Friday, August 3


I have a love/hate relationship with e-mail. What I love is the speed, efficiency, convenience, and brevity of communication. Although it should never be mistaken as a replacement for any and all other forms of correspondence, e-mail is nevertheless a marvelous tool.

But then, there is the "hate" part of the equation. There is e-mail's seeming omnipresence, its avid contribution to the tyranny of the urgent, and its time-wasting-black-hole capabilities. Of course, a modicum of discipline and discretion, along with a bit of automation and elimination, can adequately deal with these loathsome limitations.

But then there is spam. Even with all our best efforts, filters, firewalls, and security features, it can flow into our mailboxes, onto our desktops, and even into our SMS, phone, and IM displays in torrents. Some of it is laughably inept. Some of it is dangerously malignant. All of it is a nuisance. I still cannot for the life of me imagine why this enterprise is still worth it to the spammers who perpetuate its awful annoyance--who is still gullible enough to try to buy vI@gRa or c!aLi$ or r0!Ex w@+C#e$ over the internet from unsolicited spam?

Worse than junk mail, spam is a blight, an epidemic, a scourge. As Michael Specter points out in the most recent issue of the New Yorker the seemingly endless struggle against spam is a losing battle that we simply cannot afford to lose.


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Too true! I've noticed the more technology in our lives, the more time we must spend "managing" that technology: deleting old e-mails; listening to voice mail; creating playlists on our ipods, watching and deleting shows on DVR, and now, reading comments on our blogs! LOL But ironically, we've become accustomed to these devices and would be lost without them. God bless,
Jennifer Covington

Lawrence Underwood said...

In my opinion technology is a definite two edged sword. While it give benefit; it also requires maintenance, added expense, updating, and more. All of this in addition to the negative inputs such as spam that occur. Without looking for it evil has an additional entre' into our lives.

Sometimes I long for the days of pen, ink, and printing presses.

Unknown said...

Some of the laws are in place, and Microsoft leads the fight to bring spammers to justice.

But much of the problem is that local ISPs are unwilling to police their services. I would gladly embrace an ISP that blocked pornography and spam, if such a thing existed locally.

Michael R. Shipma said...

The more frustrated I get with my slavery to the internet and computer, the more inclined I am to think that Wendell Berry is right.

Paul said...

I have a Gmail address and I've been spared of spam for some reason. I haven't gotten a single spam email except for those things I signed up for that are sent to the spam box.