Jules Verne Forum



April fools

From: Garmt de Vries <G.deVries~at~phys.uu.nl>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 13:49:25 +0200 (CEST)
To: Jules Verne Forum <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>

Hi all,

One last comment on the April Fool's joke I played on you, and then I'll
let the subject rest.

I have received many reactions, both through the forum and personally.
Opinions on the propriety of the joke were divided: a majority felt it was
a good hoax, even if they were taken in big time. I have also received a
fair amount of criticism, basically saying that my trustworthiness was
affected by the joke, and I shouldn't have announced the existence of the
interview before 1 April (or even that I shouldn't have done it at all).

This may be a cultural thing. In the Netherlands, it's quite common to
announce some extraordinary event some time before 1 April, always in
terms of "next Saturday" or "tomorrow". When the time is there, it turns
out that "next Saturday" is in fact 1 April, and that the announcement was
false. For example, some years ago, Dutch people were asked to point their
cellphones to the east "early Thursday morning", in order to form a giant
antenna that could detect the faint signal still coming from the Huygens
probe on Titan. The announcement was all over the newspapers one or two
days before 1 April, and it spread even more thanks to the internet.

The tradition may be different in America. The fact that none of the
French or Dutch victims of my joke have complained certainly seems to
suggest so.

Also, there's the fact that due to the time difference, the Americans may
have read the "punchline" before 1 April as well. That's a pity, but it
couldn't be helped. It was either that, or having the punchline come too
late for the Dutch victims, and I didn't really have a choice anyway, as I
had no mail access later on Saturday.

As to my compromised trustworthiness: if people decide to doubt everything
I say from now on, well, so be it. I guess most will recognize a joke for
what it is, and either laugh about it or shrug their shoulders, and just
get back to business as usual.

I'm glad that so many people have had a good laugh, that's what it was all
about, and if the joke has achieved that goal, I'm happy.

I'll switch back to serious mode now.

Yours sincerely,
Received on Tue 04 Apr 2006 - 14:49:45 IDT

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