I don’t know. I realize that spamming is a cheap way of advertising in that you don’t actually need to, well, do anything except send out spam — doesn’t cost anything, and if even one dumbass out there decides to go for it, what the hell, you’re already turning a profit, pretty much. But, of course, everyone hates spam and everyone is aware of it, so it’s getting increasingly difficult to accomplish even that. And spam filters are getting to be pretty good, now, so it’s not like much of it is getting through, so the spammers add more and more nonsense to their messages in the hopes of fooling the filters.
Unfortunately for them, this makes the actual messages more and more nonsensical, as evidenced by this message I received — among numerous other pieces of spam, I’m sure you’re shocked to hear! — today, titled “your invited”. Well, of course my invited!
Hello, Ponera homotaxial
That librarian drinks milk.
Call us right now if you would like to make upto 3 grand. wisdomful annoyingly
Those photographers buy juice.
800-217-xxxx lademan senescence
Those managers keep a monkey.
Kind Regards, trilemma
Fidel Kinsella ampullary
I called him George. They set an alarm clock. Jack has already missed working. They get the TV repaired. Pete takes a bath. Cathy has practiced writing.
(I nixed that phone number, obviously, just on the off chance that there’s someone with a terminal case of the stupid out there. I’d like to think that someone wouldn’t be reading Fun Pastimes, but let’s be honest here — the for Stupid Children part just might attract some.)
I’m kind of fascinated by spam, as you can probably tell. Not so much by the spam itself, but by the underlying mechanism of, well, stupidity that the system thrives on. Just this whole “add nonsense to fool the filter” formula they rely on is just so twisted; the more they do that, the less credible they appear and the less effective they become, and the only way they can make up for it is by increasing volume.
I would love to see some kind of reliable statistics on how many people still fall for this crap. I mean, I have no problem believing that there’s someone out there who’s dumb enough to look at the above message, think “Hot dog, I can get up to three grand, and wisdom annoyingly no less!” and call the number. That someone would probably then end up paying for something they don’t want or, if there is any justice in the world, wake up in a bathtub full of ice in a trailer park somewhere with a missing kidney and an ornery sexually transmitted disease that has a voice like James Earl Jones and a hankering for heroin.
I have a hard time believing, however, that idiots like that are that common. I mean, falling for the old Nigerian scheme is one thing — okay, so you’re a fucking moron if you think that a beautiful Nigerian heiress wants to you to go and get fifty million dollars that his dear and departed daddy left in an account in Denmark or something, but at least there’s something there. Likewise, the popular pump-and-dump stock schemes (that apparently work fairly well) are also pretty transparent, but at least I can understand that someone really believes that he’s lucking out when he gets an awesome e-mail stock tip from someone he’s never heard of. Just like I understand that some people believe that a remote healer can cure their cancer or that Uri Geller is a genuine psychic, as opposed to a fucking tired old one-trick pony fraud. Compared to that level of stupidity, believing in spam — a certain type of spam — is really no big stretch of imagination.
Even so, though, surely the text above is just nonsense! Even if you’re fairly dumb and extremely gullible, wouldn’t the fact that you have to work your parser overtime just to pick out the actual advertisement from the bullshit be some kind of a hint? Then again, if you’re very stupid, I guess that could make all reading experiences seem like that. “I don’t understand this shit about monkeys an’ all, but it sez here I can make me three grand so I guess I’ll call ’em.”
I’d love to know if this kind of shit actually works on people, rather than just on some very rare and exceptional individuals. Maybe there is a mass of e-mail enabled people going through their lives in that kind of a confused haze, just waiting to be picked clean. It’s fascinating and scary.
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