Reminded of the Flylady by Diane (2 March) and Mark I signed up for her mailing list. The mailing list of July ’96 mums I used to be on discussed the Flylady, so I’d been to her site before but have never subscribed to her organisational tips list. Well. This morning I woke to half a dozen emails from her, just since last night. Not at all the daily “here’s a good way of organising your kids’ toys” style emails I’d expected. Constant and very personal “mentoring” is going on here – to a mailing list that apparently has 126,000 subscribers. I mean, look:


Date: Saturday, March 8, 2003
Time: 11:45PM EST (GMT-05:00)

Its getting late on the east coast of the USA. I really want you
to go to bed. Getting up is much easier when you get plenty of

The rest of you better be thinking about getting your body under
those sheets shortly.

Consider yourself tucked in!

This after an email asking whether we’ve remembered to hug ourselves, another reminding us to have our nightly bubble bath, do we know where our laundry is, have we checked our hot spots and OK, everyone, right now: spend two minutes doing a room rescue!

As Mark says, there’s “something” here. The emails, and the web site, are very personal and caring, though care takes on something of a new meaning when it’s mass-distributed – though emails and site do appear to be written by a real, caring person. I doubt I’ll be able to take this many emails for long (especially since the good night messages reach me at 5 am) but who knows, perhaps I really will shine my sink.

5 thoughts on “mass-distributed care

  1. Christian

    your blogg design is not working in netscape. Your title. 🙂

  2. mcb

    I’d find those emails definitely a bit too much- I’ve never been fond of that overly familiar style, especially when, as you said, it’s a mass email-out. I’d be blocking sender before too long!

  3. Hanne-Lovise

    This sounded like incredibly annoying spam-mails to me (although I did like the “hot spot” theory…)
    Just before I read your post I had deleted my usual amount of spam after checking the mail adresses and subjects, but one of them intrigued me into taking a further look – (it came to my university address where I normally don¥t receive spam). The subject said: “Re: This will be my last try :)” – as if I had sent this “UV” (hm, do I know anyone with these initials?) a previous mail. I knew I hadn¥t, and I had seen this trick before, but then with a more obvious spam-subject like “RE: free degree request”, but I still opened:

    “Sorry I missed you, if you still can’t get hold of me I’ll be at the usual place
    by the way did you catch my new picture :))

    Best wishes


    Reading the words “” I suppose that this was a spam and not a mis-sent mail, trying to get me into visiting their site…
    Doesn¥t the personal tone (the smiley faces, best wishes etc) remind you of the Flylady mails? Or the kind of “forced” second-person identification you have written about (f.ex. online caroline)? Do you think this personal, casual, mail-correspondence-mimicking style, pretending to be from a real person that you have previously written to, a new trend also within unsolicited spam?

  4. Jill

    YES! I’ve had that kind of spam too, and like you, I’ve read it more than the regular kind… I’ve actually included a few examples like this in a chapter in my thesis too 🙂

    Hanne-Lovise, when are you going to start blogging? 🙂

  5. andedammen

    Det har vÊrt f oppdateringer i Andedammen i det siste, mens jeg har vÊrt travel, lite blogginspirert og – tro

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]