The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: September 2012

Verging on #noemail – Paul Miller vs Aaron Levie

The Verge
Nation Hahn points me to two battling posts at The Verge.

There we first find Verge writer Paul Miller fed up with email, and with the whole of the Interwebz, unleashes a blast about what he has missed lately by not reading email — people assume he got the email and when he didn’t. he missed out on some parties or told about a surprise party.

Note to social butterflies: keep your mail if you are over 35. Under 35s don’t expect their pals to have read messages as email. This last not noticed by Miller BTW.

Miller reflects on the first six months of his year off the Net of which his highly justified #noemail rant is one installment.

Next up is a TigerBeat-style interview with Aaron Levie, CEO of, — Box itself a better alternative to email for many activities. Especially for collaboration. Aaron feels burned by Wave. It didn’t work. It was too early. He claims that email works because it’s built on open standards (NB I have been involved in Open Source for just over a quarter century now). What Aaron misses is that Wave was also an open standard — and somewhere it still is or could be reused in an improved manner. So much for the basis of Levie’s claim that: “Email can’t die — it’s an open standard that works everywhere and for everyone.”

The very good news is that Levie’s own company is leading the way toward the final interment of email. Miller, on the other hand, comes off as little more than a techie forced to dress up unconvincingly as a Luddite, an amusing writer handed an offhand stunt script by his editor doing the best that he can — with a little help from his friends.

Trolling email – another reason for #noemail

E-mails from an A**hole

It’s not just spam. It’s not just phishing. Although both would be enough reason to go with a more whitelisted, mobile, terse, collaborative communications solution than email.

There’s also trolling as best seen done by the funny and offensive E-mails from an asshole at

Of course, it’s NSFW at most places of work.

Be brave. Be steadfast. Be sane. Don’t even reply. Or better just go #noemail.

Kramer upgrades from (paper mail) – #noemail

Kramer has had enough of mail. The old technology is too annoying and unreliable. He wants something better. He wants out of mail. And he tells that to the USPS. Via Andy Bechtel.

Unfortunately there is no USPS for email. But my autoresponder allows me to do something similar to what Kramer is after.


October 18 – #noemail at NC State Computer Science/Fidelity Investments Series

Paul Jones with hand thoughtfully on chin
I’ll be one of the speakers in this fall’s Fidelity Investments “Leadership in Technology”
Executive Speakers Series
at the North Carolina State University Computer Science Department on Thursday October 18 at 6 pm.

Who: Paul Jones
When: Thursday, October 18. 6 pm.
Where: Room 1231, EB2 aka Engineering Building II on NCSU’s Centennial Campus. The East half of EB2 is the Department of Computer Science (the West half being Electrical and Computer Engineering). EB2 is a large building – about two blocks wide – so it is worth paying attention to where you are. Classroom 1231 is close to the right end of EB2, on the main level.
What: #noemail – Why you could/should/must use better ways of communicating than email!

Abstract: Nearly 30 years ago Paul Jones began working on unified messaging systems leading from Call-OS, USENET, WYLBUR, TSO, BITNET, DARPA, ARPA to modern (for its time) SMTP mail. That was then, and this is now. Email has become a zombie that doesn’t realize that it’s dead and falling apart, a vampire that sucks your life’s blood away slowly each night. You’ve probably noticed this yourself. Jones has put email behind him. In an attempt to atone for his part for inflicting email on UNC, he is exploring alternatives to email with a shotgun and a wooden stake (and Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) as his tools. This talk with touch on the sad beginnings of email, offer some atonement for Jones’ part in the mess, and discuss trends and alternatives needed to achieve the Logic and Destiny of #noemail.

“Email Will Never Die” because we just change the definition

In an interview with Read Write Web, Ray Tomlinson, a principal engineer at BBN Technologies and the so-called “father of email” [if you ignore the earlier work of Tom Van Vleck and Noel Morris] recasts youth’s trending decline in email use by redefining email into something so broad that that word in his mind stands for any messaging system.

Soft rock is not rock and roll despite the presence of rock in the phrase; most of what Tomlinson is willing to call email is simply not that at all.

This is not to diminish Tomlinson’s accomplishment in some of email’s creation including the use of the @, but to say that email is not all electronic messaging. Email has a definition and a strong one that can keep Tomlinson’s good, if dated, work from vanishing into an undefinable mist of meaning.

Once again, Tomlinson confesses that email started on the wrong foot. No “Mr. Watson, come here — I want to see you.” moment. No “One small step for man.” But the first message was”one of a number of “entirely forgettable” test messages.” We now call that spam. A good part of the RWW article is dedicated to the legacy of spam and Tomlinson’s solution–strong identity requirements.

What is ignored is that we have identity in the form of white lists and friends lists that are part and parcel of social communications systems. Something similar exists in email systems but only in the most jerry-rigged sort of way.

New communications must be mobile, terse, highly interactive, allow for collaboration in an integrated fashion. That’s not email.

Email is over. It limps like a zombie looking for brains to devour. Its creator won’t acknowledge that fact even as pieces and parts of email fall on the bloody floor.

© 2018 The Real Paul Jones

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑