Re: An Amazing Fact

From: John Winters (
Date: 09/02/03

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 17:04:03 +0000 (UTC)

In article <kU35b.5848$>,
Alan Connor <> wrote:
>On Tue, 02 Sep 2003 10:39:07 +0100, Andy Baxter <> wrote:
>> There are problems with it - for _some_, possibly many users, as I have
>> said. For example, as a few people have said, if you have a website for a
>> business, you can't afford to put off customers by making them return RAVs.
>You SAY that. Yet, for example, most mailing lists send RAVs and do not
>suffer for subscribers.

True, but there's a big difference between going through a challenge-response
process when you're subscribing to something and doing it just so you can send
an everyday e-mail. I subscribe to a mailing list perhaps once every 3
months; I send dozens of e-mails every day (and no, not to the same people
all the time).

>And many websites require people to log in with a password and do not suffer
>for visitors.

How do you know? I know the contrary to be true because I have often
stopped looking at websites which said, "You must register if you want
to see more".

>Many of these businesses DO send auto-responses, which you should be aware
>of, and since returning an RAV is hardly more difficult than openning and
>reading a regular auto-response,

Returning a RAV is significantly more complex. Getting an auto-response
from a business, "Thank you for your enquiry. It will be responded to
shortly", is a mere courtesy. The recipient can ignore it and will lose
nothing. A RAV is quite different because the recipient *must* take some
specific action in order to get things to go further.

I think you over-estimate the initiative of the average browsing punter
(or prospective punter). Many of them want an answer to a question but
aren't even willing to go to the trouble of phrasing the question. They
also don't want to have to read the answer - they'd really prefer you to
transmit the information directly into their heads. There's a real world
out there and businesses really *can't* afford to put obstacles in their
customers' way.

>I think you are wrong.

I think you are wrong, but unlike you, I don't heap abuse on you for
disagreeing with me.

>You've just touched on one of the reasons I abandoned the SA strategy: You
>just can't design negative filters that can reliablly, over time, tell the
>difference between spam and not spam. As soon as you think you have it
>covered, the spammers change their ways again. The list of mail that you don't
>want to receive is endless and forever changing form.

True, but have you tried the Bayesian approach? It is astoundingly good
at adjusting to changing requirements.

>It is MUCH more realistic to design positive filters to pass the mail
>you WANT to receive, and simpler too, because it usually means just googling
>a while to find the businesses you WANT to receive advertising from and letting
>them know and acquiring the addresses they send it from.

But how do you do that without having to do any administration of your
filters? (Remember, you called me a liar before for saying that some
admin work would be required.)

>When I encounter what seems to be malicious exaggerations or lies, I'm outta

And also alas when you encounter reasoned debate. You accused me earlier
of malicious lies. I asked you to tell me what you felt I'd said which
was incorrect. You responded with abuse.

You do tend to respond with the "I'm outta here" line not only in the face
of "malicious lies" (of which there have been none apparent in this thread)
but also in the face of any kind of reasoned debate.

>Like I said, arguing with trolls is a no win game. The only way to beat them
>is to ignore them.

I fear perhaps you're right. So kind of you to warn us.


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