Flame Wars

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  • Note: Also called Spam Wars.

A heated email discussion about a stupid topic, which involves a lot of wankery, name-calling, mudslinging, and other such forms of entertainments. While many participate, flame wars are mostly a spectator sport, where the many flock to their computers to witness the verbal assaults of the few. This is one of the main reasons EC-Discuss exists. Unlike more civilized forms of debate that require intelligence, reason or common sense, flame wars require stamina and ass-hole like tendencies. The most prevalent strategy is thus to overwhelm ones opponent with the sheer length or number of e-mails. The last person typing wins.

Selected Examples of Flame Wars

  • Seriously, people, if you're going to spam, at least make it entertaining spam. Thus far, this has just been Ye Olde Most Boring Spam of Grammatical Correctness And Typo Kings. I haven't seen enough impostors running amok, Bexley-made YouTube videos documenting the drama, giant text files consuming bandwidth, subject lines changing as the spam takes several new directions all at once, old Massachusetts laws unearthed from the dusty vaults within which they dwell, or, well, anything interesting yet.

This spam war does get the Longest Lasting Spam War of Such Boring Proportions Award, though; it doesn't even deserve a song or poem, on account of its being utterly boring. It's not even annoying, because the messages are spaced out so far apart.

Oh, and it wins one more award: Spam War With The Most People Who Think They're Witty Because They Said Dirty Words On A Public Mailing List Oh Noes. Honestly, loves, sexual references don't really equate humor or, well, even insult. They just imply a lack of wit or creativity. If you're going to insist on continuing the spam war, at least make it entertaining for the rest of us, why don't you? For, as we all know well, spam wars are spectator sports.

Freshmen, Sophomores, you may have noted that you can take several lessons from this spam war, which has, apparently, become something of an initiation ritual for our incoming classes in the last three years:

1) Spamming all the dorm lists asking for something you lost (be it a sweatshirt with a pledge pin, a phone, a violin) is not advisable 2) People are altogether fond of spamming the "Reply-All" option in those situations, so 2b) If you still feel the dying need to spam all the dorm lists asking for something you lost, or what you should bring to populate the reception table at an event, BCC all the dorm lists. This will serve the double purpose of avoiding spam wars and avoiding the filters that several dorm mailing lists have set up if their address is part of a large block of addresses (designed, actually, for occasions just like these) 3) People at MIT are asshats and like to point out other people's mistakes in large, mass quantities. They lack the ability to simply let a matter lie, and instead feel a strong urge to beat dead horses with sticks, until the horse comes alive again just to be beaten to death again, and so on, so forth. Amateur psychologists with absolutely no background in psychology believe that this urge to beat dead horses may be rooted in a Strong Lack Of Self-Confidence Or Anything Better To Do, which frequently leads to electronic bullying and the unnecessary put down of others in public spaces. These smack-downs frequently lead to an adrenaline rush-like feeling of Empowerment and Purpose, which may be addictive and thereby self-perpetuating. 4) Spamming all dorm lists asking for a personal favor soon after (or during the tail end of) a spam war is poor judgment. 5) Asking spammers to stop spamming serves exactly the opposite purpose from that which you sought. Honestly, I cannot stress this enough. If you are sick of spam, set up filters in your mailbox to automatically direct spam messages into the trash. This can be achieved by very simple rules that filter on account of subject lines. When people change the subject line of the spam war, just make a new filter. It's better than asking the spammers to stop and then triggering a giant new wave of spam; it's like throwing oil on a fire. Alternatively, you can remove yourself from the dorm mailing lists like bc-talk or next-forum by either going to http://web.mit.edu/moira or using Athena. Whining about the spam and how many messages you've gotten over the last hour only brings the fact that they haven't sent enough spam to the attention of spammers and causes them to renew their efforts to consume our bandwidth; furthermore, when they do so, they now have a new target in mind: you. If you want a spam war to stop, just let it die a natural death. 6) If you find the spam wars amusing and would like to add to them, feel free to ask your Friendly Upperclassmen Who Aren't Jumping Down Your Throat At The Moment for a history of several other spam wars that have transpired over the past few years; namely, the Great Milk Spam and the Sweatshirt Spam War. They can give you advice as to how to proceed in reviving the Great Spam Wars of Old, a process that often involves inviting Vlad the Impaler to the festivities and proselytizing the masses with chapters of the New Testament.

Words of advice to those new to MIT Spam Wars; with these, you can avoid spam wars, filter out spam wars, and joyfully join in spam wars as you see fit.

Lastly, I would like to note that most spam wars take place because of and are perpetuated by Really Bored People Who Sit On Their Inboxes All The Time, like me, though I typically just watch as they transpire and stick to one message per spam war (a rule that I have clearly broken with this e-mail). You might as well get used to them; MIT people are, apparently, addicted to them for the reasons listed above (namely, #3).

Someone-who-oversaw-both-previous-spam-wars-and-deems-this-one-utterly-boring-in-comparison, Karena

  • Man: You sit here, dear.

Wife: All right.

Man: Morning!

Waitress: Morning!

Man: Well, what've you got?

Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon

sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...

Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...

Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.

Wife: I don't want ANY spam!

Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?

Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!

Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

Waitress: Urgghh!

Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

Wife: I don't like spam!

Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?

Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

Vikings: (Singing elaborately...) Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!