If there is a Bermuda Triangle that swallows ships, and a black hole in space that swallows well I don’t know what black holes swallow, and something in my house that swallows lone socks, scissors, ink pens, important papers, and small children, then can it be that difficult to believe there is a black hole in cyberspace that eats random e-mails, or at least holds them as “postage due”?
I belong to a number of e-mail lists for writers. All of them are hosted by the same large internet company that allows us to use them for free. At least we think it’s free.
For the past year or so one of the e-mail lists has blocked my account so I can’t send e-mail to the list but can receive e-mail from the list. That’s not exactly true. I can send if I steal an e-mail and use the reply button sending my new e-mail as a hitch hiker on the original e-mail.
It was annoying at first, but once I figured out the hitch hiker route it was no big deal.
This week I was notified by a couple of my friends from this list that they too can no longer send e-mails. A couple list members are not sure they are receiving e-mail. But then, how would they know?
This morning I received an e-mail from Rosie, a friend who said she spent most of her day yesterday replying to e-mail from the various e-mail groups she belongs to, only to discover that they were never received by the other e-mail list members. She fears they are being held in cyberspace and will one day all be released and the recipients will have their inboxes overflowing with old mail and think that she is: a) a witch to be able to send e-mail from the past in to the future; b) senile and needs to be placed in a home for the e-mail challenged; c) crazy as she never really sent the e-mails, and in fact never wrote the e-mails. It’s all a grand deluision of staying on top of things. d) she secretly does this from time to time to make us crazy so she can rule the writing and e-mail world.
What she has really done is put more than a few of us in fear of the future.
At some point in time some day in the future I fear that all this e-mail will be released, will land in our in-boxes and we will have to take the time to sort it all out. During this process, Rosie, will be sitting on the beach sipping margaritas. By her side will be whoever is in charge of the black hole of cyberspace e-mail. I have no doubt that the two of them are in cahoots.
Unlike the USPS, e-mail lost to the black hole in cyberspace does not generate a little pink card notifying the recipient that they did not receive their e-mail because: (check appropriate box)
- Postage due.
- Recipient unknown or address incorrect or we just haven’t a clue who this is intended for.
- URL = Unknown Recipient Language so e-mail could not be translated from binary.
- Signature cannot be obtained or confirmed and receipts are not possible when this is all free.
- Last chance sucker. Mail will be deleted in 23.69 cyber minutes.
If you are a part of this unfortunate cyber-hole-lost-e-mail thing, join the rest of us and go on strike. Refuse to accept late e-mail. Refuse to respond to late e-mail. Refuse to determine what qualifies as late e-mail. Leave it all in your e-mail box until it explodes. If enough of us band together we might be able to fill that black cyberhole and blow it out of the internet.
Until then you can find us wherever margaritas are being served and cyber communication is banned.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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