Outgoing SMTP Servers

Joel jaeggli joelja at bogus.com
Fri Oct 28 05:34:51 UTC 2011

Email as facility is a public good whether it constitutes a commons or
not... If wasn't you wouldn't bother putting up a server that would
accept unsolicited incoming connections on behalf of yourself and
others, doing so is generically non-rival and non-excludable although
not perfectly so in either case (what public good is).

On 10/27/11 21:26 , William Herrin wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM, Dave CROCKER <dhc2 at dcrocker.net> wrote:
>> On 10/28/2011 5:44 AM, William Herrin wrote:
>>> A commons is jointly owned, either by a non-trivial number of private
>>> owners or by all citizens of a government.
>> The practical use of the term is a bit broader:
>>   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons>
>> As rule, the term gets applied to situations of fate-sharing when actions by
>> some affect utility for many.
>> You cited air pollution.  The Internet can suffer comparable effects.
>> Spam can reasonably be called pollution and it has a systemic effect on all
>> users.  For such an issue, it's reasonable and even helpful to view it as a
>> commons.
> Dave,
> I respectfully disagree.
> If you throw pollution into the air, it may eventually impact me or it
> may blow somewhere else. Mostly it'll blow somewhere else. But as lots
> of people throw pollution into the air, some non-trivial portion of
> that pollution will drift over me. This is the so-called tragedy.
> By contrast, if you send me spam email, you are directly abusing my
> computer. The linkage is not at all amorphous. You send to me. I
> receive from you. There is no "all world" or "local area" destination.
> If you send without some specific pointer in my direction, I won't
> receive it. Ever.
> Imagining spam as a tragedy of the commons disguises its true nature
> as a massive quantity of one-on-one abuses of individual owners'
> computers. Worse, it forgives the owners of the intermediate networks
> for shrugging their shoulders and turning a blind eye to the abusers.
> Regards,
> Bill Herrin

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