A very brief analogy before you read the story: when you invent a type of airplane known as ‘AIRPLANE’, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna turn yourself into Wilbur Wright.
Read the enigmatic story about Shiva Ayyadurai, the self-claiming ‘inventor’ of ’email’, in Gizmodo.
On the phone, Ayyadurai comes off as kind, a man of nervous tact. But it also absolutely feels like trying to sell you something that’s just not sticking—a sort of mainframe Willy Loman. At publications he’s duped into letting him opine unfettered, he’s email’s inventor, through and through. He also owns dozens of immodest domains to that point—InventorOfEmail.com,DrEmail.com, EmailInventor.com—you get the point. No? Well Ayyadura has literally 100 more sites (103 in total) dedicated to making sure you do.
But press Ayyadurai, and he gets desperate, as his entire faux-fame rests upon semantic tricks, falsehoods, and a misinformation campaign.
Shiva Ayyadurai didn’t invent email—he created “EMAIL,” an electronic mail system implemented at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. It’s doubtful he realized it as a little teen, but laying claim to the name of a product that’s the generic term for a universal technology gives you acres of weasel room. But creating a type of airplane named AIRPLANE doesn’t make you Wilbur Wright.
Oops, I repeat the same analogy again.