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That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest not unto others

I will confess that I am one of those guilty of recycling emails. My all-time favorite is to write a general email to one person, take the same letter, substitute the names, cut and paste relevant sections from the master email document and, voila, get a totally brand-new letter with no one the wiser.

When there is more than three minutes to spare, that triplicated email may be personalized with snippets of gossip on local goings-on.

Having been guilty of the above deed, it would seem that I am not alone in abusing the system. Instead of keeping in touch with each other by sharing family news and local happenings, society appears to have decided that it would be better to simply forward emails we receive from each other instead of generating original content. And these are not even short and sweet notes but jokes, warnings and pleas of all sorts from various sources.

Just check your own mailbox. You will discover that five out of seven emails will have the carbon copy column filled with row upon row of names of friends, half of whom you've never heard about. If I were peddling a cheap and lucrative product online, it would take only seconds to assemble a long and impressive list of prospective clients based on just the cc lists alone!

I suppose these junk mails and forwarded emails are well-intentioned ways for friends and relatives to tell me that they are still alive, kicking and "wired", even as 90 percent of their email are probably copied from a previous post with the only addition being "Dear Jay".

However, I take offense at those who not only repeatedly post the same silly jokes ("How many blonds does it take to change a light bulb?") only about 60 times, these folks also do not sign off with their proper name. Instead, one gets androgynous user names like "sonora" and "old maid".

I was to discover during the last Christmas gathering of the past century that the former was actually the pseudonym of a red-faced uncle who mumbled a confession, while the latter was actually the nickname of a 16-year-old niece! Both were equally guilty of bombarding my in-box with junk mail and colorless jokes.

Dispatch from Malaysia

Here's a nation that has built a first-world infrastructure. But can the country truly lead its people down the Yellow Brick Road to the smart city of tomorrow? Our Dispatch from Malaysia taps into the collective mindshare.

Check out previous dispatches from Malaysia:

Real world Net cynicism in a wired world

The art of resistance

Surfing on the Sulu

High-tech utopia or myopia?


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