Thursday, January 6

Blogger Has a Spam Filter

I never knew that Blogger has a spam filter. Wordsmith has one that aggressively filters out the most innocuous comments. Today, I discovered that Blogger's filter intercepted a very appropriate comment. It is contained within this post.

In response to my November 30th post about High Gas Prices - Better as a Barista, in which I claim that if one doesn't like cycling, it is far more attractive simply to take on extra, Moopheus commented on December 1st, and the Blogger Spam Filter snagged it:

That's the correct theoretical argument, though as practical matter for most people, life doesn't really work that way. Are you salaried or paid hourly? If you decided to work that extra hour of the day instead of riding, would you get paid for it? For a lot of people, the answer is no, at least not directly. They may have no control over their hours, and may only get comp time for overtime. If that. Picking up that one extra hour of work per day is a nontrivial exercise for most. Workers who do get paid hourly and have variable hours (like tradesmen) are probably already working, or trying to work, as many paid hours as they can. For instance, I could get myself some extra freelance work, but each hour of paid work requires some nonpaid effort to get it. (Also, my own commute is short, in a dense area--meaning it takes no longer to ride than to drive).

This is not to say that your argument is completely invalid--it is surely true for some--just to point out that arguments from economic theory usually gloss over the complexities of actual life.

To which, I would have noted:

Well, since there is actually a Starbucks AND a Walmart directly on the way home from work, it'd be a matter of getting a second job (avoiding added travel mileage and time) which is certainly a practical option. However, since I enjoy riding my bike, I'd rather just ride to work than spend time working to ride it less. Bicycle commuting reduces my time cost of riding my bike. Which really says that the complexities of actual life lead people to all sorts of different choices. So Moopheus and I more or less agree. Of course, Moopheus didn't comment on my later post in which I examined the cost of a short commute such as he/she makes. THAT would also be an interesting comment to read.

In closing, can anyone suggest WHY ON EARTH would Blogger consider such a thoughtful comment as spam? I guess it's just one of those mysteries of life. Now I guess I need to look occasionally to see if Blogger thinks it has caught some scofflaw.


cycler said...

Another corollary problem with a retail job like Starbucks or Walmart is that you don't have dependable hours- You can't work 2 hours every night from 6pm to 8pm. They'll want you from 10 Am to 12 noon on Monday, 6pm to 10pm on Wednesday and 6am to 10AM on Friday. And something different the next week. They cut costs by having too many part time employees and then shuffle them around from shift to shift, and then there's a brisk aftermarket in trading shifts. And you generally can't call them at 5pm and say, I have a conference call with the California office, I can't make my scheduled 6pm shift..

Steve A said...

It's a good thing we both enjoy riding our bikes to work so we don't have to deal with the logistics of a second job to pay for the car drive, eh?

Still, even without dependable hours, to break even, all you'd need is so many hours on average. Some weeks you'd come out ahead and some you'd come out behind. And, particularly in the case of Starbucks, I'd have to factor in the costs of extra coffee consumption versus the "cool factor" in getting to be a barista. It's the modern-day equivalent of being a lifeguard.

Bottom line - high gas prices alone will not drive many people in the US to bicycle commute. The US is a wealthy country and high oil prices will cause other places to give up their cars long before we do. IMO, this is not all bad because it means I get my choice of slots at the bike rack and there's less incentive for people to try and steal my bike.

Spam Filter Test said...

I'm using blogger for almost 3 years and I'm very much happy with their newly introduced spam filter. I hope they can add more widgets to our blogs to combat spammers.


Steve A said...

SFT - amen to that - but Blogger could improve in how it alerts us to what it thinks is spam. I ran across the Moopheus comment by accident after more than a month.

PaddyAnne said...

There was nothing in the Moopheus comment that I thought was spam-worthy either.

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