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Journal Journal: The Irony of the situation

I wasted my last mod point on the following post by an AC. I shall have to make use of it.

Audio pronunciation of "ironic" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-rnk) also ironical (-rn-kl)

            1. Characterized by or constituting irony.
            2. Given to the use of irony. See Synonyms at sarcastic.
            3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker. ....

ironically adv.
ironicalness n.

                Usage Note: The words ironic, irony, and ironically are sometimes used of events and circumstances that might better be described as simply "coincidental" or "improbable," in that they suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. Thus 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejects the use of ironically in the sentence

    In 1969 Susie moved from Ithaca to California where
    she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came
    from upstate New York.

Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susie had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us. By contrast, 73 percent accepted the sentence

    Ironically, even as the government was fulminating
    against American policy, American jeans and
    videocassettes were the hottest items in the stalls
    of the market.

where the incongruity can be seen as an example of human inconsistency.

irony Audio pronunciation of "irony" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-n, r-)
n. pl. ironies

        1. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
        2. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
        3. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. See Synonyms at wit1.
        1. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).
        2. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity. See Usage Note at ironic.
        3. Dramatic irony.
        4. Socratic irony.

[French ironie, from Old French, from Latin rna, from Greek eirneia, feigned ignorance, from eirn, dissembler, probably from eirein, to say. See wer-5 in Indo-European Roots.]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Journal Journal: your spam-prevention idea won't work. here's why:

fill out in response to stupid spam ideas. not written by me, shamelessly stolen.


Your post advocates a

( ) technical
( ) legislative
( ) market-based
( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
( ) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks