I recently found myself defending e-mail in a discussion about spam ("we need individual authentication and access restrictions"), despite all its technical shortcomings in today's Internet environment.

I still think that it's the last truly decentralized, worldwide communications service on top of the Internet. Up to now, it has survived the spam problem, the best efforts of the e-mail cartel to move everyone to one of their services, and competing centralized services (mostly messengers).

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