Becky Says...

May 11, 2001

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They've found me. The people who are running the offshore schemes where they claim to be a hair's breadth away from laying claims to large amounts of money, but need my financial help to get it. I'm so glad they have finally asked me, because y'all know how I have so much spare money to invest in such things, of course. And that since I was born yesterday, I'm likely to give them all the money I can, just because they wrote to ask.

I wondered how long it would take for that sort of mail to show up in the inbox. I've been hearing about it for several years now, and figured that one of these days I would have the pleasure. And sure enough, it came late yesterday. With a follow-up today.

There are several reasons I really hate spam, but the one highest on the list is that it's such a letdown to get it. See, I really, really love getting e-mail from friends. And it's always a treat to get an order or request for information about my work. Another treat is getting e-mail about this site. Notify lists are welcome, and so are the few newsletters to which I subscribe.

But spam comes from people who don't care about me at all. They aren't my friends, they don't give a damn if I'm talented or efficient or if I have their favorite color in stock. They don't want to comment on something I've written. They don't want to announce or discuss journal-related things, or to share useful information. They just want to waste my time and ask for money (usually in huge amounts) for something that I'm ninety-nine percent guaranteed not to be interested in having. Or they want to run the sort of scheme mentioned earlier.

Yes, I can filter it, but you pretty much have to get at least one thing from the spammers to know they're out there so you can filter it. Which means at least one disappointment per company. And some of them are clever and use multiple addresses, so even if you block one, the next one slides right by the filter.

And that means that much more disappointment, dammit.

Text © copyright 2000-2001 Becky