Sunday, February 01, 2004

If I had a junk mail filter for my postal inbox... would look something like this:

  • .*Wilmington, DE.* => /dev/null
  • .*Comcast.* => /dev/null
  • .*Advo, Inc.* => /dev/null
  • .*Maryland.* => /dev/null

It's actually kind of amazing how much my junk mail would be reduced just by implementing the first one of these rules. I think the preponderance of Wilmington junk mailers (usually for financial services of one sort or another) has something to do with Delaware's tax code.

It occurs to me that if the USPS allowed you to register a blacklist for your postal address, then it would punish states like Delaware for being hospitable to pro-junk mail businesses. Delaware would get the equivalent of an Internet Death Penalty. This, in turn, would discourage states from rigging their tax code to attract these pests, which would have the beneficial effect of raising the cost of sending junk mail, which would reduce the volume of junk mail.

Now, given that junk postal mail (unlike spam) actually subsidizes non-junk mail (it is pre-sorted, which makes it cheaper to mail, and hence the USPS makes a larger margin), this would drive up the cost of mail for the rest of us. But IMO that would be a fine price to pay in exchange for less crap inside my inbox.

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