Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I think that Pleasant View may have something going here. If given final approval by the City Council, developers hope to start building the first of what they call Mayberry-style villages in Pleasant View in September. Kinda cutsey. And I thought Cool Springs was as "Truman Show" as it gets.

Hero Guild Name

Villains fear me.
Heroes envy me.

Danielle S. is...
The Dynamic Mastermind

Hero Guild Name

Villains fear me.
Heroes envy me.

Danielle L. S. is...
The Intellectual Dragon

Played Zanzarah last night. Extremely beautiful game... but it was kind of boring. Maybe because I had a hard time killing the bad fairies or something. Anyway.... pretty.

Okay, so I did not have time to write my dissertation on the foolishness of sending forwards to people without doing a little research into the validity of their claims. However, I will share the email that inspired the ire yesterday...

(**Email addresses have been changed to protect the innocent.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Seth
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 10:59 AM
To: **; **; **; **; **; **; [my email address here]; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **; **

ok this is probably an urban legend. But if it is not....................


[Keep in mind, what followed was horribly formatted because it had obviously been forwarded many times...]

Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 12:14:31 -0400

Dear Friends,
Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.


Chinu! [huh?]

I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on, Microsoft contacted me for my address and within days, I received a cheque for US$24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this Bill Gates is the man. It's marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least US$10,000.00.

Gregor McLennan
Professor of Sociology &
Head of Department
University of Bristol
12 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1UQ

To which I responded....


Okay --- let’s just take a moment to sit down and think about this one.

You just sent this message to 20 people… however only 19 will get it, because Manda hasn’t worked for that company for about six months now.

So according to your letter below from the very reliable Gregor McLennon, that would mean that you would be receiving $4655.00. (19 x $245)

Now let’s just say that everybody on your list forwards it on to just 10 people. That would be 180 (10 x 18, because I won’t be forwarding this to anyone)… which would give you an additional $43,740.00. (180 x $243) (Cha-ching.)

Let’s just say that only one-third of those people decide to send it on, and those people only send it on to five people each. That would be 600 people (120 x 5)… which would earn you another $144,600.00. (600 x $241) (Thanks, Bill!)

This brings your grand total to a generous $192,995.00! Wouldn’t that be a nice down-payment on a new house/car/yacht?

In this scenario, we are suggesting that over 700 people have then gotten this message… if every single one of them followed though, Bill Gates would be sending out over $135,000,000.00… and that’s just from the people in your little chain that you started. Considering that I have gotten this message at least 30 times (and I believe that is an extremely modest estimate), that would be a half-billion dollars spent on just the chains involving people that I know. (Though I find that I keep getting them from the same people, and so far I have yet to get an email from anybody saying “holy crap, I’m retiring today thanks to Bill Gates and his beta email-tracking system. I got my check today… I’ll send postcards from Figi!”.) Amazing, eh? That Bill Gates sure is a generous guy… especially since he is worth only 33.63 billion. [*this figure changes according to stock prices.]

Now let’s consider the broader implications of this whole email tracking thing. “When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it.” Does this not disturb you? Let’s just assume for a second that this isn’t a complete load of crap. Can you say “Big Brother”? Am I supposed to be thanking you for getting my email address included in this whole Bill-Gates-taking-over-the-world scheme? Thanks a lot, you freakin’ jerky.

Hehe… okay – so I probably should work now. But thanks for giving me a little distraction on a Monday morning. I trust I will not be getting any more of these from you. :) Because if I do, you know I’ll be flying my butt back to Florida (did I tell you I was going to orlando this past weekend?) to beat your sorry ass down, right?

Love ya! D.

Not ten minutes after sending, I received a phonecall from dear Seth. He said he was practically in tears from laughing so hard, and he especially appreciated the conclusion. My work here is done.