Planet of the (email) Apes

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Keith F. Lynch

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May 19, 2022, 9:28:50 PMMay 19
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My mailbox is stuffed with megabytes of unwanted HTML gibberish thanks
to an "email marketing" mailer called Mailchimp. And indeed, it seems
to have been programmed by an ape.

This isn't spam per se. It's stuff I requested, or at least sort of
requested, but I certainly didn't ask that even the simplest and most
straightforward messages be accompanied by a retinue of literally
thousands of angle brackets, ampersands, JavaScript codes, and
hundreds of incomprehensible header lines.

I got one from Balticon on the 10th, one from FANAC on the 17th, two
from Chicon on the 17th (the second 1600 lines were because the time
zone was wrong in the first email; they're otherwise identical),
another from Balticon on the 18th, and yet another from Balticon on
the 19th. The last one -- a mere 422 lines -- was to correct a bad
single-line URL in the previous email.

Can anyone think of a reason not to block all of them? And does
anyone know of a contact at Chicon who can switch me to plain text
email? Thanks.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Gary McGath

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May 20, 2022, 8:51:03 AMMay 20
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Mailchimp is horrible for privacy. Here's their list of stuff they
report back to the sender:

https://mailchimp.com/help/reports/

Reading email as plain text, which you do, defeats all or nearly all
attempt to monitor your reading. As you note, though, the plain text
versions can be messy to read.

Most mail clients won't run JavaScript, so I'm surprised Mailchimp uses it.

I understand why marketers, including ones that have the recipient's
permission, want to snoop on their subscribers' reading habits. I don't
understand why fannish organizations use Mailchimp. If you don't want to
run your own list server, there are plenty of options that respect
privacy. I've set up lists on groups.io for a personal mailing list and
for a discussion group.

MASSFILC, which I'm clerk of, uses a Mailman list server.

Nobody can decide for you whether Mailchimp is worth the annoyance. If
it isn't, you should be able to get yourself removed from those lists
without having to block them.

--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com

Keith F. Lynch

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May 20, 2022, 9:08:00 PMMay 20
to
Gary McGath <ga...@REMOVEmcgathREMOVE.com> wrote:
> Reading email as plain text, which you do, defeats all or nearly all
> attempt to monitor your reading. As you note, though, the plain
> text versions can be messy to read.

Messy and very bloated. I don't mind long emails (within reason) so
long as they consist only of substantive content.

I routinely search *all* my email, back to day one, for various
character strings. My searches take longer than they should. But my
dislike of bloat is mostly just an aesthetic preference. So what if
disk space is cheap and plentiful? Even if real estate and plumbing
became cheap and plentiful, I would never say "I have ten thousand
toilets, so I never need flush one again."

> Most mail clients won't run JavaScript, so I'm surprised Mailchimp
> uses it.

I stand corrected. A closer examination shows no trace of JavaScript.

> I understand why marketers, including ones that have the recipient's
> permission, want to snoop on their subscribers' reading habits. I
> don't understand why fannish organizations use Mailchimp.

Indeed. The fannish organizations aren't doing marketing. And
anything labeled as "email marketing" rubs me the wrong way. It's
just another word for spam. Nobody would consent to having their
email open to marketing, any more than they'd consent to having their
front yard used as the city dump.

> If you don't want to run your own list server, there are plenty of
> options that respect privacy. I've set up lists on groups.io for a
> personal mailing list and for a discussion group.

I'm not that happy about groups.io either. Again, lots of HTML
and MIME turds in nearly all emails. Will future generations view
"MsoNormal" as being the most common word of 21st century English?
And =C3=83=C2=83=C3=82=C2=83=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=83=C3
=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=82=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=AC=C3=83=C2=
83=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=84=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2
as being a typical apostrophe?

> Nobody can decide for you whether Mailchimp is worth the annoyance.
> If it isn't, you should be able to get yourself removed from those
> lists without having to block them.

There are unsubscribe links, but they're URLs, not email addresses.
Giant MIME-infested URLs which need to be manually unMIMEd before
they're usable. Anyhow, I don't so much want to unsubscribe as I want
to get nothing but succinct accurate relevant plain text messages.

Tim Merrigan

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May 21, 2022, 4:05:45 PMMay 21
to
On Sat, 21 May 2022 01:07:58 -0000 (UTC), "Keith F. Lynch"
<k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:

>And =C3=83=C2=83=C3=82=C2=83=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=83=C3
>=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=82=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=AC=C3=83=C2=
>83=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=84=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2
>as being a typical apostrophe?

All of that is for one apostrophe?!
--

Qualified immunity = virtual impunity.

Tim Merrigan

--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com

Keith F. Lynch

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May 21, 2022, 11:07:02 PMMay 21
to
Tim Merrigan <tp...@ca.rr.com> wrote:
> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>> And =C3=83=C2=83=C3=82=C2=83=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=83=C3
>> =82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=82=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=AC=C3=83=C2=
>> 83=C3=82=C2=A2=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=84=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A2
>> as being a typical apostrophe?

> All of that is for one apostrophe?!

Yes. Each time it was quoted, it doubled in size. And I wasn't one
of the participants in the thread, so none of it can be blamed on me.
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