Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spy vs. Spy

Wikipedia relates, “The "Spy vs. Spy" cartoon was symbolic of the Cold War, and was Antonio Prohías's comment on the futility of armed escalation and détente.” I’ve long thought of the Spy vs. Spy cartoons as a simple metaphor for foiling the wishes of others…they keep trying to screw you so you keep developing defenses.

For instance, telemarketers have been doing their best to ruin our afternoon naps and any of our meals they could for as long as I can recall. They did this by buying into the phone companies’ sales pitch of “telemarketing” as a great “business model.” Did you ever buy anything from those people? And how long was it until you came to the conclusion that it was O.K. to be rude and hang up on them?

We took the receiver off the hook, so the phone company countered by sending that loud, irritating signal to let us know what we already knew…the phone was off the hook. When the little quick connectors replaced the hard wired phone sets, the phone companies’ nuisance signal was effectively neutered.

After bringing us the problem in the first place, the phone company then offered us a Caller ID feature, at extra cost, so we could see who was calling.

Next, we bought answering machines to screen calls and found over time that it wasn’t really necessary to answer the phone at all…and along came Voice Mail and Call Forwarding, at extra cost, of course.

Enter email, quickly followed by spamming, email filters, and multiple disposable email addresses. How about proxies and 3rd party email forwarders?

If that’s not Spy vs. Spy, I don’t know what is.


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