[Mailman-Users] The economics of spam

J.A. Terranson measl at mfn.org
Sun Jan 4 21:56:40 CET 2009

Also myt last comment, unless a listowner somehow believes this is 
appropos for *this* list.

You're argument boils down to "it's not wholly effective, and it's super 
easy for the sspammer to overwhelm, so don't bother using it".  The same 
is true of every blocklist, blacklist, firewall, tarpit, etc., ad 

Hashcash and tools like it are merely that: Tools.  You should use your 
tools where they are most effective.  if a tool does *nothing* then it's 
not a tool, and can be discarded.  But a tool that works, just not 
perfectly, is what we have used to reach foreign bodies (moon, mars), 
build national infrastructure, etc.

Layered tools always work better than unlayered tools.

The fact that Mallory will always have superior firepower does not mean 
you do not go to war using the tools available: you simply apply these 
tools in an asymmetric manner.  hashcash was specifically designed for 
asymmetric use - you can ask for anywhere from zero to infinite work from 
each connection,m based solely on your individual criteria.  If it's a 
connection on a whitelist, you can ask for zero work, while also asking 
for highly significant (computationally speaking) work from unknown 
connections.  Since the work is all done by the connection initiator, this 
scales well, and meets it's design goal of simply applying the most 
interference to those who have the highest likelyhood of being unwanted.

To dismiss this out of hand as the work of "clueless newbies" shows a 
certain bias.  You may not *like* the idea, but HashCash is certainly not 
"clueless newbie" material.  Look at the people who worked on this.


J.A. Terranson

"Never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public
plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to
the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always
be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by
predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."

Joseph Pulitzer
1907 Speech

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