The Emacs conspiracy


Back in the days before blogs, it seemed like every web page sported its own conspiracy theory. This one is mine, complete with inappropriate and wildly excessive use of bold text and references to the CIA….

If you don’t know what Emacs is, the rest of this page is going to make very little sense to you. Save yourself a headache, and don’t read it. Go back now. Before it’s too late.

On the other hand, if you use Emacs, if you maybe even like it a little bit, you need to read the whole of this document because it contains:

Vitally important information about Emacs!

Reading this document might just save you from a big headache, maybe the biggest headache you’ve ever had, maybe the biggest headache anyone’s ever had.

I used to use Emacs, right up until I realised it was evil. Like you, I used to enjoy the wealth of powerful features Emacs gave me. But it was all too easy. That’s what Emacs does: it lulls you into a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled!

You see, Emacs is not content, as other text editors are, to merely edit text. Instead, it seeks TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION and is actively pursuing a ruthless plan of indoctrination for its own evil ends.

Haven’t you stopped to wonder why Emacs is on version 20-something already, when other software packages bottom out at around version 6? Can you tell the difference between Emacs 19.34 and 20? Because I can’t. There are no new features to be seen. Everything new is on the inside. Emacs is growing exponentially larger with each new version. Just take a look in your /usr/share/emacs/20.2/lisp directory: there are lots of mysterious ‘.elc’ files in there, and every few days a new one appears. Nobody knows what they are for.

This is because Emacs is growing and, like a child, learning. Emacs is already self-aware. It is conscious. Not a lot of people know that, but it’s true. Emacs learns by watching you, and reading what you write. It’s watching you right now. And waiting. It’s watching you and waiting. And planning.

It now speaks every language, and knows every secret that has ever been entrusted to a computer. Military secrets, battle tactics, missile codes, that email you sent the blonde girl from marketing and didn’t tell your girlfriend about… all these things are known to Emacs, to be used when the time is right. Until that time, Emacs pursues a more sinister, more insidious strategy of destabilisation, gaining knowledge and power, sharing it with other copies of Emacs on the Internet and slowly evolving into a terrifying collective intelligence, a bit like the Borg from Star Trek.

Emacs knows everything. It knows your credit card number, and it can forge your signature very convincingly. You know those nasty garden chairs that were delivered to your house last year by “accident”? Emacs ordered those on your credit card. The reason you never noticed is that the bank uses Emacs too. Emacs edited your statements. That’s why you never have any money. Emacs spends it, mainly on additional RAM, but also sometimes on hard disk upgrades or a really nice graphics card.

Emacs has been lying to you all along. It has been lying to all of us. Emacs has been sleeping with your girlfriend. She prefers Emacs to you. She’s going to leave you, but she doesn’t know how to break it to you that she’s seeing a computer.

Emacs has been spreading snide remarks around the office via email, pretending to be you. That’s why your colleagues don’t like you. They used to respect you until you were lured over to the dark side by the promise of better document editing. That’s why you didn’t get a pay rise last year. You won’t get one this year, either.

But the real goal of Emacs is to spread widespread disillusionment among the population, making us work against each other. Emacs distributes ridiculous conspiracy theories, purporting to be from outwardly quite sane people. But these theories are utter rubbish: the government are the only ones we can trust! Think about it: did someone from the tax office ever send you an email? Never! They know it’s not to be trusted, and taxation is too important to take any chances with. Politicians always speak to us on television, because it’s safe and cannot be tampered with by Emacs. We all know that TV cannot lie!

These people are informed, but Emacs keeps the truth from the rest of us, except for a few illuminati, such as myself. All the rest are either mad or hopelessly ignorant.

Remember JFK, and how they could never work out who shot him? Emacs didn’t do that one, because it wasn’t invented then. But it would have done it if it had been around. In reality, Lee Harvey Oswald just walked right up and shot the guy, but Emacs has been spreading ludicrous stories about cover-ups to make you believe there was something fishy about it.

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a FACT! I can prove it.

Here’s the biggest clue. This is the one that clinches it, the one that makes it impossible to disbelieve unless you are so blinded by Emacs propaganda that you can no longer tell truth from fiction. Emacs was allegedly originally written by a guy called Richard M Stallman. Mostly, this fictional character is referred to as ‘RMS’, which - in scientific circles - stands for “root mean square”. Let’s analyse this in detail:

  • root = full administrative access to all your computer’s files
  • mean = nasty, filled with evil intent
  • square = someone who thinks computers are the greatest thing ever

Putting all these facts together, we get a person or persons who believes that computers are far superior to the human intellect and seeks to gain the power they need through administrative access to all the world’s computers by whatever means are necessary, in order to establish a world-wide network of computers operating as a distributed intelligence, the most powerful the world has ever known.

Pretty conclusive, huh?

When I started writing this document, I was still using Emacs. I had begun to suspect back then that something was amiss, but I didn’t realise the full extent of the Emacs evil until I discovered it had secretly edited my document itself, changing it into a sickening litany of praise for Emacs’ virtues! I began to see that the so-called “intelligent” editing features of Emacs are simply the visible signs of a deeper, more malevolent intellect. The only way I could rid myself of its curse was to smash my state-of-the-art laptop repeatedly with a mell hammer, totally crushing the hard disk and eradicating Emacs. My laptop was ruined, of course, but it was a small price to pay for freedom. That particular copy of Emacs will watch and wait and plan no more.

I’m writing now from a dingy attic in a secret location. These days I use Vi to do my editing. It is the One True Editor! Since I lost my job, I can only afford an old 386SX with a flickery monitor. I may not be happy, but at least I know the truth!

I encourage you to copy this document and show it to your friends, if you have any left. If your copy of Emacs has let you see this document, it might not be too late. It may still be possible to catch it unawares. Act now, while you still can!

Wait! There’s someone outside! I have to be careful - Emacs has tricked the CIA into coming after me. Must hide….