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December 20, 2005



"Create an e-mail to send to the future."

What an interesting concept — not least because it forces one to deal with issues of time in the most profound sense.

It seems to me that each and every email you send is sent to the future in the sense that it doesn't get sent now but, rather, only at some point in the future to be determined by you — but always later than the present.

A more precise description of what FutureMe.org does might be, "Create an e-mail to send to the non–sequential future."

Because if you should create your e-mail now and then mark it for delivery in, say, 2010, well, you've effectively bypassed that five–year interval.

Some of the messages marked for future delivery to a given recipient are open to anyone who wants to read them now.

Isn't that a lot like how sometimes you're nicer to strangers than people you care about?

Because you're letting people who don't matter read an e-mail that's intended to be interest only to the one person who won't be getting it until sometime in the future.

I've always thought that there's something messed up with this behavior but I explain it to myself as being the result of family and friends being more tolerant of my shortcomings, thus allowing me to sometimes put them second to strangers who'll cut me no slack.

At least, that's the best rationale I've been able to come up.

Maybe you have a better idea.

Anyway, FutureMe.org.

Matt Sly, 29, invented it four years ago and partnered with 31–year–old Jay Patrikios of San Francisco on the project.

Sly told the Associated Press in a story published Sunday that "the site has made maybe $58 through donations."

Hey, that's a lot better than I've done — don't be so hard on yourself, Matt.

You can schedule your email delivery for up to 30 years from now (2035!), but most people want them to be sent within three years.

Tell you what: don't be shortsighted and use some email address with a company name that's likely to disappear, as happens all too often these days.


Count on your school's email address to be there forever, unlike adelphia.net or suchlike, which are almost guaranteed to be game–over sooner rather than later.

December 20, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Looks like there is a cool new Internet time capsule on the block. Time Netsule http://www.timenetsule.com

Posted by: Keirstead | Jul 31, 2006 10:42:31 PM

What about this site!
Check out www.neverunder.com
This site unable people to send real handwritten letters to anyone after they die. The recipients actually participate in this transaction without knowing when the message is schedule to arrive or who it is from.
Very clever!

Posted by: fred | Dec 27, 2005 6:16:44 PM

I wonder if Bigstring (self-destructing email) works in the future?

Posted by: Tom Flowers | Dec 20, 2005 10:40:25 PM

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