Archive for 2009/06/01

The logic behind spam and software project plans– or the lack of logic with those who buys the crap

I’m an active skeptic. That is that I’m active in an skeptic organization, working for increased public knowledge and against superstition and the exploitation of those who in need grasping for every straw of hope. It is therefore so hard to understand the logic behind spam. Or rather, the logic of those who buy the crap.

Scanning through the spam e-mail one is amazed not by the fact that someone writes the garbage but that people actually buys the stuff. If no one bought anything, the spammers would turn to some other method. Yes, they’ve become a little bit harder to spot on the first glance, but most of them are so bad that one is amazed that they continue earning money as a result of someone actually buying this stuff based on a mass produced e-mail filled with promises no one to their right senses can take seriously.

But then again. I look at the people around me and even if the offers in the spam is ludicrous, the stuff people buy from local stores is sometimes no better. I just love this example, taken from a so called alternative store in Malmö: “Buy X, the natural alternative to nicotine.” Well, nicotine is sort of a plant, which is probably more “natural” than that white pill in that box. But this is just an example. I cannot cease to be amazed when people who I otherwise consider smart just buying into stuff which does not even remotely seem possible.

But perhaps people want to be fooled. They cherish that feeling that they discovered that simple solution to their problem, that it wasn’t so hard to fix that tummy as they’d imagined. But how long does that feeling last and why do they later fall for a similar scam?

But then again, what is the difference between believing in that crap and believing in a complex project model for a software development process. We all know that it doesn’t work. As Albert Einstein so wisely put it: Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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