I guess we all keep getting those contagious emails. You know, the ones that have been forwarded by each recipient to all his/her contacts recursively, and you probably have recieved the 20th iteration or so. The mail will generally consist of some cliched joke, or the story of a dying Microsoft that begs for money.
I always like to think of them in terms of having a chain initiator, a propogator, and a terminator. Somehow, I don’t think they even have an initiator; they must be just naturally evolving as a result of (almost) infinitely many monkeys typing something or the other non-stop in their email accounts. And looking from that perspective, maybe I am not so averse to them either, given that I am banking on them to get my free copy of the complete works of Shakespeare, and many other things.
Of course, I (like many others, I hope) take extreme, almost evil pleasure in acting as the terminator.
However, a sudden thought came to my mind: did nobody ever consider replying to such a mail?
Well, I am going to “reply all” to the next such mail sent to me. That will effectively start a giant group discussion thread, involving the entire contacts list of the friend who sent me the mail. All the people, starting right from the double-a’s upto the z’s (which are seldom there) shall be sent a reply, saying.. whatever, doesn’t matter.
Problem with such threads is that they are giant in terms of width, not length. Sadly, despite the law of large numbers, very few of those contacts are actually sporting and spontaneous to reply on it. It is very difficult to keep such random talk alive. Select IRC rooms prove to be better on these grounds.
Yet, I will start that giant thread the next time I get such a mail. And the content of the mail would be such as to encourage the original sender to do the same recursively. Piggybacking from the terminators to the initiators, is the idea. I hope I get to the monkeys.