[Nottingham] Tux Games Antispam - Your message is being held

Duncan John Fyfe djf at star.le.ac.uk
Tue Dec 11 11:01:17 GMT 2007

On Mon, 2007-12-10 at 16:19 +0000, Andy Smith wrote: 
> Hi Duncan,
> On Mon, Dec 10, 2007 at 03:30:31PM +0000, Duncan John Fyfe wrote:
> > Someone being abusive to Michael for making a choice they disagree with
> > (or for any other unreason) does nothing but harm.  As Michael (Leuty)
> > indicates, such incidents seriously damage us as a LUG because they give
> > us a bad reputation for abusive behaviour and shit like that sticks far
> > more than the many times people have asked for and received good,
> > friendly advice.
> But expecting the world to do your antispam work for you and not
> giving a toss when your software backscatters onto uninvolved
> parties is something that should be allowed to pass unchallenged?

What you sent was abuse.  It was not a challenge.

> > No matter what you think about C/R systems; Michael (Simms) has *chosen*
> > a solution which works *for him* and I have no doubt he will continue to
> > use it until he is convinced that his C/R system is doing more harm than
> > good *to him*.
> Have you ever heard the phrase "think globally, act locally"?  
> On
> the Internet you *cannot* just do "what works for you", 

Obviously you failed to think of this when you sent your first response.
Sending abusive spam may have helped you vent your spleen but the result
of your selfish act was shit that sticks on all of us as a community.

> because we
> have to interoperate.

and how exactly did flaming someone help us inter-operate ?

>   It isn't the things that C/R does inside the
> recipient's system that are objectionable, it's the fact that it
> then sends automated mail back out in abusive ways.  It's not
> something you can just shrug and say "his system, his rules".

Actually, yes I can.  It is part of freedom.  If I wish freedom for
myself then I have to give it to others.  That means people making
decisions and taking actions I disagree with.   It is "his system, his
rules", it is not a democracy where we get to vote on how he runs it.
Just as on "my system, my rules" and I decide how I react to his

Whether what he has done is "selfish, abusive and clueless" is a
question of social acceptability amongst the people he is interacting
with.  That community is larger than you and this LUG.  Who knows, maybe
amongst his community as a whole what he is doing is perfectly
acceptable.  I'll certainly throw in my 2p worth but I'm not arrogant
enough to presume I can speak on their behalf.

> > Like many solutions to real world problems it isn't perfect but it
> > seems to do a good enough job (*for him*)  - just like the current
> > mail system.
> The flaws of the current mail system have only become apparent now
> that it's been in use for 20+ years and no one is saying they don't
> need to be fixed.

Poppycock.  The problem of spoofed email addresses hit my radar at least
13 years ago and I can guarantee I was far from the first to recognise
it.  Don't delude yourself that the problems are only becoming apparent
now.  The reason solutions are crawling out of the woodwork now is
economic demand not technical necessity.  Businesses have seen the
problems as a hindrance to further profits and that makes it worth
someones time (and money) to go looking for a solution.

> C/R on the other hand is broken and abusive from the start and once
> more than a tiny minority of people begin to use it this will become
> readily apparent.

The history of human development is one of people doing things 
anyone in their right mind wouldn't do because the dangers were 
"readily apparent".  Excuse me if I don't fear your portents of doom
but rather welcome them as an opportunity for change.

Until the day comes when C/R becomes a significant (economic) problem
or it is superseded by a suitable benign alternative it will remain a tool
in the anti-spam arsenal no matter how broken or socially unacceptable
you think it is.  

Have you ever heard the phrase "horses for courses"?

> > Declaring "Well I wouldn't say that, just that it was designed in
> > a different time." is merely trying to avoid uncomfortable fact
> > that, as is the current mail system has significant flaws but "it
> > seems to do a good enough job" to be usable by millions of people
> > every day.
> I'm not avoiding the fact that internet email has severe problems.
> I also don't see how that fact means you can set up something else
> which is selfish, abusive and clueless and then throw your hands up
> saying "they're both as bad as each other!" (which they aren't, but
> even if they were, where's the logic?)

Just because a system has flaws does not make it broken beyond use.
The degree to which we tolerate the use and consequences of flawed
and broken systems does not revolve around technical or logical
arguments but around social and economic issues.

You have decided C/R is the devil incarnate and devised a religious
mantra to strengthen your resolve - chanting "C/R is selfish, abusive and 
clueless" is not a reasoned or logical argument.  It is an emotive 

You have also decided that email works well enough for you to 
tolerate the problems inherent in the system without attaching the same 
emotive baggage.

Michael has decided C/R has some merit despite the problems it poses.
His use case, his decision.

> > To convince someone like Michael (Simms) to move away from a C/R system
> > (or away from windows, outlook or any other "bad" system) someone is
> > going to have to be able to demonstrate an alternative (better) system
> > that solves *their* problem - not the problem you think they have.
> He wrote it!  If he did that and then watched it backfire onto the
> list, and presumably watches his logs as it sends out crap to people
> who never even contacted him and *still* isn't going to change his
> view then what real hope is there?

ROTFL.  His system misfires once in three years and you want it declared
a failure ?  How many software projects do you know that have had less
than 1 mishap in three years ?
Excuse me while I go warm up my cave.  Sounds like I'll be needing it soon.

> > Then you need to convince them why your alternative is better
> There is so much material out there now, as well as common sense, as
> to why C/R is bad, that anyone with an open mind cannot fail to be
> convinced.

There is also a lot of material out there by which an open mind could not 
fail to see the truth of "intelligent design" yet somehow I remain 

Anyone with an open mind recognises the value of other opinions 
even if one cannot understand how they reached them from the same evidence.

> If however one is willing to be selfish and abusive then C/R is
> almost ideal.
Have fun,

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