[Baypiggies] C/R Scaling

Marilyn Davis marilyn at deliberate.com
Mon Jun 19 18:51:43 CEST 2006

Hi Ross,

Nice to see you in the discussion.

On Sun, 18 Jun 2006, Ross Parlette wrote:

> In all the discussion of Challenge / Response I have not seen what I regard 
> as the non-scaling flaw.
> A long time ago, I read that one should conduct one's life in such a way 
> that if many (or all?) others did likewise, disaster would not result. 

Oh yes!  I do my best to behave like this.  In fact I try to live my
life in such a way that if all did likewise, our earth would be saved.
It's very hard to know how to do that though.

> Perhaps my analysis is in error, but I believe that C/R fails here.

Ah ha.  See below.

> Now I currently get my BayPiggies mail via the daily summary, so all mail is 
> from baypiggies-request at python dot org. I changed over to this because 
> the mailing list was flooding my inbox and my pathetic mail system does not 
> have good means for handling this.
> But prior to this, I received individual messages, which served before the 
> discussions of name-change and similar topics produced a plethora of mail. I 
> have looked back at those messages and they did not come from baypiggies dot 
> org, but appeared to come from people like Aahz, Donna Snow, w chun, etc. 
> Presumably these were spoofed by the forwarder (note discussion of SPF).

Here are some important headers from your mail:

Return-path: <baypiggies-bounces at python.org>
Precedence: list

Absolutely from a list!  So no challenge is sent.

There's also this:

From: "Ross Parlette" <ross at pcnt.com>
To: "BayPiggies" <baypiggies at python.org>

Whenever the To: header doesn't have my address, it is either bulk
mail, or mail that is forwarded from an alias.  So that is also bulk

Sometimes there's:

To: "BayPiggies" <baypiggies at python.org>, marilyn at deliberate.com

so having my address in the To: header isn't enough to know it's
personal, but not having my address in the To: is sufficient to know
it is bulk.

So, there is no good excuse for a C/R system to send a challenge in
response to bulk mail.

It is the same problem with vacation messages.  They must not be sent
in response to bulk mail, but some broken ones do.

I hope this answers your question.

Note that you did not get a challenge.  But, assuming we haven't
written each other previously, if you send me, not the list, a little
test message, you can see the challenge.


> Now consider what would happen if all on a Sunday, 90% of the members of the 
> list were to adopt a C/R system. At the time I was receiving individual 
> messages, I did not reply to the individuals, but rather to the list (as 
> Aahz has indicated it the proper thing to do), so by default the members of 
> the list would not go on my white list thereby. However, those fools who 
> posted to the list would be met by a flurry of C/R from everyone else on the 
> list (who had C/R) and this would happen to every person who posted (at 
> least once; I'm not sure I understand the full panoply of C/R options). As 
> new persons joined the list or added C/R to their e-mail program, a new 
> bucket of C/R would flow across the net.
> Consider also that the BP list is not primarily used for "Can you, in 
> particular, help me out with this specific task?" Rather is seems to be 
> (when working properly, not something I have seen a lot of lately) an area 
> for persuasion and encouragement.
> Sorry that I don't have 25 prior messages and sigs embedded in this letter, 
> but I hope you all can overlook that.
> Ross
> At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar. 


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