PermaLinkLotusphere XII: Attack of the Clones
11:31:01 AM

It had long been suspected by many people that Ed and Alan are the same person, but there were simply too many sightings of the two of them together to explain away as mass hypnosis or other such magic, thus we all had to finally conclude that they are in fact independent entities. But that didn't settle the question completely by any means, and now my buddy Bruce and I have come up with incontrovertible evidence that sheds further light on the situation. We are convinced that Lotusphere attendees are being secretly transported into a parallel universe, where they meet up with their evil counterparts, and the pair of them are then transported back to the conference. This is undoubtedly being done on EPCOT's Mission Space "ride". We are not sure which of the Ed/Alan pair is the "good" one, and which is the "evil" one. Perhaps there is some additional secret technology being used to allow them to trade off their good and evil attributes as long as a zero-sum is maintained. We'll have to look into that further.

So, how did we reach this conclusion? It involves another Alan... Alan Bell. The evidence came to light in Andrew Kelly's final Lotusphere post. In the final paragraph he notes:

Wait!  It's not quite over yet... as it turns out the real closing session is at Shula's where John Roling has his traditional Lotusphere steak.  This was my first time at Shula's and I was properly impressed.  Dinner was incredibly delicious, but even better was to share the feast in the company of the aforementioned John Roling, Melissa Gena, Rob McDonagh, Jess Stratton, Devin Olson, Alan Bell...

The Alan Bell that went to Shula's for dinner must have been the evil Alan Bell. I've never met the evil Alan as far as I know, but Shula's is an evil place that serves food in portions that are downright criminal in size, so it makes sense that the evil Alan would go there. The good Alan spent a very pleasant evening having dinner with Bruce and me at a Japanese steak house several miles away. If it were not for blogs, the good/evil cloning would never have been discovered, nor would the fact that it takes place at EPCOT. Here's how we cracked that part of the mystery. In Alan's own blog, we found this accounting of Alan's activities on Tuesday night.

At least at Lotusphere it seems! Tuesday night parties inluded the Sun Microsystems business compliance event. I went with Chris Byrne the business controls caddy and Steve O'Grady who is an analyst in posession of a press pass (he is the good sort of analyst who actually asks good questions of the right people and analyses the answers not like Radicati who have made themselves a bit of a laughing stock.). Everyone seemed to be having a good time but there were surprisingly few people from sun trying to sell us stuff. Chris managed to pick up a new job at the session, so well done for that.

After the Sun session I went with a few others to the Salesplace launch party at Epcot, we went on the amazing Mission: Space ride

There are several pieces of crucial evidence in this post. Note the reference to "good sort of analyst", a clear giveaway of the fact that Alan is well aware of the good/evil dichotomy that pervades Lotusphere. Note also the reference to "people from sun", which due to the freudian slip of omitting the capitalization of the letter "s" reveals that Alan was exposed to an alien presence that night! And the final proof is in "I went with a few others to the Salesplace launch party at Epcot, we went on the amazing Mission: Space ride". As Alan is English and well-spoken, I have to presume that he was subliminally aware that if the intention was to state that he and others went on the Mission: Space ride, a period (aka "full stop") was called for where he used a comma, which would remove the ambiguity of whether the "I" or "we" in the previous clause is the subject for the verb "went". By using the comma, Alan was leaving us a subtle clue, indicating the ambiguity of "I" and "We". Could it be more obvious? In reality "I" (Alan) went on the ride, but "we" (the good and evil Alans) got off the ride, having been tranported together out of the parallel universe.

This obviously begs several questions: who else was cloned and split into good/evil pairs at Lotusphere? How long has this been going on? Was it being done even before Mission: Space opened? The Ed/Alan issue points in that direction, but where could that have happened? Our investigation will have to continue. One fruitful area of investigation has got to be the cases of Gary, Charlie and Paul. Did anyone perchance see their evil counterparts during the week, perhaps in Redmond? This could explain a lot!

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Comments :v

1. Alan Bell02/04/2005 02:37:10 PM

I think you may be on to something Richard, the Mission:Space ride is the perfect place for people to split apart into a confused duality. We (both of me) had to wait several minutes on the bus whilst the staff were dealing with a prior rider who was separated asymetrically from his lunch.
I fear however that you too are suffering a bi-polar moment. At the start of your article you refer to "Bruce and I" however later on you use the words "Bruce and me". Are we to belive this grammatical faux pas really came from the same Richard Schwartz who began the article? I don't think so.

2. Alan Evil Bell02/04/2005 03:18:26 PM
Homepage: Http://

so Richard, you think you have seen through my evil plans <evil laugh>. Your feeble mind could never anticipate the full horror of my evil plan to take over the world! no, you could not anticipate my evil laser beam on the moon, or the power I will wield from my Underground Secret Headquarters of Doom.
But now the time has come to reveal my scheme, and here it is courtesy of the evil plan generator at

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan (tm)!

Your objective is simple: World Domination

Your motive is a little bit more complex: Sadistic pleasure

Stage One:

To begin your plan, you must first Kidnap a Scientist. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this Evil Genius? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good as an Evil twin/Opposite?

Stage Two:

Next, you will Seize control of the Internet. This will cause countless hordes of Robot Warriors to flock to you, begging to do your every bidding. Your name will become synonymous with Sheer dementedness, as lesser men whisper your name in terror.

Stage Three:

Finally, you will Reveal to the World your Needlessly Big Weather Machine, bringing about Horrors beyond Man's Comprehension. This will all be done from a Underground Secret Headquarters of Doom, an excellent choice if we might say. These three deeds will herald the end, and the citizens of this planet will have no choice but to elect you their new god.

Trust us, it'll all come together in the end.

3. Danny Lawrence02/04/2005 04:22:20 PM

Repeat after me:
"The X-Files is a documentary series, The X-Files is a documentary series, The X-Files is a documentary series"

4. Andrew Kelly02/04/2005 06:15:13 PM

The Truth Is Out There...
My dear friends of planet earth. I feel like such an idiot, but I must now admit to falling for this evil plot hook, line, and sinker. I was there that night when the alleged "Alan Bell" went to Mission Space and I fear I must report the following evidence:
1. Our party was warned repeatedly to not turn our head or eyes from side to side during the "ride". What were they afraid we might see?
2. The so called Alan Bell urged us to break into groups of two or even one rider to a capsule that fateful evening. His excuse for this was that there was no one else in line. Right! And where did the other riders go, it was as if they vanished into a dimension of beer and food,
3. Each member of our party reported seeing flashing bright lights and disorientation upon exiting the ride. All except for Alan that is who wanted to go back and ride again.

Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

5. Alan Lepofsky02/05/2005 05:28:26 PM

All I know is that I'm not evil... I'm Canadian!

6. Bruce Perry02/15/2005 01:19:58 PM

More evidence for the existence of an evil version of Alan Bell?

Here he describes an particular programming technique as evil, says that one would have to be crazy to use it, and then gives us an agent using that technique.

It is a pretty neat trick though - even though it might cause your CPU to leap out of your PC like a molten miniature silicon version of one of those aliens from Alien.

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