Double Irony! (was Re: [linux-elitists] ruben's stupid filter)

Dan Wilder
Mon Mar 25 08:01:43 PST 2002

On Mon, Mar 25, 2002 at 12:46:46AM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Sun, Mar 24, 2002, Dan Wilder ( wrote:
> > On Sun, Mar 24, 2002 at 04:39:47PM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > > 
> > > Again:  I think automated tools *are* a benefit *if* properly
> > > designed.  I think the solution is in improving the tools, not in
> > > griping about them.
> > 
> > Certain automated tools are intended to be used for an unutterably
> > mindless and stupid purpose, to wit, auto-reporting.  
> > 
> > I'm not griping.  
> > 
> > I'm objecting to the stupidity of that particular purpose, in a public
> > forum, hoping that my objection will be argued, noted, etc., and that
> > I may perhaps contribute to the building of what I would view as a
> > more favorable consensus about what should be done.
> One suggestion from me (who happens to _like_ his auto-reporting tools,
> and is working to improve on their specificity, accuracy, and
> effectiveness), would be for those of the opposite camp to suggest
> alternatives.  This I haven't seen.

Filter, filter, filter, and filter.  Block incoming email from chronic
offenders if you think you can identify such. 

> I'm sorry, but I'm not going to spend five minutes (or two minutes, or
> even thirty seconds) manually tracking down the 40-odd spams I get
> daily.  That's more than three hours daily at the first estimate, a half
> hour at the low end.  I need something that works and works effectively
> and quickly.  I'd prefer it didn't waste the time of admins at the other
> end, and will even tune my systems to conservative (but reasonable)
> triggers to this end.

And I'm not going to spend five minutes, or two minutes, or even
thirty seconds responding to mindless and erroneous auto-reports.

'Fraid I don't believe a mere 'bot will ever discriminate well
enough.  I must side with those who say, "If you won't take the
time to check your reports, don't make them."  

I'll say farther, that tools to originate such reports are an evil 
in themselves, as they will inevitably fall into the hands of the 
clueless who will never take the time to tune them to even mediocre 
performance.  You may say, "autoreporting isn't the problem, the
clueless are the problem" to which I'll say, "the clueless will
ever be with us.  Don't publish attractive nuisances."

I will however spend some spare ill-will on those who those who 
for whatever reason (auto-complainers or just plain personal stupidity) 
pollute the inbaskets of major ISPs with such reports, thus drowning
the carefully thought-out reports I may, increasingly seldom,
choose to originate.

I _will_ spend a few minutes expunging without notice the email address 
of anybody who sends us such a report from all mailing lists at our 
company, provided I can identify the sender.  This only takes
a minute.  I've a script that does the job.  Repeat performances 
will under ordinary circumstances elicit 

550 Sender address blocked due to excessive frivolous or malicious spam 
reports: call 1-206-782-8808 if you have corrected the problem

in response to envelope sender.

Let us agree to disagree.

 Dan Wilder <>   Technical Manager & Editor
 SSC, Inc. P.O. Box 55549   Phone:  206-782-8808
 Seattle, WA  98155-0549    URL

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