Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Letter Specimen

Frumster is running a promotion.

Frumster has two kinds of members: basic members and premium members. All members, whether basic or premium, can set up profiles, which may be viewed and read by all other members. All members can also receive messages sent them by premium members. But they cannot receive messages sent to them by basic members. It is not that their inboxes are set up so as not to be able to accommodate messages coming from basic members. A member’s inbox can accommodate any message sent to the member. The reason a member cannot receive the message of a basic member is, rather, that a mere basic member is not given the capability of composing and sending a message to another member, period. Consequently, there are no basic member-messages to be received by any member: they are simply not brought into existence. This means that it is not only a basic member who cannot receive the message of a basic member. Even a premium member cannot receive a basic member’s message, owing to the fact that a basic member simply lacks the capacity to initiate a message.

Now, I just got through saying that all inboxes, whether those of premium members or those of basic members, are capable of receiving messages. (As noted, ordinarily they will receive the messages only of premium members, since basic members lack the capacity to send messages.) At this point, I need to enter the caveat that there remains an important difference between a premium member’s capacity to receive messages and a basic member’s. A premium member can not only accumulate messages in his inbox; he can actually read those messages. A basic member, on the other hand, though able to accumulate incoming messages (coming from premium members) in his inbox, is not empowered to actually read them. To be able to do so, he needs to take out a premium subscription. Consequently, the power of a basic member is distinguished from the power of a premium member in two fundamental ways: in regard to being able to compose and send messages; and in regard to being able to read messages that have accumulated in one’s inbox.

Now, as indicated, Frumster is running a promotion. (It runs a promotion like this from time to time.) The promotion is geared at basic members – like me, for example. It enables them to write and send messages. These messages can be received by basic and premium members alike. However, the stricture against being able to read an incoming message remains in effect. And the basic member taking advantage of the promo (like any other basic member) has no access to them. By enabling basic members to contact other (premium) members by of way of their messages, Frumster’s promotion is setting up an inducement for a basic member to take out a premium subscription (which of course costs money). For he will undoubtedly send out messages to various (premium) members. These targeted members will receive them, and some of them will likely respond with a message of their own, directed to the inbox of the originating basic member (who is taking advantage of the promotion). When that happens, the basic member who had sent the initial message will feel an uncontrollable urge to read and, possibly, answer his new interlocutor’s response-message. But Frumster won’t let him do either of these unless he subscribes in a premium way.

With this as background, I want to conclude this post by including a letter specimen of my composition, be”H – sent to a (premium) member earlier this morning.

I was moved by your friend's description of your personality, and also by the sentiments and aspirations that you have personally expressed. I have now resolved to approach you unabashedly and ask you for your cooperation in exploring a shiduch situation involving the two of us. I am what you might call a sincere black-hatter, since I do wear a black hat. Not only a black hat but, also, a dark suit, especially on Shabbos. And I'm, b"H, serious about learning and davening and doing mitzvos. But like you, I have a side interest in secular literature, and I actually studied philosophy in university. For example, I know Plato's Republic backwards and forwards. Anyway, I want to ask you if it would be alright with you if we pursued the prospect together. I'd like to mention that I'm particularly impressed by the emphasis you put on raising your son - may you have much nachas - and, iy"H, future children properly. Before signing off, I need to mention that to reach me, you'll have write me directly, as I'm not a full member of this site and, therefore, cannot read messages sent to me by way of its facilities. So if you have the inclination to get back to me, which I personally hope you do, please write me at: notstamaguy at gmail dot com.

Thank you so much, and bracha v'hatzlacha to you,


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