Saturday, January 28, 2006


I hate spam.

Don't we all? Yeah, yeah I know, but the reason I hate spam is not the reason you may think. Up until recently (more on that in a sec) my spam filter has done a pretty good job of filing into a special folder the literally hundreds of spam messages a day that I get through email. At least once a day, I quickly scan through the folder, "unjunk" anything that isn't spam, and delete the entire contents of the folder in a couple of keystrokes. It's somewhat annoying that I should have to do this, but the process really isn't that bad. At the very least, it's much easier when I had no filter and check each message individually or risk deleting an important message by mistake.

The reason that spam just grates on my nerves to the point of insanity is that virtually every message insults me in some way. Yeah, I'm inundated with the "enlarge your manhood" message (more humorously, so is my wife), but what really offends me is that these people must think I'm a complete and total idiot. Do they really believe I would trust my mortgage to a company who can't even spell "refinance"? Do they really think I'm dumb enough to send my bank account info so that I can launder money for someone in Africa (or South America or Iraq or ...)? Or that I would buy medicine from someone who isn't educated enough to put together a complete sentence in English? Come on folks! In truth, I vastly prefer spam to telemarketers. After all, they haven't yet come up with a way I can simply delete the person on the other end of the phone line (yet -- though there is a very cool science fiction short story on just that subject). But to see the number of transparent scams and illiterate advertisements just saddens me. I like to believe that no one is dumb enough to respond to these things, but if that were really the case, companies wouldn't use them. Which means, of course, that there really are people dumb enough to respond to these things. Sigh. And I think what grates all the more is that as I understand it, a lot of these are written by people in our profession: freelance writers.

Lord, if ever I fall to that level, please just push me over and call me home. I'm already dead anyway.

At any rate, the number of spam messages getting through my filter is on the rise. And it's getting hard to find the non-spam messages that get accidentally filtered (messages for my students get routed there a lot). So, real soon now I'm going to have to change my email address again. That is a huge pain in the afterburners, and I deeply resent the spammers who are forcing me to do it. I guarded my current email pretty carefully, and for a long time no one but my friends knew of it -- so no spam. Somehow the word has gotten out, so it's time to start again. Ah well...

No comments: