non-censorous spam control (was Re: Spam is Information?)

Kent Crispin kent at
Sat Aug 2 09:49:04 PDT 1997

On Sat, Aug 02, 1997 at 09:31:20AM -0500, Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM wrote:
> Just commenting on some stuff I missed earlier:
> Adam Back <aba at> writes:
> ...
> > Another longer term way to improve the situation is to charge some
> > small token amount per article, just to encourage people to use it
> > with some intelligence (use cross posts rather than separately
> > reposting to each group).
> Problem is, a "small token" for some may be a lot of money for someone
> else. A poor person may be unwilling to part with 5c; a rich person or
> a corporation may still be willing to spend a million dollars on an
> advertising campaing (selling something or warning about the second
> cumming of Jesus).  
> The way the things are now, everyone is equally
> free to post and if you're into reputations, they can build one with
> the contents of their writings, not the amount of money they can
> afford to spend on posting.

In more general terms: A "free market" fundamentally grants more
control to those with more money.  Postage of whatever variety turns
the medium over to those with more money.  That would, in my opinion, 
fundamentally alter the character of email in a strongly negative 

This, by the way, is one of the fundamental problems with the
proposition that a free market is the appropriate response to every
social issue -- in many arenas a broad primary goal is allowing equal
opportunity to each individual.  

In a "free market" a fundamental feedback loop is that inequality of
distribution of wealth increases -- this obviously follows from the
fact that it is easier to make money if you have money.  With wealth
goes control.  Thus, the ultimate end of completely unfettered free
markets is fascism, where the wealthy run the government.  This is
another manifestation of the fundamental conflict between democratic
ideals and unfettered free markets. 

Naturally, rich, indolent technologists tend to favor schemes that 
will put them in control. :-)


Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent at			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55

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