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I take it you never used mutt?

That is how you rip through thousands of emails in insanely short times. Much MUCH faster then gmail.

Marginally faster. There's only so fast you can make email because you still need to comprehend it. And BTW, comprehension + shortcuts is the killer feature of Gmail. Having a nice GUI facilitates comprehension which allows you to act faster. There are many reasons why an individual might prefer mutt, but "Much MUCH faster than gmail" is overstating the case quite a bit.

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