May 23Liked by Jon Stokes, Peter Gietl

Jon, good post, but I disagree. There's already a significant time cost on senders; adding a financial cost would reduce spam, but mostly the low-effort spam that already gets mostly filtered anyway. It wouldn't stop targeted phishing, and it would definitely make newsletters like ours less viable.

As for LLM's, I'm kind of at a midpoint between you and the authors - I don't see a need to crack down "yet," but I see that a need could exist in the future, and I think we should be prepared for that eventuality. I talked a bit about this in my last post on the Senate Judiciary hearing on AI.

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No, there's many problems that this article ignores. "Micropayments/sender-pays" was one of the first and obvious ideas for fighting spam, and it wasn't due to The Feds that it failed.

The problem with "micropayments" is that it's a hand-wave, and the moment one gets into the details, the hand starts waving and waving and waving ...

First, this makes running a large mailing lists prohibitive. Hand-wave: The subscribers could pay the list owner!

OK, do you have system that handles all the transactions? Hand-wave: It's just technology!

Now, how is this system going to get adopted by all the email-users, with interoperability? Hand-wave: Here's a white paper ...

And how are you going to deal with all the headaches which come when money is involved in anything? Hand-wave: We'll deal with it as we go along.

There's better explanations. But again, this isn't even "We Tried It Your Way And It Didn't Work". This is just plain "It Doesn't Work".

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How about just a basic sender PoW model?

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There's an even better solution: tight spam filters, with rules like "File incoming e-mail from people who've not been invited to send me e-mail as spam."

Let's face it...as a low-level marketer the LAST thing I want to do is be perceived as a spammer wasting people's time. If the spammers are getting any return on whatever they invest, currently, it's coming from people on their own level and doing most of us no harm. So there's little incentive to change the existing system. AI-generated spam might change that, or might just motivate people to tighten their existing spam filters.

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