From the Left



Emailed to Death: Spam, Unending Survey Requests and Other People's Initiatives That Further Impinge on Our Time, Part I

Luis Martinez-Fernandez on

Besides, when one clicks "unsubscribe" to emails from some reputable organizations, it doesn't always work, and if it does, you are usually interrogated about it: "Why do you wish to unsubscribe?" I wish they had had the courtesy of asking me before including my address in their spam list. "Are you sure you want to unsubscribe?" "OK, sorry to see you go." Really?


As a university professor, the vast majority of spam I get relates to education, emails about new books, webinars (seems like everyone is giving one these days), platforms, trainings, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced so many of us into Zoombieland has, indeed, sparked the explosion of the education industrial complex, hundreds of companies promising student success or peddling teaching materials.

Most of the book promotion emails I get are pertinent, relating to my field of history. A few years ago, I ordered a psychology book directly from a publisher, which landed me in some psychology spam list. I have unsubscribed from some fancy presses whose titles are identity-obsessed or are insufferably politically correct.

I also get calls for conference papers and invitations to contribute to journals or write books. Some are reputable but others are highly suspicious. Why does a journal whose name I will not disclose send me bimonthly invitations to contribute articles? They seem desperate for submissions. I don't trust them enough to click "unsubscribe." A couple of years ago, I received a spam invitation to write an article for a business journal of evident ill repute.


This column should have taken you five minutes to read, as long as watching an Andy Rooney "60 Minutes" segment, but it's not as good. Tick tick tick tick tick tick...

To be continued.


Luis Martinez-Fernandez is the author of "When the World Turned Upside Down: Politics, Culture, and the Unimaginable Evenest of 2019-2022," a collection of his syndicated columns. Andrew Kishuni provided research support for this column. To find out more about Luis Martinez-Fernandez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.

Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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