h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Every person should have a certificate limiting them to receive only a certain amount of junk mail (both through post and over the internet) as a maximum over a period of time.
This limit could depend on various factors like the person's contribution to the society, the person's income and ability
to pay, the person's profession and so on and so forth. This certificate should also be reviewed periodically.
If any corporation sends that particular proposition that would exceed the limit, it should get penalised for "harassing a person to a level which is greater than the person deserves".
This should kill two birds with one stone:
(1) Junk mail lessened to a great extent; because of not only the certificate but also the fact that most corporations wont be aware of the upper limit of most "probable customers";
(2) People will actually begin doing more for society so as to qualify for a favourable certificate and not get a lot of junk mail.
||You are already entitled to get one spam for "2 to the power of" the number of spams you sent, plus the number of cute things you forwarded to everyone in your address book squared (since they all eventually forwarded your email address to a spammer).
||Oh, I thought this would limit the number of advertisements the destitute would be allowed to see, therefore reducing their impulse buying as a means of helping them to live within their means...