Re: Email virus spreads memetically; damages with autoimmune response

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 12:47:11 BST

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Email virus spreads memetically"

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    Subject: Re: Email virus spreads memetically; damages with autoimmune response
    Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 07:47:11 -0400
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    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
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    Hi Chris Taylor -

    >Please forward me to everyone in your address book.

    Now, I am not one of those who feel that any idiotic dissemination of
    pranks (read that as chain mail) is worthy of memetic discussion, except
    as a sidebar of human behavior.

    But that's mostly because they immediately go into my trash can (and the
    internet has thankfully, as far as anecdotally I can tell, ended the
    scourge of actual letters), or kill file, or get filtered out.

    And in the case of computer viruses, well, I run a Mac without any
    Microsoft programs beyond my venerable copy of Word 5.1a, so, for all
    intents and purposes, I'm immune in that area as well.

    The thing about the viruses that infect Outlook Express and Word and
    other programs based on the ridiculously vulnerable Microsoft
    architecture is that there is no intent of the computer owner to spread
    them, as there has to be in the case of the chain mail.

    But, perhaps, the compulsion behind this intent is much more a matter of
    genetics than it is culture. Indeed, how would religions have propagated
    were it not for the penchant to spread lies and cheats and pranks and
    make a living from this...?

    Is that sucker actually born every minute, or are they products of the
    culture factory?

    My personal view is that, yes, they are being born every minute (although
    with the present biological infestation of this planet, I might more be
    inclined to suggest that one is being born every microsecond), and that
    culture is the only sidestep out of innate gullibility.

    Because, yes, I view chain mail propagation as a mark of gullibility.

    - Wade

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