From: Gilles Detillieux (
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 08:20:06 PDT

According to Chuq Von Rospach:
> At 8:37 AM -0500 10/12/00, Geoff Hutchison wrote:
> >But I'm also one to believe we shouldn't just lock our windows and
> >bolt our doors because we occasionally receive an unwelcome guest.
> >I'm from a small enough place that I *hate* having to lock my doors.
> It's your list. But I don't plan to stick around a list set up like
> this. Too bad.
> See, if you fix it when the problem is small, it doesn't turn into a
> big problem. If you wait until all hell breaks loose, you're asking
> for a problem you might not be able to fix, at a time you can't
> afford to have a problem.
> Your attitude is saying "I won't worry about locking the doors until
> after the burglars clear me out", Geoff. You're welcome to it, but
> all it does is guarantee the burglars will be by.

Well, let's look at this realistically, shall we? We've had a little
more than half a dozen spams on our lists in the past week, which
is more than our lists have typically received in the average month.
That's annoying, but it's still a lot less than I receive directly to my
own e-mail address in an average week, despite having some anti-spamming
controls on my server. I'm not about to unsubscribe from all
lists yet, as I don't think it would be rational to do so even though
I intensely despise spam. Ironically, with a few more follow-ups to this
thread, we'll have had as many off-topic messages discussing the spam
problem as we'll have had actual spam messages this week.

I don't think the burglar analogy is a valid one, because they can't
really clear us out - unless we permit the problem to go on for so
long and get so bad that we do start to lose a number of subscribers.
Most of our active list members would call loudly and strongly for tighter
controls before that would happen. This is a democracy, after all.

The moment we close the lists, if we choose to do so, all spammers will
be immediately blocked out, so I don't really see how we're asking
for a problem we might not be able to fix. Even if we do lose a few
subscribers because they don't feel the list was closed quickly enough
for their liking, I suspect they'd return afterward if they still are
interested in what the list has to offer.

So, while I don't think we should just close our eyes and look the other
way until the list dies, the sky ain't falling yet.

Gilles R. Detillieux              E-mail: <>
Spinal Cord Research Centre       WWW:
Dept. Physiology, U. of Manitoba  Phone:  (204)789-3766
Winnipeg, MB  R3E 3J7  (Canada)   Fax:    (204)789-3930

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