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

Derek Vadala
Mon Mar 25 14:39:12 PST 2002

On Mon, 25 Mar 2002, Marc MERLIN wrote:

> Uh? Why would I want to?
> I'm quite happy to oblige people who are asking to be filtered

The problem with this attitude (and Spam Assassin(1), on some levels), is
that it incorrectly assume two things:

1. Everyone worth communicating with will make the effort to send email
that won't trip an automated filter.

2. Spammers won't go through the effort to circumvent filters.

Believing number one is simply a matter of opinion. But, it seems clear to
me that it means accepting the fact that non-geeks are going to get caught
in your filters, from time to time. 

As far as number two: spam works. And that's why there's so much of it in
your inbox. Spammers are going to look at rule sets for automated systems
and simply send spam that doesn't trip them. You're fighting a losing
battle, and in the long run you're going to waste a lot more of your time
then you would have by simply deleting the messages.

As a sort of sick joke, I actually went on an interview at a 'targetted
opt-in email' company about a month ago. These guys were using racks upon
racks of load-balanced machines, multiple network providers, and had
people focused on circumventing anti-spam tactics. 

(1) Vipul's Razor is pretty kick-ass, and my bad attitude does not apply
to it.

Derek Vadala,,

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