[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam on postedaddresses...

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui@plaidworks.com
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 13:42:34 -0800

On 2/20/02 1:18 PM, "Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com> wrote:

>> And burglary is not caused by my owning nice things, either. It's caused by
>> burglars. But that's no excuse to not put locks on the doors.
> A mailing list -- a publically accessible mailing list -- isn't your
> house.  It's the city library.  Those are typically not locked up as
> tightly your house, during the day.

You misread my analogy, or perhaps it's a philsophical disagreement. A
library is not locked up as tightly as a house, but it also has a person in
charge of watching the door to make sure stuff doesn't leave if it's not
checked out, and most of them have door sensors now, too.

And any decent library also has a rare books room, which IS tightly locked
up. And while the content of a mail list qualifies as a public library to
some degree, the subscriber addresses live in that rare book room.

>> You're right, Jay, but does being right matter? Unless you know how to stop
>> the spammers, it's a pyhrric victory -- because it does nothing to protect
>> yourself from the spammers.
> *I* protect *myself* from the spammers, actually, thank you very much.
> Perhaps that sounds elitist.  So be it.

So, you're saying because you protect yourself from the spammers, that
EVERYONE should, too?

To move back to the burglary analogy, you've just told me that (a) if you do
get burgled, you won't call the police, and (b), the police department
should be shut down, because everyone should take care of themselves. Which,
I guess, means if you get burgled, you'll pull out the gun, find the
burglar, and shoot him yourself, right?

Jay, do you see the chaos that causes? You define anarchy, which is, to a
degree, what we have in email today, but you then go one step further, and
claim that it should be anarchy. My argument is that central tools that CAN
do things should do things, because they help a common good -- the
difference between a trained police force and a hundred citizens with guns
looking for burglars. You get economies of scale that individuals
"protecting themselves" can't get, plus, of course, there's nothing keeping
you from doing MORE. I just don't understand why you seem to be insisting
that because YOU can do it, everyone has to and mailman shouldn't.

Mailman's not written for you. It's written for many people with many needs,
not all of them as competent in these areas as you. Why force them all to do
it your way? 

>> Even with a good deadbolt, burglaries still happen. Is that an excuse not to
>> put the deadbolt on in the first place? No.
> Well, again: would you deadbolt the public library?

See above. You don't get the analogy right.

> This is, alas, a different topic.
> When I send a complaint to someone about something, *I want a copy of
> that message in my outbox*.   I *hate* mail forms.  With an unbridled,
> flaming passion.  They usually don't spell check; they don't get my sig
> file, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

That's nice. But -- does that override the need to protect the admin from
spammers? Again, do we only do things that you approve of, or for the common
good, is this something where you compromise your position?

See, my problem here is that you seem to have defined "no good" as "I don't
like it". Your view is one, but not the only one. And you don't seem to be
looking at mailman as a global tool, but mailman as your tool.

> Personally, I'm a little tired of "But I'm too lazy" (to learn how to
> set up spam filters) being an acceptable excuse.  If you can't find
> someone to run your list with a clue, then maybe you shouldn't have a
> list.

Personally, I find that attitude quite arrogant. Not everyone is you, or
wants to be you. Or me. Or Barry. If you want to design things for you, do
whatever you want. When you start designing for an open population, you have
to start checking the ego at the door. This attitude, I'm afraid, doesn't,
at least in my mind.

Chuq Von Rospach (chuqui@plaidworks.com -- http://www.chuqui.com/)
Will Geek for hardware.