Why you are very smart
According to this post by Seth Godin. Why, might you ask, are you very smart? Because you're reading my blog and Seth's blog, and blogs in general. It's amazing to me (and to Seth) how few people (read executives) know what blogs even are.
Seth also talks about how astounded he is with the negative reaction to Gmail. As I pointed out in my earlier post on Gmail there are a number of pieces of software already reading your e-mail -- spam filters, virus detection, your company's IT guys, the bot that you downloaded, the person that used a computer after you forgot to log out of Hotmail. Even if none of this applies to you, it's really damn easy to read other people's e-mail (and their instant messages, for that matter). Very, very few people use any sort of encryption on their messages.
I've said it before (and will probably say it again after this post) -- if you don't want Google's service to scan your e-mail, don't sign up. Go find another service that will provide you with a free gig of e-mail that wants nothing in return . . . I wish you the best of luck. What's unfortunate is how blown out of proportion Google's ad service has become -- compared to other Internet threats, the Gmail "threat" is very minor and is only a "risk" to someone that opts into using the Gmail service.
As Seth says: "Being smart doesn't matter. Having a blog or doing something technical is irrelevant if you're invisible or seen as a threat by everyone else."