The Candy Apple
Clutter, Clutter Everywhere
The National Do-Not-Call Registry survived a challenge in court, in which telemarketing companies had said it was unconstitutional. The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decision said that the 57 million registrants were entitled to privacy and protection from telemarketing abuse. The companies had brought suit, saying it was unfair that political and charitable organizations were exempt from the rules of the Registry. In kid language, they’d said, “If so-and-so gets to do it, I should get to do it.” The 10th Circuit Court disagreed.
Yay for them for them. They got it right. Fifty-seven million Americans is a lot of people to say they want something stopped. We get only a small part of that many to vote in general elections—they must feel strongly about this issue!
So what I want to know is, since the National Do-Not-Call Registry is working (for me it really, really is), when can we get started on a Do-Not-Spam Registry? I’m sure my experience is typical: my morning e-mail consists of usually 75 e-mails or so, received in the nine hours since I went to bed. Possibly half a dozen are from people I know. Maybe one or two I want to open and read. (I will confess that most ATPM staff mail concerns technical stuff I can’t begin to understand.)
I will say that junk e-mail has two advantages over junk paper mail. One is that it does not waste trees. The other is that it can be disposed of very easily.
These advantages do not mean I want to continue receiving junk e-mail for the rest of my life if an alternative is available. I don’t want to suggest there is a governmental responsibility to regulate spam. The minute we involve the government is when we begin to give up liberty. I’m willing to sacrifice some convenience for liberty. Besides, the Internet crosses governmental lines, which is cool.
There’s nothing that says we can’t charge for spam, just like the US Postal Service charges for bulk mail. It costs those marketers actual money to mail me junk, and I want it to cost the e-mailers, too. Say a penny a piece. Say the ISPs charge you a penny for every e-mail you send. I’d pay it, in a second, especially if I knew it would run some of those vermin out of business.
Not all spammers are vermin. Just most of them.
We can fix this, without government intervention. All you bright people, economics people, techies, figure it out and let us know.
We’re getting a new Apple retail store a few miles from my house. I will have to resist the urge to go over there and buy all sorts of toys. Like gadgety things for my first-generation iPod. And a laptop with Mac OS X so I can buy music from the Apple store. And an AirPort card. And a new monitor for my G3, which I am not replacing anytime soon because it works just fine for what I need. Perhaps resistance is futile…
Also in This Series
- On Temptation · July 2010
- Beyond Pen Pals · July 2007
- Just Because We Can Do a Thing, Does Not Mean We Should Do a Thing · March 2006
- Google Tells Big Brother to Take a Hike · February 2006
- Wikipedia Is Not the Lovefest We Thought · January 2006
- Star Trek Gadgets Have Arrived · December 2005
- The Silver Screen Keeps Shrinking · October 2005
- It’s Just Business · July 2005
- Age Has Its Advantages · June 2005
- Complete Archive