Lubrican: Blog

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June 6, 2010
Posted at 3:13 pm
Updated: June 8, 2010 - 2:25 am

Old theme, new attempt to communicate

I have tried before to explain about anonymous mail. In the interests of my blood pressure, I'll try again.

I got this mail recently with reference to Uncle Bob's Charter Boat:

Good story. If Michelle is going to put her name
to the proof reading; She needs to learn to read a
whole lot better.

Now this mail was sent anonymously. Let me make that clear.

I get it that people who secretly read smut get a little paranoid that others in the world might find out they secretly read smut.

I get it that some people want to remain anonymous. And I don't have any problem with that.

What I have a problem with is a message that wastes my time, and that message up there wastes my time. It doesn't tell me anything of any value whatsoever. It is worthless, without value, of no consequence, and completely irrelevant.

What mistakes did Michelle miss? I didn't see any. And as far as I'm concerned that anonymous person didn't either, because he (or she) can't quote even one thing.

How am I supposed to approach this with Michelle?

"Hey babe, you're all fucked up, because somebody who didn't want to leave a name said so. No, we can't ask him/her any questions. No he/she didn't specify even one instance in which you missed something he/she thought was wrong (which might not be wrong at all) but it was inferred you were a miserable proof reader. So let's step it up a notch in the future. Got that, bitch?"

I don't think so. I like Michelle. She catches errors I make and they get fixed. And, being an amateur, I make my share of mistakes. Michelle takes time our of her life to help me, and I appreciate that.

By the way, she doesn't put her name on things. I do. I figure that, since she does something for me, she should get the credit. After all, it's not as good as it is only because of me. I have help. It only seems fair that I recognize the help.

So, Mister/Miss/Ms/Mrs critic, you were in error in your criticism, because Michelle doesn't "put her name" on anything. Second, she reads fine. I tested her and she's on at least an eighth grade level, which is better than the average senior in high school. Now her proofreading may not be perfect, but then she's an amateur proofreader, just like I'm an amateur author, so I neither expect nor demand perfection.

Rather, it is you who need to do a little work on your criticism. If the purpose of your criticism is to produce some improvement in the author's work, then a little more detail might be helpful. Also, they have this thing called Hotmail, and another thing called Yahoo, and half a dozen more of these email thingies, and guess what? You can establish an account with a completely fictional name! Nobody will know who you are when you use it to write to someone. That's right - nobody! And then, if there's a question (or, heaven forbid an answer) concerning your feedback then the author can actually communicate with you. I know it's a new concept, but think about it a little while. This communication thing is kind of fun once you get used to the idea.

Before I go, I have to leave a disclaimer. There is actually a way to trace any email, using the ISP of the computer used in sending the email. In other words, Hotmail knows who your internet provider is, and your internet provider knows who your computer is, and since you signed up with them using your real name, they know who YOU are. And, with the appropriate warrant, Federal, State and Local law enforcement authorities DO have the capability of finding out who that ISP is registered to. I suppose if you have your own company that provides internet access, you could muddy up the waters enough that an ISP couldn't be connected to a real person individually. The point is that you CAN be found, whether you do things "anonymously" or not.

So you're not really anonymous. I just thought you should know that.

That said, in the interest of fairness, I have to also tell you that I've done wiretapping investigations before, when I was in law enforcement. That's why I giggle so much when everybody gets all het up about the Patriot Act and similar laws. Everybody thinks that if wire tapping is easily legal, that someone will immediately listen in to their phone conversations.

Think about it for a few seconds.

There are more than three hundred million people in the United States. Legally, anyway. If you want to add in the other 12 to 25 million illegals (depending on whose stats you decide to use) feel free. It won't make a heck of a lot of difference.

There are (I'm making a completely wild guess here) anywhere between fifteen and twenty million phone calls going on at any given minute in the day.

A wire tap records conversations, generally. That's because nobody has enough human assets (cops) to sit and wait for you to make a call and then listen live. I know they do it all the time on TV, but that's TV, folks, where guns don't run out of bullets, and the guy who was killed off in Show A yesterday is starring in show B today.

So let's say, for the sake of argument, that you have a one minute conversation with somebody in a phone call, and it gets recorded by the evil government. Using my stats, that's twenty million minutes of recordings being made .... every single minute of the day.

That would take twenty million pieces of equipment, by the way, and the last time I checked, that equipment is pretty rare. There might be fifteen thousand of them in the United States. They cost out the ass, and most police departments can't afford them. Of course the last time I checked was over ten years ago. Maybe anybody with a laptop can listen in these days. Who knows?

OK, so let's pretend like they can do that. Now, for one 24 hour period, you have twenty million minutes times the 1,440 minutes there are in a 24 hour day, which I'm not even going to try to calculate, but it's a big number, I promise.

And you think somebody is even capable of listening to all that tape? Even if you took every law enforcement officer in every country on Earth, including China, which I hear has literally dozens and dozens, they couldn't possibly review all those conversations, and that's just for one day of phone calls.

The point is that even if the police didn't need a warrant and could tap any phone they wanted to, they couldn't get to all of us, even if they tried, and even if we all lived to be three hundred years old.

So worrying about someone hearing you flirting with your neighbor's wife on the phone (or vice versa) is really kind of a waste of time.

And so is sending anonymous email.