Let's quickly define "Spam" so we're on the same page. Let's call "Spam" in this context any advertising contact from an organization who has no previous relationship with me.
Now, I agree with your philosophy -- paper spam is annoying, but I have no problem with it. I can easily throw it in the recycle bin, and it cost me nothing but my irritation. Besides, sometimes I learn about promotions that are useful to me.
E-mail spam, however, costs. Not just the sender, but the owner of every machine and network it touches. From the sender's ISP to thier upstream provider to their backbone provider, and on back down to me. Even worse is that E-mail is subject to two issues that snail-mail isn't: storage limitations and bandwidth cost.
I've actually canned a Hotmail account because my daily spam reciept exceeded my mailbox quota. I missed several important e-mails because of this (fortunately, no harm done). Also, just because most Americans with e-mail pay flat rate for connections, spammers assume every e-mail user has the same situation. Surprise, many, many people pay per-minute or per-kilobyte for thier connections. Which blows when you have spam in your POP box.
So, no ethical problems for me -- paper spam is fine, but if you take up my storage and my money to advertise to me, you should be commiting a tort if not a crime.
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.
[ Parent ]