18.216 effects of junk mail?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 07:59:46 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 216.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 07:36:49 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: effects of junk mail

Yesterday, according to the efficient offices of Eudora, yielded for me a
particularly large crop of messages, 386 total, but on average I receive
about 250/day, with 91% filtered as junk. Yesterday I noted for the first
time that I was calling someone on the telephone to see if he had actually
sent a reply to my e-mail. I suspect others have been doing this for some
time. A few days ago a friend remarked in an offhand way that he always
deleted all messages marked as junk without checking to see if any had been
wrongly identified. Now that information no longer has to want to be free
but has achieved total license, despite what by the boasts typical of
computer science are arguably extremely good filtering mechanisms, e-mail
would appear to be sinking into the mire of human nature.

What do we know about all this? Is there any end in sight for the mass
distribution of lists of addresses? Is there evidence that people in
significant numbers are abandoning the medium or that any particular kind
of use is declining, e.g. for "mission-critical" tasks? (The membership of
Humanist is at an all-time high, at 1337 souls, but then Humanist could be
viewed as recreational, almost never "mission-critical" except for odd
sorts like me.) Are techniques of spamming the spammers working?

Informed comment on the above would be useful.


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Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
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Received on Wed Sep 15 2004 - 03:19:17 EDT

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