There’s nothing more powerful on this planet than simple economic theory: the logical outworkings of supply and demand. You have a need? Someone will always fill it — well, for the right price. There’s money to be made? Someone will make it — even if it fills your inbox with all sorts of great deals on Valentine’s Day “meds.” Well, that’s unless big brother steps in. Such is the case with China. Sort of.
In a recent CNN headline, something interesting has been pointed out:
A new regulation will ban sending e-mail for advertising purposes to people without their permission, and all advertising e-mail must be titled “advertisement” or “AD,” the agency said.
That sure makes it a lot easier to detect spam, doesn’t it? Not that the government has deemed spam illegal or anything like that, just that spam must be labeled as such. Although my junk items folder in Apple Mail works quite well on most of the great deals that come my way, there may not be a need for any more Bayesian analysis or AI in China one day — just delegate the work to the “spam” flag; it’s that simple.
But this raises a fundamental question — and a controversial one: When should big brother really step in? Well, the answer when a communist party is in power is…”whenever he wants.” In our case here in America, the answer is more along the lines of “whenever he can get away with it.” It’s kind of sad, really, because back not too long ago, the internet was a lot like the wild, wild west. Form met functionality almost perfectly, and simplicity ruled all. There were no regulations and no government restrictions to speak of. Just throw up a web server and have at it.
Now, we’re dealing with a lot of BS about how the UN wants to run then DNS servers and other issues of the sort. Things sure have changed, haven’t they? It all goes back to that supply and demand thing. The stakes are now higher. There’s money to be made. The internet has been a commodity for some time now in most parts of the world, and the natural chain of events works out naturally: attempted governance, privacy issues, civil liberties must be respected, etc.
How do you think the “survival of the fittest” mantra will all play out in what may really be the last final frontier? Because let’s face it: Star Trek isn’t happening any time soon.
I know that spam certainly doesn’t bother me enough that I’d want big brother stepping in, but then again, I’m not the guy in charge of running China, or the United States, either.