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“Knock, Knock”

March 28, 2011


Cartoon by Rob CottinghamCartoon by Rob Cottingham, who very kindly granted us permission to post it here.


Although “Noise To Signal” is the general name of Rob’s cartoon series, it also suggests one of the persistent problems with unsolicited bulk email from nonprofit organizations.  Thanks, Rob!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 10:11 pm

    It all depends on context. Now if person knocking on the window in the middle of the night is promoting a non-profit that benefits “sexual surrogates” who provide middle of the night visits, and wants to demonstrate how the service works …

    Don’t laugh. I Google search turned up non-profits in San Francisco that involve sexual surrogates. No doubt such services are available for straight, gay, transgender and who knows what, but I am not going there. But I didn’t want to be accused of sexism, homophobia, or cruelty to non-human creatures.

    • April 1, 2011 12:59 am

      modestypress, I’d still insist on a double-opt-in.

      Um, “double-opt-in” isn’t a euphemism for something involving sexual surrogates, is it?

  2. April 1, 2011 1:35 am

    Rob, I think it’s best to proceed on the assumption that it’s a euphemism for something.  Perhaps there’s a corollary of Rule 34 that covers this.

    As for the non-euphemistic meaning of “double opt-in,” I’m more in favor of it than ever.

    About a week ago, some prankster started signing me up for all sorts of politically-flavored e-bulletins. I started getting batches of welcome messages from the organizations in question. 

    Now, it wasn’t the fault of these political activists that a third party had made us all victims of a prank. They were just minding their (respective) businesses, organizing their online communities. 

    However, it was immediately obvious which of them had single opt-in policies and which had double opt-in policies, once I started reading the welcome messages.  It was the difference between “here’s how to unsubscribe” and “we’d like you to confirm that you really meant to subscribe, before we start sending you email.”

    I’m not entirely sure that this was the lesson that the prankster had in mind, but it’s the one that seems to be sticking with me.

    As for the single opt-in e-bulletins, I haven’t quite managed to unsubscribe from all of them yet.  Maybe they’ll be with me until I change email addresses or die.  (Whichever is more final.)  But no real harm was done.  The prankster probably doesn’t know that I’m a child of intermarriage (i.e., my father is a Republican and my mother is a Democrat – perhaps it’s appropriate, given my hybrid origins, that I’m an independent voter) and am therefore quite accustomed to receiving communiques from folks all over the political spectrum. 

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