Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Evolvo-Subject virus

Survival of the fittest
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This virus (a variant of some existing virus) will cause your computer to send emails to a huge number of people. However, the subject lines will be assembled randomly from a dictionary program.

The succesful (opened) virus will be emailed to a new set of computers, using mostly the same subject line, with maybe one in twenty slightly "mutated" with a different content or word order.

By three or four generations, this should provide a very convincing subject line, perhaps enough so that it will spread very rapidly.

Of course people will become hip to the "I accidentally scratched your car, picture enclosed" virus once it reaches that level of saturation, but then it will just mutate into unrecognizability.

GutPunchLullabies, Aug 18 2005


       How will it randomly evolve into a convincing subject line?
Will it bring its own dictionary along for the ride?
Shz, Aug 18 2005

       Yes, it will contain a dictionary of a few thousand appropriate words. It will randomly combine them until it meets with some measure of success, then that will be the template for the next set of changes.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 18 2005

       Do you truly not see that this idea causes (at the least) inconvenience for a lot of people who did nothing to you to deserve this??!
Susan, Aug 18 2005

       The halfbakery is all about inconvenience.
ldischler, Aug 18 2005

       Oh god [Idischler] from anyone but you.
Susan, Aug 18 2005

       For whom does this idea cause inconvenience? The implementation of it, on the other hand, would of course be a criminal act.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 18 2005

       Haven't read the idea, just kind of like the idea of driving around in an E-Volvo.
moomintroll, Aug 19 2005

       Yeah, the fact that this is presented as a virus is crappy, but aside from that, isn't this kind of like waiting for a million monkeys to accidentally type Shakespeare? I wonder if this would be more interesting as a distributed-computing experiement, like the SETI one, or is someone already doing that?
oxen crossing, Aug 19 2005

       Anything spam = fishbone.
Adze, Aug 20 2005

       //For whom does this idea cause inconvenience? The implementation of it, on the other hand, would of course be a criminal act.//   

       That would make for a famous last line.
Susan, Sep 09 2005

       It causes inconvinience for people who are daft enough to open or run email attachments from total strangers. In a darwinistic kind of way, is that really such a bad thing?
Detly, Sep 10 2005

       I like the idea of evolving ideas. It's memetics at it's best.
TerranFury, Sep 10 2005

       [Detly] Yes it would. Because once this baby is out, there is no way to contain it and it could come from anyone, including one of my friends.   

       Also it will eventually create messages such as "Look, there's your mom at the world trade center" or something along those lines.
Susan, Sep 12 2005

       This idea is actually quite clever
hippo, Sep 12 2019

       I suppose there could be positive viruses. In biology, a benign virus might strengthen the immune system. Maybe a virus could patch something or clean something, Like a burglar breaking in to fix a light socket.
wjt, Sep 14 2019


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