Managing and dealing with spam

This was a message posted on the thelist, a mailing list devoted to web development and run by

Hey all —

Gotta love the internet at times.   Someone threatened to sign me up for about a bazillion SPAM e-mails … and lo and behold, their spam terrorist attacks have now worked … I am getting roughly 60-70 SPAM e-mails per day and am spending all my time deleting those little buggers.

My questions:   (1) Is there any way to remove myself from any of these lists rather than one at a time?   and (2) At first I just let sleeping dogs lie … after several days of this I’m just royally IRKED … is there a way to sign THIS person up for some spam?

(PS. Don’t bother writing nasty mails to me or the list telling me this is “wrong” … you try having your mailbox overflow with garbage every singe hour of the day … I’m angry.)   If you’d rather not send this information publically, contact me privately.


I found this very interesting as I’ve been dealing with spam for many years. So I took the time to write a long reply. Here’s what I wrote (quoted text is indented):

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The myth of convergence

Convergence. They’ve been preaching it for many years now. Don’t hold your breath though. It’ll never happen.

What exactly is convergence? I wanted to get an “official”definition, so I looked it up on and this is what I got: “In information technology, convergence is a term for the combining of personal computers, telecommunication, and television into a user experience that is accessible to everyone”.

I assure you that it just isn’t going to happen. Not today, not in the future. The media may be going all bonkers about it. That doesn’t make it more likely. Nor will wishful thinking by companies that have invested large chunks of money in “convergence devices”.

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Avoiding personal conflict on mailing lists

I subscribe to email discussion lists on various topics like web development, information architecture, experience design, online writing, etc. I have often seen vicious arguments break out on some of them. Somebody posts something, then someone else not only refutes that but also calls the original poster a moron for not knowing better. Pretty soon, many flames are exchanged, and the rest of the list subscribers are silent witnesses to a bloody mess. Nobody likes that.

From observing these battles, I’ve found some common behavioural  patterns in all such incidents. The following is my list of suggestions for avoiding flames and managing conflict on mailing lists: 

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