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[RC] Riding in Heat - Linda B. Merims

Robin Everett said:
>I'd consider this the same as those endless horse catelogs
>that show up from places I've never heard of and never
>ordered from.
People always try to analogize among junk snail
mail, junk phone calls, and spam.
This misses the absolutely essential point that
junk snail mail, junk phone calls, and spam are
qualitatively different.
The horse catalog vendor had to pay for the
catalog's postage.  The telemarketer had to
pay for the phone call to you.
Spam is unique in that it is the only form
of advertising where the "postage" is paid
for by the receivers of the messages.  Millions
of spam messages can be sent out at virtually
zero cost to the spammer.  The cost of
transporting the message is born by the
backbone hardware, the routers, the processor
time, and the disk farms of the ISPs whose
customers are targeted.  And that translates
into higher monthly fees for you.
It is the classic tragedy of the commons.
Alas, the only real solution may be to make
email a toll service for the sender.
And now back to our program...
Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA