Runs on mailing lists

Today I spent the day at the chemistry department in Edinburgh University demonstrating (at their invitation) OPUS with Ron Laird. I frequently receive these sorts of invitations, and that’s nice, but it’s a whole day to go there and back again.

I got home and checked my email, and saw dozens of emails about a conference in Japan. It seems the organiser thought it would be a good idea to set-up a mailing list, but hadn’t configured it to be read-only. Ok, a pain, and basically spam. Now the real stupidity sets in, when several people start to mail the list to ask to be removed. Ok, more annoyance. Now we get the real fun, computer professionals sending “unsubsribe” to the list (not the list server) so we all get to enjoy that.

I’ve noticed this cascade effect before, when people start doing this and everyone else gets fed up and starts repeating the mistake, so want off the list; a bit like a run on a bank. But, please people, email the originator of the spam, not the list and/or look in the list control lines to find out how to unsubscribe.