Saturday, 7 March 2020

Timeo spammeros et dona ferentes

That's "I fear spammers even if they're bringing gifts". Sorry about spammeros – not very interesting, but it's a fairly good match for Virgil's Danaos. Ahem:

For the last few months, after years of blissful freedom from such pollution, this blog has become prey to attacks from spammers who post "comments" accompanied by invitations to acts of obvious self-abuse – "Click here" being the favoured euphemism for "Try this noose on for size". The most common (I must have had over a dozen – word-for-word the same) is
Wow! this is Amazing! Do you know your hidden name meaning ? <Link>
At first I just ignored them, for reasons of ingrained IT hygiene.
In the late 1980s, when DEC was waking up (ever so slowly) to the importance of the Internet ("Why should we care about the Internet, based on Requests for Comments?...
The central repository of knowledge/standards/best practice in the world of the Internet is a document (of which there are thousands) called Request for Comments (usually abbreviated to RFC, and having – for IT practitioners –little or no implication of invited comments. If it's a standard, it's too late for comments anyway. But it's still an "RFC".
...I know what my comments would be. We already have our own Easynet linking tens of thousands...
At its peak, DEC had well over 100,000 employees worldwide, many of whom had a MicroVAX (sometimes more than one), all joined on the Easynet.
... of computers. Who needs more?") I followed a course on this Brave New World. One of its messages was 
Don't respond in any way to spam – however inviting a link might seem ("Unsubscribe", for  example). All you're doing is confirming that an address is valid – making it a more valuable addition to yet another "Sucker list"
But now I've realized that the links were still there on the blog, making me in some way complicit. So I am now deleting them. Some, though, are intriguing – sometimes for their inanity (Can they really expect me to fall for that?)  like this one:
Do you understand there is a 12 word phrase you can communicate to your crush... that will trigger intense feelings of love and instinctual appeal for you deep within his heart? 
Because deep inside these 12 words is a "secret signal" that triggers a man's impulse to love, please and guard you with all his heart... 
12 Words Who Trigger A Man's Desire Response<this was a link> 
This impulse is so hardwired into a man's genetics that it will make him try harder than ever before to love and admire you.
In fact, triggering this mighty impulse is so important to getting the best possible relationship with your man that the instance you send your man one of the "Secret Signals"...
...You'll instantly find him expose his soul and heart for you in such a way he haven't experienced before and he'll perceive you as the only woman in the universe who has ever truly fascinated him.
And some speak of a world of improbable levels of paranoia and conspiracy theories:
You should see how my partner Wesley Virgin's report launches with this SHOCKING AND CONTROVERSIAL video.

As a matter of fact, Wesley was in the army-and soon after leaving-he unveiled hidden, "mind control" tactics that the CIA and others used to get everything they want.

THESE are the same SECRETS lots of famous people (notably those who "come out of nothing") and the greatest business people used to become wealthy and famous.

You probably know that you use only 10% of your brain.

That's because most of your brain's power is UNTAPPED.

Perhaps this expression has even occurred INSIDE your own head... as it did in my good friend Wesley Virgin's head about 7 years ago, while riding a non-registered, garbage bucket of a car with a suspended license and on his banking card.

"I'm absolutely frustrated with living check to check! When will I finally succeed?"

You've taken part in those questions, ain't it right?

Your success story is going to happen. You just have to take a leap of faith in YOURSELF.

Mind the boggles.

Time I returned to the real world. But first I'll report a conversation that stirred an old memory from my Grant & Cutler days (1976-8).  A fellow choir member also sings with another choir, which is singing a Kodály piece.
A colleague at Grant & Cutler (already mentioned in connexion [AND THAT'S THE WAY I SPELL IT, OK?] with the horn blasts in the overture to the Rosenkavalier...
([she]...blushed with a giggle that suggested  "Isn't Strauss awful?" as she said that the horns in the overture were "representative of the act of love")
) had previously worked at a sheet music shop where a customer had ordered the music for Could I but express in song?  (presumably Malashkin's song, often translated as Oh, could I but express in song? , with the Oh spoiling the story, so let's forget it). 
The customer was told it would take N weeks. After 2N weeks the customer returned to ask where their music was. The assistant looked in the order book and saw that the person who had taken the order knew that there is no [l] sound in Kodály.
(Wikipedia's transcription s /ˈkd/, though I have usually heard /ˈkʊdand [I'd be surprised if Hungarian  did that peculiarly English thing of taking a simple vowel and spreading it out into a diphthong or even a triphthong])
The order read:
Kodály – Buttocks Pressing Song 
(presumably a folk tradition well-known among musicologists)
Bye for now


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