Antilibrary

So many books to read, so little time.

Email Forwarding as Modern Superstition

with 7 comments

From my inbox this morning–“The President of Argentina received this picture n called it ‘junk mail’, 8 days later his son died. A man received this picture & immediately sent out copies..his surprise was winning the lottery. Alberto Martinez received this picture, gave it to his secretary to make copies but they forgot to distribute: She lost her job & he lost his family. This picture is miraculous & sacred. Forward to 10 people.”

This was forwarded by at least ten people before it got to me. It’s easy to see how this meme could spread–the cost of doing nothing is potentially losing family/job, etc, while the cost of averting this is just a click of the “forward” button on Gmail. So it is seemingly rational behavior. However, the irrationality lies in believing (1) things you read on the Internet without cross-checking Snopes, otherwise you will be taken in by anything and (2) the idea that a serious curse could be alleviated by the simple action of email forwarding. No self-respecting voodoo priest dreaming up a curse would make it THAT easy to get rid of. Fascinating, but incredibly annoying.

Advertisements

Written by Adam Elkus

December 10, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Nonfiction

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I always delete any email the instant I see it is a “chain letter”. I grasp the nettle. I run the risk. I push back, baby.

    Lexington Green

    December 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

  2. Haha, good one.

    A.E.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:33 am

  3. Another pack of hoax lies … the originators of such emails must lead a prety sad life if that is all they can find time to do!

    Hunter

    July 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

  4. Hunter

    July 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

  5. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you offer.

    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in
    a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Excellent read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my
    Google account.

  6. I’m very happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you
    bookmarked to see new things in your web site.

    polarbudownictwo.pl

    September 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

  7. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve
    discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out
    loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid other
    customers like its aided me. Great job.

    www.dlagastronomii.pl

    September 30, 2013 at 4:55 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: