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Re: [VM] Email dangers portrayed in media

From: Uday Reddy
Subject: Re: [VM] Email dangers portrayed in media
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 23:50:11 +0000

James Freer writes:

> Not sure i'd describe it as a brilliant series.... very poor compared with
> Yes Minister (years ago now) which was a bit more convincing. All the
> swearing and sexual connotations really spoil what could be quite
> entertaining.

Sorry about the swearing.  I realized, as soon as I sent off my earlier
message, that I should have added a warning about it.  But, having watched
the whole series, I felt that, underneath all that crudity, there was a lot
of subtle reality that was portrayed.  I am planning to get all the old
series from LoveFilm and watch them too.

> Trouble is with 'Top Posting' is that i believe it was inherited from
> corporate Intranet. Emails would be cut off after so many lines
> automatically.  The first internet email providers copied it.

I guess the trouble is not with 'top' or 'bottom', but with the fact that
people mindlessly attach all the old correspondence without looking at it.
Often, privacy gets breached in the process.  I once had to deal with an
instance where X was making disparaging remarks to Y about another person Z,
and then ended up copying all of it to Z.  You can imagine the mayhem that
ensued.  The idiocy of it boggles my mind!

Corporates have now begun to put footnotes which say "this message is meant
to be seen by the addressee only.  If you are not the intended recipient,
please delete it immediately."  I guess the lawyers advised them.  If you
read disparaging remarks about yourself in the stupidly attached email, you
are supposed to pretend that you have never seen them!  If you have seen
them, you can't complain about them, because you are never supposed to have
read them in the first place!  How far the lawyers can get away with this
crap is not clear.

Another trend that has come up in the last few years is that people can't be
bothered to maintain an address book.  If they want to send you a message,
they go and look for an old message you sent them and do a reply.  Now,
imagine they copy somebody in, and imagine that they have top-posting turned
on by default!

I don't know how the top-posting style originated.  This message on the
internet seems to suggest that Microsoft was responsible for it:

I had always imagined that it originated with primitive mail clients that
didn't know how to show threaded message summaries.  The recipients couldn't
go back and see the original message that it was a reply to.  So, the whole
message was copied as a courtesy.

Or perhaps it was made for naive users who could not be expected to learn
how to find the parent of a message.  ("My mother top-posts.  I can't
honestly say that she is wrong.")

The point of this thread, however, is not to complain about top-posting, but
rather to point out that it is *dangerous*.  VM users are not immune from
it.  If you use vm-reply-include-text a lot, you are doing exactly the same
thing that the Outlook-users do, and you might get burnt some day!


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