X-Message-Number: 23988
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 15:31:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dan Hitt <>
Subject: spam and the beholder's eye (your message 23980)

Hi Randy,

Thanks for posting message 23980 (which i'll have to rate as
insightful at http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=23980 after
sending this off).

For reference, and to shave of all the nuance from your post, you
raise the question as to whether Paul is being tagged as a spammer not
because of spamming behavior but because of the contents of what he
posts (anti-Bush pieces).  Note that James S also raised a similar
question in message 23857, where he questions whether other posters'
strongly negative responses to Paul were because the material was
off-topic, or because of their anti-Bush content, and then reminds
everybody about Bush's anti-life-extensionist appointee Leon Kass and
Bush's impedance of stem cell research, and wonders aloud how a
cryonicist can support politicians inimical to our interests.

I think you raise a good point.

Is it really spam?

Well, i posed this question to Kevin, and snipping just a little from
his answer, he makes the point that Paul's posts have the
characteristic of spam because they typically do not explain their
relevance to cryonics, and they do not engage others in discussion
or arise as a result of previous discussion.

For example, in Sunday's cryonet, Paul makes a post about the
PNAC (Project for a New American Century).

Now, in fact, the PNAC is worthy of review (either on the basis of its
chilling contents, or on the basis of the incompetence of any of its
authors putting down their plans in writing and attaching their names
to it).

But we receive this information about the PNAC completely undigested,
with no effort made to provide even a fig leaf of a connection to
cryonics, even to the extent of a warning that we may not look so good
in the future if we're seen as supporting anything from the PNAC.  And
it's not in response to anything on cryonet.

In fact, it looks like it's part of a chain letter: somebody sent it
to all of his friends with a note saying "pass this on", and it then
gets passed on to here, unmodified.  Some people here won't even take
a look at it, but get even more annoyed at the poster, we get a rating
system on cryonet, and maybe there will even be a few more votes for
Bush/Kass/anti-stem-cell-research (and i guess the PNAC as well) in
the process.

This i think illustrates Professor Ettinger's dictum that we promote
our cause by making ourselves more likeable (or maybe some
converse of it: we hinder our cause by making ourselves less likeable).

This may not put to rest the question that you raise "is it tagged
as spam because of its contents?", but at the very least, i think
that the presentation of the contents has clouded the issue
enough that it can plausibly be called spam (however valuable the
contents may be).


PS: It won't show up in the header, but i'm copying this to the
parties prominently mentioned, so they can set me straight that in
this digest if they choose to.  I make lots of mistakes, and i welcome
correction from you or anybody else.

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