I received the following two emails within fifteen minutes of each other.
First, from “Alexa Russell,” subject line “An idea for a blog post: The Role, Importance, and Power of Words”:
I’m a researcher/writer for a resource covering the importance of English proficiency in today’s workplace. I came across your blog andrewgelman.com as I was conducting research and I’m interested in contributing an article to your blog because I found the topics you cover very engaging.
I’m thinking about writing an article that looks at how the Internet has changed the way English is used today; not only has its syntax changed as a result of the Internet Revolution, but the amount of job opportunities has also shifted as a result of this shift. I’d be happy to work with you on the topic if you have any insights. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Second, From “Maricel Anderson,” subject line “An idea for a blog post: Healthcare Management and Geriatric Care”:
Hi Professor Gelman,
I’m a writer for an online resource about healthcare management and am getting in touch with you because I’m interested in contributing an article to your blog. I came across your blog andrewgelman.com as I was conducting research about geriatric care management.
I’m interested in writing an article about the current state of geriatric care and the ballooning number of chronic conditions for the elderly today. Furthermore, I’m interested in how we as a country will be dealing with this ongoing issue in the future. I’d be happy to work with you on the topic if you have any insights. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
“Best,” indeed. Is part of the scam (if that’s what this is) to combine a rare first name with a generic-sounding last name?
Anyway, I was thinking the most helpful suggestion would be for me to suggest they contact Marty McKee at Wolfram Research. I think their ideas could be developed into an interesting Demonstration to add to the Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
Or maybe they could just contact Steven Wolfram directly? Seeing as Alexa and Maricel appear to be cellular automata themselves. (Scarily enough, a quick Google search suggests that Marty McKee seems to be a real person, which suggests to me that he is either knowingly tells untruths for business purposes, is very easily fooled, or has people writing emails under his name. I didn’t get around to checking for the guy on Bing or whatever it is that Wolfram’s search engine is called.)
P.S. John Mashey pointed out to me that I have no evidence that McKee was doing his activities as an approved part of Wolfram Research. McKee may have been acting on his own. So I apologize for the implication that Wolfram himself was approving of any sleazy activities.