Background: In an attempt to widen the popularity of the MAD FIGS hompage, Scott Dogg utilized a service on geocities that would advertise the address. One of the search engines applied to was called "Linkstar", a business directory listing [See MAD FIGS Digest #6]. A few days after the listing was entered, Scott Dogg recived an unusual email from the service:
This message comes to you courtesy of LinkStar.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Since graduating from the political science Master's Program at Northeastern in June of 1994, I have received approximately three years of work experience. Currently, I am employed at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo (Since September 1, 1996), as an executive officer at the Department of External Economic Affairs. I am responsible for general customs related trade barriers, in particular with respect to the World Trade Organization (WTO), where I follow the work of the Market Access Committee, the WTO Committee on Trade and Development, the WTO Committee on Balance-of-Payments Restrictions as well as the Committee on Customs Valuation. In addition, I have participated in the Geneva-based negotiations on the WTO Information Technology Agreement as well as being the Ministry's official responsible for dealing with the Norwegian Generalized System of Preferences for import of goods from developing countries (GSP).
Before beginning at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I worked as an officer at the secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels for one year (9.95-9-96). Besides coordinating third country relations and monitoring as well as managing the relationships between the EFTA States, a main task of the Secretariat is to manage the the European Economic Area Agreement on behalf of the EFTA side of said Agreement. A partnership between the EC and the EFTA countries, the EEA Agreement ensures the EFTA/EEA States access to the Community Single Market in all areas but agriculture and part of the fish sector (Protocol 9). Of the four freedoms of movement, my responsibilities were confined to issues relating to the free movement of goods, especially with respect to technical barriers to trade (Annex 2 to the Agreement). Work included the servicing of the EFTA and EEA institutions as well as other EEA-related work within the above mentioned fields, including the relationship with the EU and the relevant European organizations. Through the EFTA/EEA Working Group on Technical Barriers to Trade, I participated in the work related to the incorporation of EU legislation (acquis communautaires) into the EEA Agreement. Such work included extensive participation in the European Commission committees and working groups responsible for the formation of legislation for the Internal Market as well as contacts with officials both in the Commission and in the capitals of the EFTA/EEA states.
From March until August 1995, I worked as a "stagiaire" in the European Commission in Brussels, Directorate General (DG) XIII (Telecommunication, Information Technology, Industry and Innovation). Within the S.I.2 Unit (International Aspects of the Information Society and Telecommunications) I learned to know the political process both in DG XIII and in the Commission, generally. The development of a global information society is necessary to reach many of the Unions goals, and it was therefore interesting to participate in the European political process within this area. In light of the sought-after U.S. telecommunications reforms, I followed the transatlantic dialogue and was given tasks which concerned mutual market access.
I have some experience in security and arms-control research which I obtained during the Spring semester of 1994, when I interned for Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) \ Committee for National Security (CNS) in Washington, D. C. We were a small group of people who working towards a number of security-related goals. I researched on a number of issues and collected material regarding the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), START I and II, chemical and biological weapons (CBW), conventional weapons (especially in light of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty-CFE), and land mines. I participated in Congressional Committee hearings and researched at the Library of Congress as well as distributing our publications and various analyses to the House of Representatives and the Senate. In particular, we produced a critique of the Defense Departments Bottom-Up Review.
In the Library of Congress I researched particularly on the widespread smuggling of radioactive material from the former Soviet republics. Among the most urgent issues was the real and potential danger of smuggling of enriched (weapons-grade) plutonium from Russia through Norwegian territory. I was given the responsibility of supplying the archives with such material and was asked to give frequent analyses of these and other political issues. I also participated in the preparation of an award dinner for Secretary of Energy, Hazel O'Leary, which was given to her as a result of her ambitious efforts in ending the secrecy concerning radioactive, chemical and biological experiments conducted from the 1940s until the early 1970s.
During the Fall of 1992, I worked as a research assistant for professor Bruce A. Wallin at Northeastern University. Work included comparative data in connection with taxation and public consumption in OECD countries, and a study comparing European integration and American federalism.
With a political science background (see C.V.), I have always enjoyed doing research and staying well informed. I find your advertised position very interesting in this respect, and I believe I could contribute with some useful work, if selected. Even though I am currently employed in Oslo, I can assure that I would be available for an interview if desired.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I will be looking forward to hearing from you!
Not wanting to let an opportunity like this get away, Scott Dogg sent the following reply:
I'm not quite sure why the MAD FIGS recieved your letter, since we were not soliciting applications. Upon reviewing your qualifications, I don't think you are qualified to be a part of our organizations. But I have two questions:
1) Are you any good at Ultimate Frisbee? and
2) Do you have any landmines or weapons-grade plutonium?
If the answers to these questions are yes, maybe we'll work something out.
As of today, no reply has been recieved. Maybe he got a better offer from someone else.