FC: Gerard Van der Leun says stop whining about spam: "Stop the Spaminsanity"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 21:09:43 PDT

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    Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 07:55:24 -0700
    Subject: American Digest: Stop the Spaminsanity
    From: Gerard Van der Leun <gvdlat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    CC: <gnuat_private>
    Stop the Spaminsanity
    One more time. Listen up! See A, hit B!"
    Professional Internet and government gadfly John Gilmore (He coined the
    phrase, "The Internet interprets censorship as system damage and routes
    around it.") is taking spam hysteria to task over on Politech in his note
    addresssed to Declan McCullagh:On NOT obfuscating email addresses
    Why have you fallen into the all-too-common fallacy of thinking that if
    email addresses aren't published anywhere, that will help "solve" the
    problem of unwanted communications? .... Have we reached a Brave New World
    in which we all start rewriting online history to suit today's prejudices?
    Unwanted communications would exist even if every "spammer" was flayedand
    burned at the stake. You should know -- reporters get more unwanted press
    releases than anybody.The only viable solution is for the recipient to
    filter their incoming email. It's the only viable solution because only the
    recipient knows what they are interested in. The anti-"spam" crowd seems to
    thinkthat there is a category of communications that NOBODY is interested
    in, and that therefore should be suppressed. That is obviously false with
    regard to commercial spam, or the "spammers" would not persist in sending
    it, since they wouldn't make any money from it. Since some people ARE
    interested in it, it's our job (if we choose to accept it) to create a
    cheaper way for senders to reach those people -- cheaper than sending a copy
    to all of us as well as the recipients who desire it. We cannot compel
    people to stop communicating, unless we break the basic foundations of our
    free society. Good luck at finding a cheaper way; my efforts are going into
    reducing the cost to recipients of unwanted communications, rather than the
    cost to senders. (There may be religious or political unwanted
    communications that indeed NOBODY is interested in; these would also be
    solved by reducing recipient costs to near-zero.)
    Gilmore takes a lot of positions on a lot of issues and, more often than
    not, he's right. He's right here as well.
    I've never quite gotten the fuming, sparking and sputtering that takes over
    otherwise sane individuals when it comes to SPAM. SPAM is merely a bit of
    static in the background. Arguments that it "injures productivity" are bogus
    since that presumes that employees don't spend a good part of their day
    injuring productivity on the job by reading web pages such as Politech.
    White collar employees will, when given a net connection, always fritter
    away hours of their day. To presume otherwise is to presume they are all on
    some sort of cyberassembly line where if the next email message isn't right
    on target our massive economy is headed down the drain. Some people making
    their living selling consulting services on productivity to underworked
    executives may like to pretend otherwise, but the fact of the matter is that
    there's always been a huge amount of slack in office jobs and SPAM
    elinination won't make it stop. It will merely be spent on some site that
    offers flash Tetris.
    The Zero-Spam Tolerance cult is just another manifestation of the Nanny
    Culture where individuals want someone, somewhere (aka "The Government") to
    solve their quite stupidly simple and simply stupid problems by "passing a
    law," "making a regulation," and then "enforcing it" across the World Wide
    Wimpdom. This from a group of users who can actually go in and wade through
    the process of correcting the Windows Registry? Simps and weaklings the lot
    of them. Cowboy up, dudes and dudettes!
    Indeed, the flaming anti-spammers are more and more looking like online's
    version of the real world's envirowhackjobs who need to torch anything on
    the landscape that doesn't map to their fantasy of a perfect humanity free
    world. "Oh, if only there were no SPAM what a bright cyberworld this would
    be! EXterminATE them!"
    Everybody who is spending endless cycles on SPAMrage needs to step away from
    the keyboard, take some Tantric breaths and ask themselves...
    Two questions:
    1) Just how much easier do SPAM filters have to be for you to use them,
    First Grade or Kindergarten?
    2) What do you think God made the 'Delete' key for?
    I've been listening to this endless group rant since the dawn of "The Great
    Green Card" flame war and I've had it up to here with the ceaseless sour,
    ill-made whine. It sometimes seems that if SPAM did not exist, Wooly
    Webheads would invent it just so they had something to spew about whenever
    the latest outrage from Microsoft or the Justice Department paled.
    Gilmore has it right. Spam's here. Spam's clear. Filter it. Delete it. Get
    over it and pour youself a nice hot steaming cup of STFU.
    POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
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