if you love email that's fine, just don't tell me I should love email

Also, I am being pretty hard on email. The problems facing email are partly specific (some security things being tacked on ex-post-facto) and partly fairly general problems nearly all social systems are experiencing. Many of them are ones we're trying to address in Spritely, and saying "ugh email" is just because I'm staring at my inbox and feeling grouchy. But like many things, some of these things are stuff where "giving the answer" is what we're working towards. And email is less bad than most: at least it's conceptually an actor model system.

Actually the worst parts of email could be attributed to it not being treated as an actor model system. Unfortunately, I'm uncertain of how fixable the current ecosystem is in that regard. But that's a topic for another time. :)

@cwebber why dont you do all your work thru emails. some say it's a perfect workflow

@cwebber Listen, as far as I’m concerned it’s carrier pigeon or nothing.

@cwebber What do you mean? Email is the future! You see, it's just like the fediverse: we can all be on our own domains and still talk to each other. But we don't have to sysadmin our own servers, we can let someone else do the hosting. In fact, I bet it'd be a lot more efficient and safer if we all went to a small number of huge providers, then we wouldn't have to worry about all this decentralization and stuff. Let's just do that instead! 🙃

@stdh frankly. The overwhelming of the inbox is conflicting with the concept of email. The first is a real problem that we are failing to find practical methods to deal with. One attempt, Hey, almost succeeded. The other is an open, decentralised protocol that puts in place all the standards anyone who loves the internet is eager for. Often, those two are confused as one.

@cwebber After reading the ActivityPub spec I was pretty sure it'd be possible to run ActivityPub over SMTP if someone really wanted to.

And I thought there's probably a way to retrofit the inbox authentication step into current mail clients if people wanted to.

(Though kind of limited to just being another signal about how much you should believe who a mail came from)

@cwebber Randomly generated email addresses seem kind of like sturdyrefs, and you *could* route them to their own individual actors ;)

This is on my list of things to try but you’d really want the client to be aware of this too and ahhh that starts to get ambitious

@mike @cwebber

I have one inbox that's pure spam, but that account is ancient.

I use mailboxes nowadays, and since doing so, I don't get spam any more.

@cwebber The best and most precious part of email is that it lets anyone send a message to anyone else in the world immediately, without an existing relationship.

The worst and most pernicious part of email is that it lets anyone send a message to anyone else in the world immediately, without an existing relationship.

@varx @cwebber Nicolas Carr in The Shallows quotes early computer people (the 70's? earlier) reacting to e-mail. One of them said that e-mail would end up wasting everyone's time because it was too easy to send e-mail. It would seem just seem like a time-saver at first, but then people would end up getting overwhelmed.Oliver Sacks refused to read e-mail, it wasn't worth his time to read if it the sender didn't think it was worth the time to put in a envelope and get it to the postal service.

@cwebber i don't think you're being too harsh. email assumed everyone on the internet was a good-faith actor, which was only (barely) true until eternal september, and was *always* hopelessly naïve

@cwebber i'm on vacation i'll check it next week lol


I thought I'd like email, but it makes me very anxious. Instead of ripping the bandaid off and sending, I redraft and redraft and redraft and redraft. And waiting for the reply is even worse.

It's nice to have a way to think longer about what you want to say, but natural conversation is fleeting. Heck, even instant messaging is moderately fleeting. Email is not.

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