Recently seen on the newsgroup:


An ignorant wrote:
:>I pay $19.95 per month for my dialup which includes my email.
:>This does not change wheather I get 5 "spams"
:>(who thought this word up?) or no spams. Since I generally have better
:>things to do with my time than spend hours whining about an email I
:>did'nt ask for, I just trash the headers without reading them. It only
:>takes me a second to do this and I don't have to wallow in Hate.
:>I figure complaining is non productive to me. I might as well be
:>screaming at my TV every time a commercial comes on. Sales and
:>advertising is what keeps everyone employed in world. Some ads are ok
:>and some make me sick. Nothing is worse than ads that yell at me on
:>the radio at 6000 miles an hour or the ads that raise the volume on
:>the tube. I just make sure I don't buy their products. It's really the
:>only smart defense.

A more perceptive person answered:

Perhaps an analogy?  How much does it really cost you to walk over and
pick up the crumpled beer can that somebody tossed on you lawn driving
past?  It's not a big deal, really, happens all the time.   Hell,
maybe sometime it would be a piece of paper adveritsing something you
really needed.

Imagine if there were no laws against littering.  Does it make any
sense that littering might get a little worse?  Maybe instead of a
beer can, someone dropped off a garbage bag because they didn't have a
garbage pickup.   Can you imagine it getting a lot worse, so that you
had to devote several hours a week just going through the garbage and
tossing it out?  Imagine if your entire neighborhood started getting
worse, with scraps of paper here, newspaper inserts there.  Imagine if
your local community got together and said, "ok, there's no laws
against littering, but when we catch somebody tossing something, we're
going to tell them that they aren't welcome in our community any
more."  And if that didn't keep them out, maybe the community would
get together and put up a little roadblock that volunteers could man.
They would simply not allow the offender to drive through their
community.  Sure, it was a pain to have to man the roadblock, but hey,
the community became livable again!

About the only difference I can see with this analogy is that with
e-mail and on usenet, we're all paying for the gas the litterer uses
to drive around dumping garbage on our lawns.