The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Dear Internet

In one of his Heinlein’s short stories (I think), there was a doorbell that required a $100 deposit before it would ring, and then the owner could keep/return it as he saw fit.

Why has this not been invented for answering machines? (If you aren’t on the whitelist, you can pay a fee to get the phone to ring and maybe a lesser fee to leave a voice mail). I’d think the Credit Card Companies could subsidize the first bunch…they’d make a killing on the merchant fees alone…


Written by taogaming

September 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Posted in Non-Gaming, Rant

4 Responses

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  1. ruds

    September 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    • But my email never bothers me at dinner or 2am …


      September 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

  2. Check out Google Voice!

    Kevin E. Schlabach

    September 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

  3. I’ve had this idea since before email. I thought it was original but I’ve read so much Heinlein it’s hard to know. Basically, if you want to:

    Send me a letter: one extra stamp is required. The post office does not cancel it. I get to keep the stamp. Now I love junk mail!

    Send me email: You pay my ISP 1/10 cent. A basic internet subscription would let you send 500 email per month for free. Actually gmail has done such a good job getting rid of spam, I don’t care quite as much.

    Call me: It costs you 25 cents to call me. I have the option to refund it.

    Texting: We are in a weird situation where for some reason phone plans don’t come with free texting. Because of this it is illegal to spam SMS (or so I assume). My service provider still spams me for free, but that isn’t so bad.

    Door to door sales: The “cost” of this is so high that I am surprised it is a problem. Yeah, I get bothered a few times a year (once today actually) but it’s not so bad. When someone rings in the morning or during dinner I remind them of the “no soliciting signs” and tell them they should be careful or someone might call the police.


    September 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

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