Sunday, 13 November 2011

Email disclaimers: awesomeness edition

I love the confidentiality notice that Auckland University's Paul Myburgh attaches to the footer of his emails; I reproduce it in full below [he says it's not original to him; I can't find it online].
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: No confidentiality notice here. No warnings about the terrible things that I wish would happen to you if you were to take advantage of my typing something inadvertently and sending it to you and then wishing I hadn’t, and then the cold, icy trickle of fear and shame down the back of my neck as I try to turn back time and suck the email out of the ether. No, none of that. No attempts to impose order on this fundamentally chaotic universe by using law (threats of sanctions, injunctions, or confidentiality notices) to fix the cracks in my own uselessness or your own naughtiness. And yet here we sit: me typing this nonsense and you, perhaps the bigger fool, reading it. Still. Here we are. You are a little like one of those people, me included, who sit in the cinema until the end of the credits just in case there is another scene at the end of the movie. Just a little something. Something to make sense of hanging on just a little longer. Like Beckett said: we wait here without the courage to end it or the strength to go on. So, that’s disturbing isn’t it? You thought this would be uplifting or funny or something, but instead it’s led right to the dark heart of Samuel Beckett’s bleakest moment. Well, let’s have Camus then. For him we are like Sisyphus rolling our rocks painfully uphill forever before they crash back down the hill for us to start all over again. But, just at the moment we reach the top of the hill, and as the weight of the rock is taken from us as it begins its jagged, chaotic descent to the bottom again, we have the joy of that moment of being free of our burdens and walking back down the hill, even though we know that all that awaits us is the rock at the bottom and the knowledge that we have to do this for all eternity. He thought that a life punctuated by those joyous moments really did make it all worthwhile. That’s the skill: finding those moments and relishing them, I suppose. Probably not reading this. Well, I must say how much I have enjoyed this unexpected time that we have spent together. It’s been lovely to talk to you again. Bye-bye.
It's far cooler than Canterbury's boilerplate.

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