Fix the stupid: email edition
May 23, 2014  

Email has been ruined by stupid people.

Their crimes:

  1. Top posting. Complete content of all previous messages is tacked on to the end of each reply. Reply itself consists of a single word, “OK”. The email equivalent of toilet paper stuck to your heel.

  2. Assuming that all replies are top-posted, hence, all content after the first line of quoted text is ignored.

  3. Writing mail clients that force all replies to be top-posted. No other options. On a phone, takes 7 taps to un-top-post.

  4. HTML mail.

  5. Message consists of a single PDF attachment.

Their punishments:

  1. Edward Snowden releases BOOMERANG, an NSA-developed computer virus that causes mail clients to auto-reply to all top-posted messages with a top-posted rejection message. Gmail explodes.

  2. Lead developer of Apple sentenced to Microsoft Windows XP. Task: write mail client plugin for iTunes for Windows.

  3. Inventor of HTML mail sentenced to write HTML mail client for GNU Emacs under the supervision of Richard M. Stallman.

What can I do to fix the stupid?

When replying to a message do not quote any part of it in your reply. Email degenerates to instant messaging.