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Lindsey Kuper

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Pretty sweat probe [Aug. 20th, 2012|10:06 pm]
Lindsey Kuper

So I got this message on LinkedIn:

Lindsey, I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. I came across your Re: [rust-dev]Addressing "the hashtable problem" with type classes.. on the dev list serve. Pretty sweat probe.! - [REDACTED]

By "the dev list serve"1, this person seems to mean the rust-dev mailing list, and they seem to be referring to this post from late June, or this follow-up from early July. That still leaves us with:

Pretty sweat probe.!

Okay, so, first of all, ew. But, more importantly, giving this person the considerable benefit of the doubt and assuming that "Pretty sweat probe.!" means "Pretty sweet problem!", the thing about the aforementioned posts is that they're utterly uninteresting. Their respective contents are "Hey, this code from last December doesn't quite seem to work anymore; would changing so-and-so to thus-and-such fix it?" and "Update: Yes." They're not about a pretty sweet problem; they're about a typo.

I know that sometimes people say strange things, and that I should just let it go. But, dammit, I want to understand. I want to know what this person was thinking. Why'd they pick those posts? Why are they even paying attention to rust-dev? (They've never posted, nor have they shown up anywhere else in the Rust-o-sphere, as far as I can tell.) Their behavior (cold-contacting me on LinkedIn; word choice2) makes them seem like a recruiter, but their profile on LinkedIn indicates that they're a "Software Developer".

I can imagine trying to get someone's attention by mentioning a very specific thing they've been involved with, without much regard to which specific thing. Maybe that's what's going on. But how could someone care enough to use that sophisticated of a strategy, and yet sound this incompetent? Just tryin'a understand, here.

  1. Public service announcement: There is no such thing as a "list serve". LISTSERV is the name of a proprietary mailing list software package and is a registered trademark. I have absolutely no problem with misuse of such trademarks, but c'mon, folks, at least get the spelling right. If you don't want to do that, then just frickin' say "mailing list".
  2. Since 2008, every other email or LinkedIn message that I've received that contains the string "I came across your" (n = 4) has been from a recruiter.

[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2012-08-21 05:21 am (UTC)
It's not so hard to imagine somebody taking a flying guess at what's a pretty sweet probe in an unfamiliar domain, say if they're not great at English or programming, but want to make contacts.

You're cool! People want to be connected with you.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2012-08-21 05:40 am (UTC)
I'm not cool. I'm a complete jerk, as evidenced by this post!
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[User Picture]From: gwillen
2012-08-21 05:26 am (UTC)
I have noticed that a lot of people use 'listserv' to mean 'mailing list', particularly people from a certain era of computing (cutting across different levels of computing ability.)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2012-08-21 05:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, and I'm as cool with that as I am with people using "Kleenex" for arbitrary brands of facial tissue, which is to say, totally cool with it! But I would probably correct someone who wrote, say, "Cleanex" for that, which I think is more or less analogous to writing "list serve".
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[User Picture]From: perligata
2012-08-21 08:41 am (UTC)
Is that a real person? I honestly would assume that was spam if it were sent to me.
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[User Picture]From: bubblingbeebles
2012-08-21 09:24 am (UTC)
i am in your boat, considering the "I came across your $SUBJECT_LINE" text suggestive of a template.

as a further guess, i postulate that the... attractive perspiration gauge... was generated by grepping "^sw..t$" and "^prob" in the dictionary. let me know if you get a follow-up message discussing pretty swift probablies.

(my dictionary has a bunch of stuff like "probaseball" and "proboxing" and "probridge" and... "probankruptcy". how can bankruptcy be a professional sport??)
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[User Picture]From: jamey1138
2012-08-21 12:13 pm (UTC)
+1. I'm not convinced that this passes the Turing test.
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[User Picture]From: mindstalk
2012-08-21 03:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd assume some sort of spam too. Or not spam but something similar, trying to build up an apparent network from scratch.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2012-08-21 07:32 pm (UTC)
I guess it might be spam, but the person's profile looks legit. If it had been, like, a comment on my WordPress blog, I'd think it was spam, but I've never received spam in the form of a LinkedIn-vitation before.
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From: wjl
2012-08-22 12:49 am (UTC)
My money's on spam, too -- spammers can be quite sophisticated these days, and i'd bet that this brave new social world of ours puts a high price on the personal/connectedness information locked away by a mere "friend" edge on social sites like LinkedIn.
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[User Picture]From: bubblingbeebles
2012-08-21 09:32 am (UTC)
oh, also, i get linked-in-vitations without even having a linked-in account. (as if on cue, after reading this post i looked at my email to find another one.)
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[User Picture]From: gwillen
2012-08-22 04:10 pm (UTC)
Are they real, or forged? Check the URL on the links.
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