1993-02-09 - E Pluribus Unum

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From: deltorto@aol.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: f111db32d729e088248842b8a7f3df41a7742a0a2ca52aa40d50ba4be1782bce
Message ID: <9302082032.tn29952@aol.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-02-09 01:32:31 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 8 Feb 93 17:32:31 PST

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From: deltorto@aol.com
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 93 17:32:31 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: E Pluribus Unum
Message-ID: <9302082032.tn29952@aol.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Fellow Cyphers,

Eric Hughes contributed:
>>I applaud the Clinton administration for making itself available via
>>email.  I do not think it advisable, however, to send a single
>>cypherpunks letter.  Rather I urge all interested parties to compose
>>their own letters, and send them in separately.

and also:
>>3) Be brief.  If you cannot summarize your argument into a single
>>paragraph, neither will the reader of the mail.  The mail system is
>>already overloaded, and concision indicates politeness.

These appear to be contradictory statements. I believe that sending a
powerful concise letter _together_ makes it more likely that it will be read,
and even more likely that it will be responded to. Otherwise, we're just a
bunch of nutty "individuals."

On the other hand I am repenting my suggestion that we _might_ include
anything political in our missive. This was ill-concieved on my part and I
have now "engaged my brain" (it's also not 4 am, heh-heh) and agree with
various other contributors that our message should be unidirectional and very
brief. I don't think it should be "cutesy" however, as much as I personally
enjoyed Marc Ringuette's "bit" suggestion #2:

>>Dear President Clinton,
>>   Freedom for the bits!  We will not rest until each bit is free to
>>   determine its own natural orientation without outside coercion.  The
>>   good news is, you don't need to do anything at all; merely get out of
>>   the way of the free market, and the bits will free themselves.
>>Best regards,  The Cypherpunks (Anarchist Subgroup).

Basically I like the underlying idea here (the track of allowing 'natural
orientation without outside coercion'), but I'd avoid the "anarchist"
tendencies, as they tend to render an otherwise approcahable letter "void"
for government bureaucrats perusing gigs of email to Bill & Co.

Eric suggests that we:
>>Stress privacy, and technological defenses thereto.

I agree. Especially the technological expertise side, as this is what
differentiates us from the mass of other people crying about privacy.

>>2) Do not be paranoid.  Do not rant.  These are a sure ways to
>>indicate that more money should be budgeted for public relations.

This is well-met. I totally back off from my previous political slant in
favor of getting _through_.

>>4) Write in standard English.  Use a spelling checker, and use
>>complete sentences.

What a concept. After reading a few months worth of mail on this list, I can
only agree.

>>5) Offer to help.  Offer to make timely review of proposed policies.
>>If they accept your aid, keep your promises.

This is my favorite suggestion. Imagine if they gave us all jobs at the NSA.

Now, I have a general question: what is the current status of the White House
email capability as far as everyone can tell? Has anyone had a response yet,
by email or snailmail? Is there a possibility that this IS a hoax and that we
should just send paper mail instead?