Archive for April, 2002

Why chain emails offering you $5000 a month can never work

Wednesday, April 10th, 2002

This applies to any kind of pyramid selling and social viruses offering fantastic gains.

First Read this Story:
A king played chess so well that he decided if anyone could beat him at chess, he would grant the person any reasonable, but lavish wish. No one succeeded, until a poor old man showed up and beat the king. The poor man asked for nothing much, he wanted a grain of rice for the first square of the chess board, two grains for the second square, four grains for the third square and so on (each square doubling the previous one). The king thought it was a measly request, and granted it immediately.

If the man had asked for 1 for first, 2 for second, 3 for third, it would have been linear growth. He would have received a total of 2080 grains of rice for the 64 squares of the board (about 70 grams). Since the king had not taken Mathematics 101, and did not comprehend exponential growth, he then had to declare bankruptcy. If we do the counting, we find that while the 10th square needs a measly 512 grains and the 15th square needs 16,384 grains, which is about half a kilo, after this, the rice supply starts falling apart, as the 22nd square needs 69 kilos and the 30th square consumes 17,700 kilos. There is no point calculating what is needed for all the 64 squares, that number exceeds all the rice ever grown on the planet earth. Actually it is about 1000 times higher than the total number of atoms composing our planet.

Anyone who falls for one of these chain emails is falling for the same trick. To understand why, you need to understand the following facts:

*Key Fact 1.

The population of the world is (at the time of writing this) 6,204,270,232

( http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/popclockw )

*Key Fact 2

Chain emails will either die out or reach the entire population of the world in a VERY SMALL number of steps (maximum 7).
If every person sends your email on to another 20 people and each one of these passes it on, then you will use up the entire world population in just 7 steps.
If you increase your success rate to 100 for each generation, that goes down to about 5 generations for the entire world population.

Try this for yourself at http://www.gilestv.com/misc/antichainmail.html

*Key Fact 3.

Only 15% of the world population is on the internet at the time of writing.

*Key Fact 4.

The “optimistic” figure of 7 generations assumes
a. That nobody will send your email to someone who has already had it, which is very unlikely, especially considering that you are most likely to share acquaintances with the people you send it to.
b. Everyone will send it on.
c. That you are the first person on the list and therefore that none of the world population has already been “used up”.

If you take these 2 factors into account the vast majority emails will either die or use up the entire world population in about 3 to 4 generations. You can be 100% mathematically certain that any email will use up the entire population of the world in 7 generations.

*Key Fact 5.

Any email which refers to the consequences of itself in phrases such as “Mr F.Twathead didn’t send this email on and he got run over by a bus” is bound to be lying – think about it.

So next time you get a chain email claiming that you can make $5000 a month from home – read it carefully. You will always notice 1 thing – you will only make money after about 5 “generations” have agreed to do the same thing. Looking at the facts above, that means that only the first guy who ever sent it will make any money. So next time you get one of those emails – bin it and send him this web page in return.