American Automobile Fuel Consumption Debate


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What makes this more rude than a secretary saying, "May I ask who is calling?" ?

I wouldn't worry so much, since spam is dying anyways.


It doesn't seem to be inherently more rude than asking for who's calling but I can think of two issues:
1. Inconvenience - When I make a phone call, I'm focused on the call and a quick answer to the question and some wait time may be acceptable. With email, I send it and move on to another task. A few minutes later the response email may be received which requires me to stop what I am doing and spend a couple minutes performing the reply tasks if I want the email to go through.
2. Impersonal - A friendly voice can ease any perceived rudeness far more than a generic email. An indifferent or rude voice is probably worse than a generic email, though.

Email also doesn't have that great music they place while you're on hold :)

Assuming spam does not die or the measures required to kill it are slowly implemented, the system would have to be able to evolve as spammers develop methods to counteract this but not be too complicated to be very inconvenient.

I rate convenience high, so I would be annoyed to have to do added tasks to get my email through. I can figure out which emails are legit for 99% of them and it's pretty easy to trash them and I would expect most of the people to whom I send emails to be able to do the same, but then I also don't receive hundreds of emails a day or have other complicating factors.


I think that most people don't realize that email is a form of a formal communication. Now, when I am sending an email to Tom and Adam, we can afford to be relaxed about it because they would not misunderstand my relaxed attitude or my language and get offended by that. However, when I write to a complete stranger asking for help, I think that I need to be writing email as if it were a business letter.

If you have business with me, and I have nothing to gain from that, then you better make sure that when you send an unsolicited email to me, you also add my email address to your list. That way, I will not get this obnoxious message. If person A has a business with person B, why should person B have to respond to the auto emails? Why raise the transaction cost of doing business? Small matters can cause big aggravation.

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