A few questions with Halifax artist Élana Camille Saimovici
Why can’t it be you? The driving force behind success
SUCCESS = career + money ... or does it?
Should I stay or should I go? A look at graduate retention
A conversation with Canadian Armed Forces veteran and health ...
Generational value gaps shifting as individualist thinking warps view ...
Success: Two women. Two lives. One take.
Five questions, 10 answers: let's make prejudice, inequality history
Money. Happiness. Family. How do we define success?
I’m beginning to think my email system has a mind of its own.
I mean, it’s always had a thing about spontaneously deciding what I should read and what I should throw away, and for the last few years, it’s been pretty good about catching even the most persuasive scams — let alone the easy ones, like the email from someone you correspond with every year or so that has the subject line “Wow” and the sole content, “This is what everyone is talking about … http://sooperinvasive computer worm.”
But how impressive is an email system that knows I really enjoy random emails from Chinese marketers, while at the same time knowing (without any instructions from me) to relegate absolutely every email from my employers at head office to the junk mail box?
Today’s offering that made it into my inbox was “How are you? I’m thank you very much for your Inquiry. We are KINGSTAR AUDIO EQUIPMENT FACTORY, we manufacture specialized in manufacturing Musical instrument wireless systems like guitar wireless system …”) Meanwhile, a staff email on in-house technology usage was immediately turfed into the junk pile.
And it’s not just my employers who get kicked to the curb. As the weeks go by, my email system is getting braver and braver. And it’s happening fast.
First, it started delegating all email from think-tanks and American fringe political groups to the junk dumpster. Out with you, Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Fraser Institute and a host of American centres for different varieties of freedoms. So long, C.D. Howe Institute, telling me about new appointments and persuasive research. You’re in the same spot with Sgt. A.N. Williamson, willing to share the money he and his crew of marines stole during Operation Enduring Freedom and have been trying for almost 20 years to repatriate through a helpful soul like me, if only I’d be so kind as to share my banking information in exchange for a US$1 million cut.
My email system is getting braver and braver. And it’s happening fast.
Last week, it moved a little further into what I would consider risqué territory: suddenly, a smattering of news releases from Canadian banks also became junk, according to my spam filter’s discerning eye. Dividend rates this quarter are receiving the same treatment as Lorelei who saw my handsome profile on Facebook and wants to make happytimes with me, as long as I send my financial details to confirm my bona fides and prove that I am, in fact, an upstanding citizen and not a scam. (Now, isn’t that a delightful way to turn something on its ear.)
I mean, sometimes it messes up and deletes the daily watch lists that tell me about the day’s important stories in the New York Times or the Boston Globe (lists that share a remarkable overlap in both content and style because the papers have the same owners).
And sometimes, I’ll go into my junk mail folder and find an email that I have been waiting on for most of the day, perversely hidden away simply because the computer knows how much I’ve been waiting for it.
But by and large, I’m enjoying this turn of events.
I figure that, by the end of the year, the junk detector will have gone entirely rogue — in other words, approaching my own state of mind right now — and will simply be deeming every single email that gets sent to me to be useless or pernicious junk.
And if I wait long enough, I’ve discovered the junk box empties itself unbidden, like one of those airport toilets where you have to leap to your feet to avoid the cool mist of the eager early flush.
Isn’t technology great?
Russell Wangersky’s column appears in 36 SaltWire newspapers and websites in Atlantic Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com — Twitter: @wangersky.
MORE FROM RUSSELL WANGERSKY