Re: Fw: -=-Snowball War '96-=-

Sean Hastings (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 23:50:08 -0600

Kennita Watson wrote:

> Don't point that finger at _me_! I don't forward that stuff to lists;
> one or two people I know well with whom I regularly exchange such things,
> maybe.

If one of those people with whom you exchange such things sent you a
cute chain letter which s/he had received, would it annoy you because it
was a chain letter and they were replicating it?

> Call it a (possibly vain) attempt to exercise some control over my
> informational (as opposed to physical) environment. And did it ever
> occur to you that junk mail might just piss some people off?

Are chain letters somehow worse than other junk mail?

> There's an element of presumption in a chain letter; it says, in
> effect, "I think you are a person who would be interested in this".

Isn't any attempt at communication based on that presumption?

> I guess I feel that there must be some other people out there who share
> my view of chain mail to some extent, or I'd shut up and suffer and
> let everybody else have their fun. But I feel I'm representing the
> same sort of "party-poopers" who would rather you didn't hold a slam-dance
> party in the apartment upstairs on a work night.

I ask the above questions not to be inflammatory, but out of a sincere
desire to understand. I have run into quite a few people on the net who
share your view of chain mail. I myself am annoyed by _junk mail_. I am
equally annoyed by anything which wastes my time. But I do not
specifically target chain letters for my wrath. On the contrary, the
replication processes by which chain letters survive almost guarantees
that any which I might receive will be of interest to me. Something in
their content has made them work as memetic viruses, and finding out
just what that something is interests me greatly. Likewise, I am
interested in what I perceive to be a growing immunity to them as
expressed by the feelings of yourself and others.

--Sean H.
--V-mail: (504)825-1232 or (800)WHY-SEAN
--S-mail: 5500 Prytania St. #414/New Orleans, LA/70115