungry mold should be contained, and industry analysts worry that time is running out. According to the UT report, if the current growth rate of MSIE-3 is left unchecked, every computer in North America will have been dissolved into oblivion by the 1998. A NEW UNION BETWEEN OLD RIVALS In Silicon Valley, Calif., the threat of biological warfare has caught an entire industry off guard. With the exception of the occasional earthquake or a random monsoon in the Far East, few natural disasters have ever threatened the artificial growth of the computer industry. But the sterile world of Silicon Valley will not have far to turn to find assistance in fighting its fungal adversary: less than a two hour drive from the cubicles of San Jose are the fabled farming rows of the Central Valley. The expansive Central Valley of California is the single greatest food source in the Western U.S., employing hundreds of thousands of migrant farmworkers each year to harvest everything from strawberries to pistachio nuts--often under torturous conditions. Though largely overshadowed by the stunning economic growth of the computer industry, California's agribusiness may now hold the key to eradicating the cataclysmic MSIE-3 fungus. Representatives from Silicon Valley have already met with engineers representing some of the largest farms in the Golden State. Both sides hope that their collaboration will yield a solution to the latest Invasive Exotic epidemic while strengthening the alliance between the agricultural and computer industries. And the first task on their agenda is tracing the ecological origins of the MSIE-3 fungus. THE WORLD WIDE WEB OF THE LATE 1500'S Unfortunately, the detective work ahead of the MSIE-3 task force may be too great a challenge for the team's agricultural engineers and venture capitalists. According to Dr. Fertihumis, "the history of I.E.'s is too tangled a web in which to isolate a single species, no matter how noxious." Horticulturists like Dr. Fertihumis warn that before the computer industry can even begin to explore its options for dealing with MSIE-3, it will have to confront the legacy of previous Invasive Exotics--possibly including the computer, itself, as an I.E. "The history of Invasive Exotics includes all sorts of economic disasters," relates Dr. Fertihumis, "sugar refineries in the Caribbean, cotton plantations in the American South, coffee harvesting in South America--each and every one of these monocultures led to the ultimate decimation of native life, both plant and human. Not to mention the reckless introduction of foreign life into the environment: African slaves as well as other beasts of burden and pleasure." Indeed, the MSIE-3 mold is thought to have originated in Singapore, where American economic standards and values have been adopted alongside feudal social codes. Imports from other countries similarly compromised by admixtures of American culture and local customs could very well become the MSIE-3's of tomorrow. Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe: there is not a single continent in which the U.S. has not intervened with its culture and upon which it does not now depend for cheap consumer goods--each and every one potentially incubating an Invasive Exotic. The age of the plagues is upon us. Copyright South to the Future (STTF) 1997 ------------------------------------------------------------------------>>>> .....//////////..//////////..//////////..////////// ......//..............//..........//......// .......//////////......//..........//....../////// ................//......//..........//......// ........//////////......//..........//......// South to the Future http://www.sttf.org P.O. Box 191475 San Francisco, Calif. 94119 email@example.com USA --------------------------------------------------------------->>>> South to the Future's World Wide Wire Service is a weekly feed of technology and media news commentary and satire. 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