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

Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM dlv at
Wed Aug 6 20:20:26 PDT 1997

? the Platypus {aka David Formosa} <dformosa at> writes:

> On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM wrote:
> > I'm sorry, I don't see how posting megabytes of noise every day can
> > swamp the content.
> You don't recall the poetry feastavil?  What about the sex groups for the
> less popular fetishes?

Can you hurt a person by sticking needles in a doll representing this person?
Possibly, if the person really believes this.

Why do people try to flood newsgroups with shit? (We can agree that some
do try to, whether they succed or not). Most of the time it happens because
some asshole is trying to take ownership of an unmoderated newsgroup and
disses people whom he's trying to silence.  Some of the assholes resort
to forging cancels; most limit their censorship to postmaster complaints,
false accusation of "spamming", and occasional mailbombs.

Examples from the Net.Scum rogue collection: Scott Kellog from Sematech
falsely accuses various people of "spamming" his newsgroup, but hasn't
been caught forging cancels yet.  On the other hand Bob Curtis has taken
over alt.smokers.cigars and forges cancels for articles that merely
question his "ownership" of the newsgroup. Do read - it's very enlightening.

The biologist Garrett Hardin published an essay, _The Tragedy of the Commons_
in _Science_, Dec 13, 1968.  Many misguided people have NOT read the eassay,
but like to cite it.  They argue that according to Hardin, Usenet would be
used more "efficiently" if every newsgroup had an "owner" - a self-appointed
"mediator" (their favorite title - don't know what asshole first came up
with it). They try to assert property rights where they can't be enforced
and succed only in pissing off a lot of people whom they tried to censor.

If you were told that a formerly common meadow is now owned by a self-
appointed asshole who disses you, would you litter on the meadow, shit
and piss on it, and possibly dump toxic radioactive waste on it?  When
the self-appointed "owner" pisses off a lot of people, some of them
will - especially since they can get away with it.

This reminds me of the encosure movement in medieval England that sought
to make the use of common lands more "efficient" by privatizing them -
causing numerous peasants extreme misery.  Read your history.

The good news is that newsgroup floods don't really hurt anyone except
the egos of the assholes who claim to "own' the affected newsgroups.

> > Moreover, if such actions were indeed cause a problem, they would not be
> > eliminated with payments. Some people would be willing to spend money to
> > "flood" the net
> Here we aggry, porn4pron and others will still make a proffet from
> spamming.  Infact puting a cost to posting creates a biase aggainst
> unpopulare options and towards spam.  Indeed such a payment system would
> make the problem worce.

I like the idea of encouraging news readers to send e-cash (possibly via
anon remailers) to the posters whose writings they like and would like to
see more of.  This is a generalization of the discussion we had on the
cypherpunks list a few months ago, how companies could send e-cash to
Usenet posters who say good things about their products.

Porn4porn posts A LOT of crap in* and admits that it's crap.
It then asks the readers: instead of wading through our crap for free,
why not pay us to get the prn you're looking for?  And my response is:
why not just killfile the idiots, or why not choose to not select
their crap for reading - it's easily identifiable.

Do you remember all the talk about "intelligent internet agents" who were
supposed to look for stuff we're interested in - like the one that would
learn the user's tastes for music, and suggest more music that he'd
probably like; the one that learned the user's scheduling preferences to
manage his appointment calendar; well, here's an excellent idea for an
AI project for a master's thesis - write an agent that learns what the
user likes to read and finds it on Usenet (irrespective of where it's
posted) and doesn't bother showing the user what he doesn't want to read.

> > Instead of discouraging the behavior you don't like, encourage the
> > behavior you do like.
> [Nods]  The good old blow job prinisipul.

Yep. Works great with kids and animals.

> > I invite Adam and David to subscribe to the freedom-knights mailing list
> > (send 'subscribe freedom-knights at' to majordomo at
> > if you want to continue this not-quite-crypto discussion there.
> I have attempted to do so in the past,  and will attempt to do so again.

There's some interesting discussion going on there in addition to my xposts.


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps

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