November 20, 2000
Manners and Spam
I watched part of the Florida Supreme Court show today---where the lawyers presented their arguments concerning the voting questions. I was a little amazed at the performance of the lawyers. Let's just say it's perhaps a good thing I'm not a Supreme Court Justice in Florida. Had I been, the courtroom would have been filled with lawyers standing in corners or sitting quietly with their heads down at tables. They all seemed to be in need of a time out. This is not a comment on politics; it's a comment on manners.
Something I am displeased about today: my ISP has made it more difficult to block spam. You can still do it, but you have to go through several more steps to get to the little box where you enter the address from which you don't ever want to get more mail. You wind up wading through a lot of blather about why one might want to control junk mail. Umm, if I didn't know why, I probably wouldn't be trying to get the mail blocked, people!
I used to just delete the stuff---but I kept getting more and more. There was one yesterday that really offended me, not because of the subject matter of the spam, but because the first paragraph said I was getting it because I had given my e-mail address to the company. Yeah, I'm so stupid I just give my address to any old company I've never heard of, so I can get information about stuff about which I don't have any interest.
This method of advertising must work enough of the time to make continuing it worthwhile. But I wonder who the people are who respond to it. I have a lot of friends who are Internet users, and I swear I've never heard any of them say they bought something online from an unsolicited ad.
While I'm ranting about advertising: it's a complete waste of time to try targeting ads at me based on what someone thinks my interests are. I look at online ads for things I couldn't begin to afford, and sometimes look at ads for things friends of mine have mentioned. But targeting ads for similar things to me is a waste.
So is targeting ads to me based on my age or my income---I tend to lie about both unless I think the questioner has a valid reason for asking (as in: IRS, yes; icompany, no). I have told any number of places that I make a six-figure income and was born in 1900.
I'm waiting for ads for high-end burial plots!