Ich bin mir sicher, Mark Twain wäre ein prominentes Opfer des schrecklichen SIWOTI Syndrom, wäre das Internet 100 Jahre älter. Man schaue sich nur mal den Brief an, den er einem Quacksalber als Antwort auf einen Werbebrief schickte:
Nov. 20. 1905
J. H. Todd
1212 Webster St.
San Francisco, Cal.
Your letter is an insoluble puzzle to me. The handwriting is good and exhibits considerable character, and there are even traces of intelligence in what you say, yet the letter and the accompanying advertisements profess to be the work of the same hand. The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link. It puzzles me to make out how the same hand could have constructed your letter and your advertisements. Puzzles fret me, puzzles annoy me, puzzles exasperate me; and always, for a moment, they arouse in me an unkind state of mind toward the person who has puzzled me. A few moments from now my resentment will have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your own poison by mistake, and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and all other patent medicine assassins have so remorselessly earned and do so richly deserve.
Adieu, adieu, adieu!
Es ist auch schon blöd, Mark Twain ein “Elixir of Life” verkaufen zu wollen – das unter anderem Meningitis (an der Twains Schwester starb) und Diphterie (an der Twains Sohn mit 19 Monaten verstarb) heilen soll.