As many of my friends have noted, I am by nature an optimistic person. I mean, I may be the last Old Marxist on the face of the earth to refer to our current disastrous economic system as "late capitalism," the implication being that it is on its last legs. But I have just learned something that strikes terror in my heart, and it not even a certainty, just a possibility.
It seems that UMass is transitioning out of its own email system ["UMail"] to gmail. When this happens for present and former faculty, some time this year, the techie on the other end of the line at the OIT Help Desk informs me that there will be no way for messages sent to the old address to be forwarded to the new address. This means that everyone anywhere who tries to reach me by email will just get an error message -- "mail undeliverable."
This is a bleeping disaster! I shall, of course, post my new address on my blog, but there is no way in UMail to send a message to everyone at the same time. There is, in short, no Address Book of any use. I can create a distribution list, I suppose, one name and address at a time, but that would take me longer, at eighty, than I may have left on this earth.
Meanwhile, UMass is spending a fortune to build a football stadium adequate to its ambition to have a Division I team. You might think they could scratch one of the celebrity bathrooms in one of the SkyBoxes and devote the money to a bit of software that would forward the messages, but that, I fear, would require a total alteration in the priorities of the people who run UMass.