[e2e] intelligent network design

Ted Faber faber at ISI.EDU
Thu Dec 1 09:42:20 PST 2005

On Thu, Dec 01, 2005 at 04:13:35PM +0000, Jon Crowcroft wrote:
> if you want to send a packet to my computer, or you want to an e-mail
> to my mail box, first of all you must send an xmas present to be held
> in escrow for later
> when i hear that the xmas present is safe somewhere in the north pole,
> then you will get notification of an address you can reach me at.
> If I then get a messaage that is interesting, useful or entertaining,
> the present will remain in escrow. If I (where I=anyrecipient)
> deem the message to be dangerous, boring, or dull, then I will inform
> santa to deliver the present to a needy person (of santa's choosing).

I'm assuming that by "a needy person" you mean "the recepient."  It's
kind of a morally sticky position to put a receipent in for their
entertainment to literally be blocking charity from reaching needy
people.  (It might encourage more people to adopt my nephew's position
that "everything is boring but PlayStation."   Being charitable with
other's money is pretty easy.) It's an interesting idea, but incentives
are easier to grok when they're direct.

(A more facetious response might have included the complexities of
people who don't celebrate Christmas, have a religious or moral problem
with charity, etc.  Fortunately, this is a completely serious message.)

The first place I heard of this idea (using the simpler, direct
incentives) was in Heinlein's _The Cat Who Walks Through Walls_, though
there may be earlier references.  In _Cat_ ringing the main character's
doorbell requires a $20 deposit for which the ringer gets a minute of
time.  The $20 is (obviously) refundable at the owner's discretion.
It's the difference between "sender pays" and "sender pays *me*."

As far as shipping AIDS drugs out, especially today, I'm in favor.

Ted Faber
http://www.isi.edu/~faber           PGP: http://www.isi.edu/~faber/pubkeys.asc
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