Monday, February 13, 2017

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

Crivens! What in the name of all that's incomprehensibabble is this?!

It's as if the Deepak Chopra Random Platitude Generator fell in love with the SCIgen Parody Paper Algorithm and they decided to make beautiful though content-free babies together.

We warned you not to go down the Gatti / Montanari rabbit-hole, Uncle Smut.

Image hoicked from Oglaf. Dwarves not included
Indeed you did. But I was compelled to venture into its bottomless intricacy, as if in the thrall of a gaes -- or possibly vice versa -- in my role as quondam Editor of Bernouli's Encyclopedia of Imaginary Diseases. For before we perturb the pristine pages of the Encyclopedia with a new entry for Gatti & Montanari's newly-invented "Burning semen disease", it befits us (in the cause of due diligence) to read the relevant publications... and to ask ourselves, "Who in the name of Piffelheim edited the many volumes of Conference Proceedings in which this garbage was printed"?

The answer turns out to be one Ashok Vaseashta, Director of the International Clean Water Institute (Dott.ssa Gatti sometimes claims an affiliation there) and the Institute of Advanced Sciences Convergence.

Is that a thing? The name conjures images of drum-circles and dream-catchers and sweatlodge spirit-animal bafflegab.

I am not making this up, athough I would have said "post-structuralist deconstructionist bafflegab" myself, but tomayto, tomahto. Both cod Institutes fall under the rubric of NUARI --

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) was federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy in 2002 and is funded in part through the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI has a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development and has been a global leader for more than a decade in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curriculum.

Which is to say, it all dates back to the Great 9/11-Aftermath Lollyscramble, when the piñata was whacked and the fundgates gaped open and anyone with any kind of connectedness was latching onto a moneyteat like drunken sailors battening onto the beer-nipples in the bar scene in Chapter 1 of "V". Norwich 'University' being a private military academy with a long tradition of service to the culture of boot-licking, it did not miss out on its share of the spoils. Which is why it is now bolstering National Security with such fine products as Cyber Exercise Preparedness Games, a Comic-book Guide to Understanding the FEMA-Incident command system... and (of course) the IASC.

Ashok Vaseashta was in the right place with the right nebulous vapourware, all inter-disciplinary nanotech counter-terrorism e-tongues... guaranteeing him a stream of research contracts in exchange for random strings of Cyber Terrorism Worship Words, for as long as he is willing to keep concatenating them. So 15 years later he is a tenured grifter on the Homeland Security gravy-wagon, or band-train as the case may be. The question of why so many metaphors for indolent opportunism are drawn from the sphere of rail transport is an interesting one but we shall not let ourselves be distracted. There he collaborates with Gatti and Montanari in promoting the concept of Nanoparticle Environmental Bio-Terrorism Life-Cycle Risk Analysis. Culminating in Gatti et al. (2015):

The question of why so many English words like "charlatan", "imbroglio", "mountebank", "fiasco" are drawn from Italian is an interesting one but we shall not let ourselves be distracted...
Oh look, my due Diligence has finally arrived.
Not to be confused with a High Dudgeon, which fits fewer people.
Naturally we are envious at Riddled Research Laboratory, and keen to get in on the deal. So here is our Brief Taxonomy of Nanoparticles:
Please give us money.

Now Vasuashta is not one to turn down a gig. The skeezy lowlife grifters at OMICS [celebrated organisers of academic-tourism scamferences and part-time parasitical publishers] have him on speed-dial for any time they need a Plenary Speaker to set the tone at one of their Nanotech grifts (e.g. 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2016, 2017). He is also available for weddings and children's parties.

Scientific establishment, knitted
We should not forget the subspecies of scientific symposia and workshops that occur under the auspices of NATO, as a moveable feast around the fringes of Europe from Kiev to Sozopol -- not with any immediate expectation of productive intellectual exchange, more to knit the scientific establishments of those countries more closely into Western Europe. All with themes like Promotion of Peace and Science for Security.

Chisinau, Moldava hosted “Technological Innovations in Detection and Sensing of CBRN Agents and Ecological Terrorism” (2010), which begat an unimaginatively-titled volume of Proceedings (ed. Vaseashta) -- notable for the discovery of Nano-Eco-Terrorism.
[Insert scary Theremin music here]

Yerevan, Armenia was treated to “Technological Innovations in CBRNE Sensing and Detection for Safety, Security, and Sustainability” (2012), which begat the volume "Advanced Sensors for Safety and Security" (ed. Vaseashta) -- notable for the discovery of another new disease.

ANYWAY... just as Hell contains circles within circles, so there are levels of "Scoundrelly illiterate low-life spammers operating from Hyderabad", and many are even scuzzier than OMICS. Such as the pathetic wannabee cockwombles who call themselves 'Scientific Federation'. Who send us mail:

Dear Dr. XXXXX,
Good day.
On behalf of Organizing Committee, we would like to solicit your gracious presence as a speaker at the upcoming 3rd Global Nanotechnology Congress and Expo which is going to be held during August 21-23, 2017 in Dallas, USA.

To have glance at conference, PS:

Scientific Sessions Includes
Nanomaterials Emerging areas of materials science
Carbon Nanomaterials Nanostructures
Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering Graphene Technologies
Advancements in Material Science Carbon based devices and Nanocomposites
Nanoelectronics Nanomedical approaches for diagnostics and treatments Nanodevices & Nanosensors Cancer nanotechnology & tissue engineering Nanotechnology for Energy and the Environment Drug delivery systems Synthesis of Nanomaterials and Nanoparticles Biomedical Engineering Recent trends in nanotechnology Polymer based Nanocomposites Multifunctional Nanobiomaterials Nanosensoring in diagnostics and industry Functional materials Nanorobots Nanotoxicology Nanophotonics materials Quantum dots Materials science and engineering Electronic, optical and magnetic materials Green nanotechnology

Submit your abstract at

We await a positive acknowledgement from you. I would be glad to answer your queries in this regard.
Best regards,
Reddy Sekhar
Event Manager
T +91-779-979-0002

"Who," we ask, in a totally non-rhetorical-questioning way, "who could be so desperate or shameless as to lend their names in exchange for an Organisational role in this mendacious money-grubbing burlesque?"
Who indeed?

Bonus junket: NATO Advanced Research Workshop on “Nanomaterials: Environmental Risks and Benefits and Emerging Consumer Products”, Faro, Portugal (2008).
Volume includes but was not edited by Vaseastra.

ABSOLUTELY THE LAST UPDATE until the next one:
 It belatedly occurs to me to wonder whether the whole narrative was inspired by John Sladek's "Mechasm" / "The Reproductive System", which featured a US corporation reaching out for Pentagon research-contract corporate welfare (to the extent that Sladek's 1968 documentary had a plot). Alas, despite the harmlessly grifting intentions, the research worked too well, creating self-reproducing entities. Hilarity The end of civilisation ensues.

Silly Sladek, always letting his satires be outstepped by reality.


H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

I had a mentor who included in the Acknowledgements section of a publication, "Additionally, we would like to thank my Assistant , who typed the final version of this manuscript, and the one after that".

I doubt these geezers go much beyond one version. Keep up the good work.

Smut Clyde said...

The Great Gazoogle reveals that Ashok Vaseashta has also put his name to "Ecosystem of Innovations in Nanomaterials Based CBRNE Sensors and Threat Mitigation", and "Ecosystem of Innovations to Counter Unconventional CBRN Threat Vectors in Support of Safety and Security". I can't say he wrote them, as "write" doesn't seem like the correct verb for the process of putting a lot of buzzwords into a hat and drawing them out in random order.

Take any passage -- "Threat vectors have become increasingly asymmetric, highly kinetic, undefined and randomly non-linear. Implementation of effective countermeasures necessitates an advanced understanding of emerging security challenges and transformational concepts conjoining nexus of S&T and their full potential beyond traditional capabilities" -- and try to rearrange them into a new sequence that makes even less sense. Go ahead, try.

If Vaseashta's case is any guide, there is no need to despair if you find yourself in a state of woeful nescience about any and all specific specialties; you need only declare yourself to be a Big Picture Thinker, dealing in the Convergence of Advanced Sciences (and by implication knowledgeable about them all), cobble together a few presentations from pirated images that you can recycle for Seminar after Seminar, and NATO will pay you for perpetuity. Though I guess we already knew that.