Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spam Made From Salmon


I get a lot of email. I get some personal communications, a lot of marketing stuff and newsletters I signed up to get, and more spam than a reasonable person should ever have the unpleasant task of reviewing.

On Tuesday I was included in the CC: list on an email containing a picture from someone's fly fishing trip to Alaska. The person who sent it was a headhunter who (years ago) worked on placing me for a job somewhere or other. The picture itself was almost two megs in size.

I'm going to step away from the basic bitterness that I feel whenever someone talks about going on vacation. I haven't had one myself in . . . Does our Honeymoon count? I think it does. Bitterness counteracts the aspartame.

I was more angered that I was CC: included instead of BCC: included. The ramifications of this awful social faux pas (pardon my french) continue to annoy me this morning.

Every single asshat on the CC: list chose to "Reply to All" to comment on the salmon, inquire about the other parts of the vacation, or make poorly veiled and even more poorly constructed sexual references. And each contained another copy of the two meg image of this guy and his fish.

Each RE: made me shudder with rage at the idiocy and the inconsiderate nature of blindly replying to all on a list where I can't have been the only person who knows no one but the original sender. Now that I'm in their address list, if any of these people click the wrong link or download the wrong application my email address is available to whatever spammer plants a worm or virus on their machine and wants to pick it up and try to sell me something. This sounds paranoid, but anyone who would "Reply to All" into a group of strangers should not be trusted near a computer.

I'm all about the free and open sharing of information, but these people should be set out on a ranch somewhere far away from the rest of us given their own copy of the internet to play on. Every night the rest of us could take turns pressing a button to restore this isolation environment to the way it was before they started playing with it that morning. They would never know. It would be for their own good and for the good of society. Well, our society anyway.

Email would (by necessity) not be allowed out of this isolation environment. Those of us on the outside could email in, though. Otherwise those people on the Isolation Internet would eventually degenerate into tribal factions fighting for survival day-to-day and staking claim to huge swaths of Isolation Ebay and Isolation MySpace. Isolation YouTube would be their sacred lands, where warfare is forbidden by ancient taboo and Nal-Therionel the Dark Lord of the Pratfall holds court. Long may he reign.

Email is a tool that anyone can use. More accurately, email is a tool that anyone can use, damn it. Please don't "Reply to All" unless every single person on the list needs or has requested your input.

/end preaching to the choir

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