[extropy-chat] the non-transparent society

Charlie Stross charlie at antipope.org
Thu Mar 8 17:45:24 UTC 2007

Jef Allbright wrote:

> On a similar note, have others noticed that virtually all spam and
> phishing attempts contain obvious errors of spelling and grammar ?
> (I'm not talking about the intentionally creative spellings intended
> to confuse the anti-spam systems.)  Is this not a strongly encouraging
> sign that spam and similar abuse of the commons appears to be very
> strongly correlated with lower intelligence and thus lower fitness in
> a world of accelerating intelligence?

No, it's a sign that spam filters search for certain keywords (such as
the names of various medications and slang terms for sexual practices)
so the spammers are gaming our ability to recognize mis-spelled words.

It's an arms race that will only end with Turing-test-passing spam
filters and spambots that are smarter than the average Nigerian con-man
-- and Nigerian con-men are *smart*. (If only they'd put their creative
energy into doing something productive ...!)

-- Charlie

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