DNS for our postal mail
By Eddie LopezEddie_Lopez. Friday, June 2, 2006 2:35:21 PM
This is almost a "usable quote" but this is something I've been
I found this quote on the 37signals message board from Topher Cyll:
Perhaps even more importantly, why isn’t a layer of indirection standard in all postal service deliveries?
Why are we still addressing mail to physical mailing addresses (the equivalent of IPs)? Notifying banks, cell phone company, netflix, etc, every single time you move is a major pain in the butt. Give me DNS anyday!
This is a revolutionary idea, even considering how we're so used to the indirection already in email. Something similar to joining a large organization like the military, or IBM, or HP- you sometimes get an email address like: firstname.lastname@example.org instead of edward.lopez@CPSL.Roseville.hp.com or email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org. Why can't we do this for our postal mail? Being prior military, one of the biggest things I hated was moving and changing my address all the time.
Revolutionary indeed. Going to something like an email address seems like a good idea, but implementing it would be an enormous undertaking, if not impossible. But we might be able to kludge a way that is compliant with our current "infrastructure" by just using a specialized zip code and a custom address of our choosing. So when the post office sees this special zip code used, it uses that as the key to check the "lookup table" for the real address and route accordingly. So this would simply be using the "forward mail" that the post office does anyway. I'm not sure how much overhead that adds to the post office to forward, and what it would be like if everyone did it, but it doesn't seem impossible.
It would get confusing, I suppose, when it comes to telling people your address is "Roseville, CA" when you really live in Rochester, MN, but at least the idea is there. Maybe we can just have a generic city too, in fact- given this "scenario" that seems to be the best approach. But it sure would be nice if we could somehow have a single physical address.