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Gullibility Virus!

Please note:  The following is a JOKE!  I am posting it in the hope that: 

1. It will help some people to not believe the next email virus hoax they
2. It will amuse the list.

No disrespect intended to anyone.  Most people who aren't computer experts
believe these email virus hoaxes the first time they see one.  In my
previous job (University Network Administrator) I had to explain at least
once every two weeks about these hoaxes.  Usually to multiple "concerned
bosses" demanding hourly status reports on our progress in eradicating the
"virus threat" they had forwarded to half the university by the time I'd
heard of it.  :-)

If you have no sense of humor, please hit the delete key now.

73 from Peter, KD7MW

==================BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE==================
- ----------
Date: Thursday, October 30, 1997 7:10 PM

        Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet!

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular
Internet Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are becoming
infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without question
every groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows up in their
inbox or on their browser. The Gullibility Virus, as it is called,
apparently makes people believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes
relating to cookie recipes, email viruses, taxes on modems, and
get-rich-quick schemes.

"These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery
tickets based on fortune cookie numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are
otherwise normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told to
them by a stranger on a street corner." However, once these same people
become infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they
read on the Internet.

"My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone," reported one
weeping victim. "I believe every warning message and sick child story my
friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are anonymous."

Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about Good
Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there were dozens
of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must be
true." It was a long time, the victim said, before she could stand up at
a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is Jane, and I've been
hoaxed." Now, however, she is spreading the word. "Challenge and check
whatever you read," she says.

Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the
virus, which include the following:

     * The willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking.
     * The urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others.
     * A lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story
       is true.

T. C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter,
"I read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos
makes your hair fall out, so I've stopped using shampoo." When told
about the Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop reading email, so
that he would not become infected.

Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately.
Experts recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet
users rush to their favorite search engine and look up the item tempting
them to thoughtless credence.  Most hoaxes, legends, and tall tales have
been widely discussed and exposed by the Internet community.

Courses in critical thinking are also widely available, and there is
online help from many sources, including

     Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability at

     Symantec Anti Virus Research Center at

     McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at

     Dr. Solomons Hoax Page at

     The Urban Legends Web Site at

     Urban Legends Reference Pages at

     Datafellows Hoax Warnings at

Those people who are still symptom free can help inoculate themselves
against the Gullibility Virus by reading some good material on
evaluating sources, such as

     Evaluating Internet Research Sources at

     Evaluation of Information Sources at

     Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources at

Lastly, as a public service, Internet users can help stamp out the
Gullibility Virus by sending copies of this message to anyone who
forwards them a hoax.

This message is so important, we're sending it anonymously!  Forward it
to all your friends right away!  Don't think about it!  This is not a
chain letter!  This story is true!  Don't check it out!  This story is
so timely, there is no date on it!  This story is so important, we're
using lots of exclamation points!  Lots!!  For every message you forward
to some unsuspecting person, the Home for the Hopelessly Gullible will
donate ten cents to itself.  (If you wonder how the Home will know you
are forwarding these messages all over creation, you're obviously
thinking too much.)


===================END FORWARDED MESSAGE===================

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