Over at the other place, former IPR contributor Chuck Moulton expressed disgust over all the boring, esoteric discussions on philosophy (how many angels can fit on the head of a pin) that have been occurring on IPR recently, mostly involving Crapozzi. On one nonsense thread completely irrelevant to third party and independent politics, Moulton left a philosophic comment of his own, one which was actually wildly entertaining:
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One of my biggest pet peeves is spam: unsolicited bulk email. I’ve had a long history fighting spam.
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When in college I had a lot of free time on my hands, so every time I was sent spam I would investigate all the domains and IP addresses involved, report it to everyone involved, find the home address and phone number of the spammer, and call him at 3 am every night harrassing him until he begged me to stop and took me off his list. This was highly effective: apparently spammers were so afraid of me that I was put on a “don’t fuck with this guy” list amd they avoided me for around 5 years.
Unfortunately the landscape has changed. First, it is a lot harder to identify spammers.
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This December I was getting a spam every single day to a fake shopping site pandering knick knacks I don’t give a damn about. When I tracked down the offender and asked him to stop, he added me to a bunch more lists. Now instead of getting 1 spam a day from that guy, I literally get 5 emails an hour — all with no opt-out link.
Here is how this ties in to libertarian philosophy:
I think we all agree the government does some things that it shouldn’t. It may be moral (though not legal) to flout some laws. For example, if the government bans oral sex, a person may be justified in ignoring that law. On the flip side, perhaps the government does not do some things that it should. For example, if the government declines to do anything about murder, rape, or robbery, we might be outraged. In that case, vigilante justice may be reasonable.
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Because spam is one of my pet peeves, I would be more than happy to pay someone in India $200 to go beat the shit out of a spammer. On some days I wouls be eager to have a spammer murdered. Having given the spammer every opportunity to stop, in my opinion it would not be a violation of the Non-Agression Principle to beat the shit out of or kill a spammer because such force would be respinsive and justified rather than an initiation.
From a legal point of view, I’m also fairly confident that using jury nullification no American jury would convict me of beating the shit out of or kill a spammer. I am less confident a jury in India would allow me to take care of the problem without repercussions.