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(May 2002)

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Subject: how to handle...Urban Legends [Was: Re: how to handle... large ISPs blocking mailing lists/charge peremail..]
From: Nick Simicich <njs @ scifi . squawk . com>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 16:09:21 -0400
To: <emmanuel @ mwt . net>, <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <008701c1ff3b$298e75c0$01c8a8c0 @ dad>
References: <116278250 . 1021800652 @ [192 . 168 . 0 . 2]>

At 08:43 AM 2002-05-19 -0500, albert wrote:
i fear and predict that the end of the "legand" will come and this will be
a fact of life.. and this will happen just when we believe it never could
and when we stop checking up on it,

I doubt it - think of how completely thoroughly this spread even being completely false and implausible. Now think about the few times that legislation or rulemaking has threatened the net - like when the RBOCs tried, quite seriously, to propose that since packets were interstate communication, that the On-Line services (this was before they were in generally connected to the Internet, as I recall) should be treated like interstate long distance carriers and charged an hourly rate (by the RBOCs) that was equivalent to the hourly rate that long distance carriers paid to connect to the LATA network, for which the ROBCs would allow them to connect like a long distance carrier.

This was, from my research (see below), proposed in 1987 and abandoned in 1988, that is, 14 years ago by the way, it is not new news by any means.

But it got a lot of attention back then, and it got quashed. Now imagine the same rulemaking attempt today, with the much larger on-line population.

The whole history of this is well documented here:

Based on a kernel of truth, it is an urban legend that has kept growing, and growing, and expanding. It is probably the genesis of the 602P Urban Legend, although . The point is that there *are* people who watch the FCC and the Congress. If this actually was the truth, do you think it would not be home page CNN and all over C-Net and slashdot? It would take either complete bypassing of the rules, and a huge conspiracy, or some conspiracy in Congress to add a never before proposed bill to a conference version of something essential to get this into law, and then it probably would be immediately repealed.

By "binary searching" for 602P with a few words (CASIO, calculator. airworthiness) negatively used to strip out other 602P's, I found what is arguably the first reference to this UL, by the way, on April, 14th, 1999. The Google URL is below, run through my private shortener.,s

The timing may be that it was an April fools joke that was circulated by e-mail for some days before it appeared on Usenet. Note that it was a Canadian UL at that point. This agrees with the account in Snopes:

Look, please do not try to justify spreading an old canard/urban legend with "It could happen". That is exactly the definition of an Urban Legend: A story that sounds good enough that it could happen, except that it didn't.

War is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made so by the exertions of better men than himself. -- John Stuart Mill
Nick Simicich - njs @
scifi .
squawk .

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