We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A pox on all spammers

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16 comments to A pox on all spammers

  • Tanuki

    As someone who runs an ISP, you have my sympathy. Spam is a classic Tragedy-of-the-commons poster-child. I hope the deluge soon abates.

  • Mary Ayn Rand

    Spamming:

    The Invisible Hand, giving you The Finger.

  • No doubt when your National Socialist Paradise is at hand, the only unwelcome on-line communications we will be receiving will be ones from the government reminding us that happiness is mandatory.

  • Mary Ayn Rand

    Aren’t we touchy tonight!

    And throwing rude words about, too.

    Spammers are merely attempting to sell you something. They are advertisers, using a medium of communication, just like TV commercials or billboards.

    Rugged individualists, seeking to make a profit, unhindered by onerous governmental regulation.

    Isn’t this what you want? A Free Market? Competing on the international stage for your money?

    They have discovered an hitherto unexploited niche, the comment spam, and are seeking to fill that niche.

    If they succeed, they will prosper. If not, well, then they will cease, as it isn’t profitable for them.

    That is how the Free Market works, isn’t it?

  • Novus

    That is how the Free Market works, isn’t it?

    In theory it is, but needless to say you’ve (probably deliberately) overlooked the fact that this blog is private property and people may only advertise on it with the prior consent of and, presumably, on the payment of some consideration to the blog’s owner. Comments are enabled for the discussion (intelligent or, in some cases, otherwise) by its readers of the posts made, not so that Internet wideboys can promote their scams for free. Suggesting that comment spam is the free market in operation is ridiculous as saying that a magazine publisher would have no legitimate grounds for grievance if the company distributing the magazine filled it with their own advertising inserts without paying the publisher.

    (Don’t worry, I sha’n’t feed this troll again….)

  • Praxis

    I’d love to find out where Mary Ayn Rand lives so I can break into her house one night and spray paint advertisements for Samizdata on her walls in order to demonstrate how clueless she is.

  • Jim

    The point is, she has a point. Private property or no, spammers have discovered a new loophole; and they only pour-in through it because they can. Much as we all deplore them, until they break a law they they are the “free enterprise in motion” that we exult.

    Like a thief, who only steals your hard-earned motor car because he can. Absent sitting-up in your window all night with the ol’ 10-gauge (which is MURDER on the sleep budget), you rely on a certain police presence to dissuade him – a police presence mandated by the government that we rail against.

    Balance and perspective in all things – free enterprise versus necessary evils. “God and soldiers, all alike adore – e’en in times of danger; not before!” and all that rot – sorry…

  • Sorry to hear you lot got attacked by a bunch of spamming bastards. Its a bloody pain and you just got to keep trying to stay one bit a head of the wankers.

  • Novus

    Jim, I don’t think we rail against government for mandating a police presence to prevent theft: that’s a legitimate role of government. We rail against it for other things.

    Also, in what sense are the spammers exploiting a loophole, or, put another way, how would you go about closing this loophole? Do we really need laws of such absurd specificity as to make it illegal to post off-topic and self-promoting (I assume: I didn’t see the spam) comments on a blog? The point is, they clearly don’t respect property rights, and therefore it cannot be said to be “the free market in action”, as property rights are fundamental in the free market.

  • The point is, she has a point. Private property or no, spammers have discovered a new loophole; and they only pour-in through it because they can.

    That is like saying a burglar is just engaging in free enterprise because they found a loophole (i.e. a window) they could enter through.

    Much as we all deplore them, until they break a law they they are the “free enterprise in motion” that we exult.

    Then you clearly do not understand what ‘free enterprise’ means. Hint: it does not mean “an absence of rules”.

    All markets exist within a framework of rules, be they state imposed or socially imposed. It is a false dichotomy to say “we must balance free markets against the necessary evils of the state” because free markets exist within a framework of rules regardless of the existence (or not) of states. If there is chaos, there are no free markets (no markets at all, in fact). Order however can come from all sorts of sources, not just states (go to any stock exchange… most of the regulations which pertain their are imposed by the stock exchanges and are not laws at all).

    Moreover, Mary Ayn Rand is a constant apologists for all manner of mass murdering totalitarian regimes and her comment needs to be viewed within that context as well.

  • Mary Ayn Rand

    As an example of how this blog really is private property… I have deleted your comment

  • RAB

    Mary love,
    Whoever told you that you have a sense of humour
    Is in need of sueing.

  • Edwin

    I was just reflecting how it was that “Mary” was able to share tonight’s Two-Minute Shriek with us, courtesy of research started during the Vietnam War, by the United States Advanced Research Projects Agency.

    Doubtless “Mary’s” kind would have wailed against the militaristic waste of the whole enterprise, had someone with a grudge whispered propaganda about the ARPANET to the placard-waving mobs.

    But let’s see what would happen if someone tried to take “Mary’s” web connection now; whether such a thing were done in the Name Of The Oppressed or not, the keening whine “she” would send up would make the angry hisses above seem as nothing.

    So ready to cut basic research. So unwilling to lose those special ego-validating moments on the Daily Kos message boards.

    Think, maybe, that “Mary” would have something to say about private property then?

    But how silly of me, couldn’t be clearer, could it – the Internet was originally government funded, right? Well, it Belongs Back To The People, doesn’t it?

    Am I right, “Mary”? Oh, that’s right… you’ve renounced your net access.

  • Jim

    All markets exist within a framework of rules, be they state imposed or socially imposed.

    – And we do spend a lot of time ranting against many of them. It’s a ‘balance’ thang, once again; we’re all for the rules we like, and the rest can go hang – and as noted elsewhere in this post, passing rules to outlaw everything one personally dislikes, is both a hallmark of today’s governments, and impossible to do without bringing us all to a creative standstill.

    But I stress that finding one’s way around inconvenient rules is very much “free enterprise in motion”, and has made numerous creative individuals disgustin’ly filthy rich throughout history. Which is not to suggest that I have any use at all for spammers; merely that there is an unstated dichotomy present, that Mary actually did point-out.

    – Clear to me, at any rate! ;)

  • - And we do spend a lot of time ranting against many of them. It’s a ‘balance’ thang, once again

    No, it really is not. There are material differences in properties between state imposed regulations and social/market imposed ones. The issue is not balancing state against social but keeping state small enough and limited in scope enough to allow social anything to actually work.

    merely that there is an unstated dichotomy present, that Mary actually did point-out.

    And both you, and she, are wrong. Criminal action as a way ‘around’ quite reasonable property rights is not the free market in action just as breaking in to your house and stealing things because I have find a way to by-pass your alarm system is not the free market in action. It is not a dichotomy because it is not the same thing at all.

  • Eric

    All spammers should be hanged, but only as final mercy after a very long period of skilled, and intensive maltreatment.

    IMHO!