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

Kennita Watson (
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 09:06:13 -0800

>> 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?

Yes. But since it was a friend I would send a polite note reminding them
that I don't want any forwarded chain letters and please not to send me
any more.
>> 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?

Not really, but I attack where I can. I don't expect institutions to
listen. Individuals I can influence.
>> 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?

People can ask and get feedback. Chain letters are thrown out at random
with, as they say, ne'er a by-your-leave.

>...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.

Study all you want -- just don't encourage them (write them, forward them,
or answer them), OK?

>Likewise, I am
>interested in what I perceive to be a growing immunity to them as
>expressed by the feelings of yourself and others.
Immunity through limited contact. As soon as I realize something is
a chain letter, I delete it without reading it. I delete executables
that people mail me, too. It's like not shaking hands with someone
who has a cold. I guess sending the note to the friend is kind of
like suggesting that someone wash their hands before handling food.


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_