Jason Smith

I'm Jason. This is my home on the web where I write. Stick around. It's going to get interesting. 

Email is not broken, you're broken

It's cool these days to call things "broken".

Patent system is "broken".

Legal system is "broken".

Political lobbying is "broken".

Payment methods are "broken".

Email is "broken".

Really? Email is broken?!

If I tell people to send mail to my home address, they will. If I then I get the mail and leave it to pile up on my desk, and then every time I look at it I cringe and walk away because I know it will take a lot of cognitive effort and money to sort through and deal with it all and pay the bills, then the mail will pile up until it reaches a point where I look at the stupid pile and declare "this is broken".

But the mail system isn't broken. Getting rid of paper out of my life won't fix anything. I just procrastinated incessantly until the pile of crap became overwhelming.

And email is same damnit.

If you get an email, and decide you'll pay that bill later but you'll just leave it in your inbox so you don't forget, and then another email arrives, and then you decide you'll read it tomorrow, but you don't actually have any time scheduled tomorrow for dealing with emails, so you figure you can just read them while you're on the toilet, but hey you need to finish those Letterpress games because that stranger on the other side of the world is probably wondering if you care, and now there's a dozen emails that you have to deal with so it's better just to wait until you have some time to sit down and deal with them all at once, but the next day there's two dozen omg what's going on email must be broken, but you know you can at least delete those two emails coz they're not important, hey a twitter mention you'd better go respond to that, it's about as important as your email, whoops time for bed, better make a reminder to do the emails tomorrow at work, goal = empty inbox, hey I should leave this email in the inbox because that way it will remind me to do this thing, it's ok to treat email as a to-do list right?...

Look, I've tried different to-do list programs etc and at the end of the day, a newer prettier to do list maker program app thingy is not actually going to change the fact that at some point you actually have to do the thing on your to do list.

Same with email. The problem is, deleting that  email that is just an IFTTT recipe remider gives your brain the same small dopamine hit as deleting the phone bill email, but one took two seconds, the other took $200. I know this makes you want to leave the phone bill and come back to it later, but you're a grown up now. Realise it's your own self destructive behaviour that is clogging up your inbox and repent.

If you blame the fact that "email is broken" for the rest of your life, you will wander through the rest of your days always the victim, your life will be a series of unfortunate events that happen TO you that you had no say in and no control over and you will live with the fear of losing your job or the economy collapsing or the sky falling on your head and you will develop a nervous twitch and insomnia will set in, and the doctor will prescribe some pill for you that will give you a weird bowel related side effect (the health care system is broken) and you will get cancer and die… all because you blamed email and didn't accept responsibility for your own actions.

You're doing it wrong, wife

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