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Re: Rethinking the utility of netnews "cancel" control messages

At 9:50 10/5/95, Rich Salz wrote:
>Cancel/Supercede is a useful model -- architecting them out of Usenet
>is a very bad idea.  Ask Clarinet.

Is it? The principal effects of not having the mechanism is a slightly
higher disk storage requirement for netnews - something completely unheard
of in the annals of USENET.

The downsides of having the mechanism (especially unauthenticated) we see
now: official and unofficial squelching of articles that someone doesn't
like for whatever arbitrary or situational reason.

In the long run, which is the more detrimental effect? It isn't desireable
for systems to be perfectly efficient, if they generate imperfect results;
as I understand it, the ponderousness of our federal legislative system was
designed in for precisely this reason: they were optimizing for long term
correctness, instead of efficiency.

Frankly, I think that if the question were posed correctly, I'm sure that
Brad Templeton (President of Clarinet) would think carefully about
answering it, since it has quite a few aspects.

I'm just trying to stimulate a little more careful thought about this as a
philosopical issue, before you go whack on INN again...

Erik Fair