Please, no more junk mail...
Anybody who has (1) had an Internet mail account for more than 30 seconds and
(2) has either friends or corporate enemies on the 'Net has surely received
a barrage of junk mail. I don't like it. The most annoying of these is
the potentially funny jokes that have been circulated over and over and over.
After seeing one of these (the infamous Good Times Virus message) twice
in two days, I sent out a potentially nasty e-mail...
What do I consider appropriate and/or acceptable? One of my froggy friends
decided to forward me a big hug she had found somewhere. The whole thing
had a single quote mark in front of it -- it wasn't hers, it was someone
else's. But there weren't 700 pages of headers detailing the message's life
- I (generally) do not appreciate being forwarded random things. Junk
e-mail is bad. If you do decide to send me something appropriate
(which has happened), please strip off all irrelevant headers. Thank
- Please make sure that, if you do happen to forward me something, I
don't already have it. This generally involves checking the "To:" and
"Cc:" lines on the last few people to have forwarded the thing.
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE GOOD TIMES VIRUS!!!! If there is, the
only virus is the e-mail itself, which causes a rash of junk mail to be
generated. The %$^& thing is at least three years old. It is
completely impossible and has never, EVER existed.
- There is an e-mail circulating concerning a letter from Michael C.
Behnke, director of admissions here at MIT, and one high school
student's reply. To the best of my knowledge, the origin is NPR's
Cartalk show, courtesy of the Law Offices of Dewey, Cheetham, and
Howe, conveniently located in Hahvahd Squayah. (Yes, I have actually
seen the D. C. and H. window there.) It was amusing the first time,
and the second time when I found it on the
Cartalk web page.
Since then, I have seen it twice via Random
E-mail. Sans citation. I am not amused.
- Somebody sent me an e-mail earlier today (or yesterday?) concerning
a "cute" chain letter they had found. It was supposed to model the
spread of the AIDS virus: anybody who got the letter got the virus.
As I noted in my reply, I apparently have the virus by way of my
cousin Michelle. I am not generally in the practice of having sex
with first cousins (nor, for that matter much of anybody else) and
consequently could not have gotten the virus from her. For that
matter, consider the primary means of infection: mass e-mailings to
10 or 20 people. In other words, orgies. Leave me out, please.
More thoughts on the AIDS virus e-mail: how many people (like myself) are
"infected" but haven't passed on the virus? This technique of using chain
letters to try to prove something (spread of a virus, some political cause,
...) is worthless because it is impossible to tell how much circulation the
something has received. A cause could better be served by a web page with a
counter (n thousand people visited the Foobar web site to read about
the Quest to Save the Three Letter Acronym TLA).
One of my friends created a "lose money fast" chain letter, parodying the
generic "make money fast" letter/NetNews post. This, too, was reasonable,
especially since I was in the first generation. (Assuming, of course, that
the person in question actually created something original... :-)
Please keep me off of random corporate mailing lists and please don't
send me random e-mails that everybody on the Internet has seen thousands of
times before. Thank you.
Return to David's home page, or go to the