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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Spam is an abuse of a public-writable area of your attention. It appears visually as billboards, unwanted email, and junk snail mail; audially as phone salespeople; and in full video as TV adverts.

    Individualist solutions such as spam filtering, whether email spam or visual spam [wearcam.org], obviously have limits. It puts the onus on each and every person to do the filtering, and doesn't prevent all the effort that went into creating and distributing the spam. As the people at the conference observed, all these smart people should be working on something other than spam.

    These are all facets of the same problem: that large parts of our society are controlled in an undemocratic way. Surely people would not choose to erect a giant Toyota(TM) or NewPort(TM) billboard in their neighborhood for their own amusement. Nor would the workers of an ISP tolerate someone using their network to send fraudulent Viagra(TM) adverts, unless their boss told them to.

    The solution to the spam problem is to fix our society so that the workers actually have bottom-up control of the productive capacity of society. That would free up not just the workers currently stuck on anti-spam solutions, but also all those smart people at Lockheed(TM) etc. who spend their days figuring out really neat and clever ways to hideously mangle people by the score.

    Anarchism [anarchosyndicalism.org] (democratic, grassroots control by the workers) has worked very well for software (this *is* a Perl site, after all :). Let's extend it to the rest of society.