In a post earlier this week I asked, “Now, can some of you smart network-type people tell me if any of these ideas [to improve spam-proofing ad email security] are doable without needing an entirely new email system and software?

Eric Raymond responds:

Dvorak is, as usual, completely out to lunch. The fundamental problemwith spam has nothing to do with authentication or virii; it’s that spam is cheap to send but blocking it is expensive. The only way to solve the problem is to make spamming cost money to the spammers.

There are ways to approch this. A simple extension to SMTP would require senders to perform provably expensive computations (that is, burn up a fixed and large amount of computer time) to get mail into your box. But there’s a serious retrofitting problem….

But enough techie stuff — go read the excellent new post over at Eric’s Armed and Dangerous blog.