April 8, 2022

An Indian, named Dave

Why am I wasting my time, talking to cretins?

An email from Dave arrived. That’s not his real name, by the way. “Dave” simply knows that, by now, people close browser tabs reflexively when reading an indian name (or hearing that lovely accent) and he is just one of the many reasons why that’s the case. He still has to learn not to include profile links in his mails, though.

Dave is a tech writer, a big fan of my blog and wants to know, if I accept guest posts. In this context, guest post is code for gaming Google by writing some keyword heavy, low effort, 500 words drivel in order to strategically place links to three or four websites and selling this bilge to unwary bloggers under the guise of being a valuable (ghost) writing service/collaboration. Thanks Dave!

I get this kind of request regularly, so I have a policy for dealing with it…

“Yes! I do accept guest posts!” (I won't publish any, of course, but I certainly accept them for personal amusement. I mean, the very least I can do after getting blatantly lied to and my time wasted with crappy ads, pitched as high quality articles, is returning the favor by making the dipshit actually write the piece, right?)

Surprisingly, It takes Dave a whole week to mail me a draft, titled “5 Tips For Anyone Considering A Career in Software Engineering”. He actually took my latest blog posts into consideration to come up with something, (supposedly) matching the topic. I am impressed! Would have expected less! It goes without saying, of course, that none of those tips are any good (in fact, they are just GPT-3 generated gibberish), but hey, he at least managed to sneak links to three unrelated and questionable sites into them. Why he is sending me this load of crap as a two page Word document, is everyone’s guess, though. Do Indians print online articles before reading them? Was I suppose to manually convert DOCX to HTML and somehow not notice the SPAM links? I don’t know. At this point, one would assume more effort going into not raising any suspicion by making the garbage as easy to copy&paste as possible.

Well, if Dave insists on using a print format instead of a markup language for document exchange, I’m willing to meat him half way. I’m a tech guy (who’s highly allergic to office suites), he’s a tech writer, so let’s compromise on… LaTeX!

Oh boy, that went slightly over the top, a bit sideways, then hit a brick wall and burst into flames. I’m still marvelling on how he managed to break his text into syllables and have each of them render individually as TikZ images.

Fun question: has anyone of you ever tried teaching an Indian guy something about the topic, he thinks, he’s qualified to talk about? It’s a bit like dropping a fish into a bowl of water and watching it drown, anyway. Haven’t heard from Dave since (and let's hope it stays that way) .

So, what’s the moral of the story?

  • Thanks Dave, for at least giving me something to blog about
  • I should delete junkmail more promptly
  • Ellen Ripley wasn’t exactly talking about India, but she was certainly on to something
  • Puppies
  • I don’t know either