1993-07-04 - Re: Ad Hominum attacks (was Re: PC Week Clipper article

Header Data

From: khijol!erc@apple.com (Ed Carp)
To: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Message Hash: 718db52747ed3013d28e11a43484603b4342719c70e37cd62d41be921e1190fb
Message ID: <m0oCG4g-00022SC@khijol>
Reply To: <9307032039.AA07619@netcom.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-07-04 01:34:58 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 3 Jul 93 18:34:58 PDT

Raw message

From: khijol!erc@apple.com (Ed Carp)
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 93 18:34:58 PDT
To: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Subject: Re: Ad Hominum attacks (was Re: PC Week Clipper article
In-Reply-To: <9307032039.AA07619@netcom.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <m0oCG4g-00022SC@khijol>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

> I was the one who jokingly used the term "wicked witch of the East" in
> reference to D.D., though I am almost 100% certain it was only to this
> mailing list, and not to sci.crypt in general. Perhaps I let my enthusiasm
> for my wit take precedence over judgment. And in other places, such as
> sci.crypt, I have in fact defended Denning against ignorant comments along
> the lines of "Who is this Dorothy Denning person? I can't find her name
> anywhere in "The Codebreakers." She must not know anything about crypto."
> Whatever we may think of her position on Clipper, criticizing her
> personally and imputing motives to her that cannot possibly be known to
> outsiders, is foolish.

I was the one who called Denning a "fucking idiot".  Perhaps I should have
said "fucking naive idiot" and been more specific, because while it might
make sense for her to be "in bed with" the intelligence community to *her*,
it makes no sense to anyone else I've talked to.  In my view, she's either
being criminally naive in being a mouthpiece for the NSA, being bought off
by them, being threatened by them, has a personal/financial interest in
the whole Clipper fiasco, or sees a political advantage in aligning herself
with them.  As has been discussed (to death, probably) in sci.crypt,
alt.security*, etc., Clipper has several apparent flaws, none of which I'll
go into here.  Why would someone who is supposed to be some sort of "expert"
be endorsing such a scheme is beyond me, unless she is being motivated by
one of the above.  In any case, the endorsement of such a scheme is naive
in the extreme and almost criminally irresponsible of her, given the nature
of Clipper/Capstone and the history of the intelligence community using
such technology to spy on its own citizens in illegal operations.

*That's* what I meant by my "fucking idiot" remark.

> comments about the motives of Denning, of Bidzos, of Sternlight, and of

Bidzos is just trying to make a buck.  Sternlight seems to be anally
retentive in the extreme, and believes his own bullshit.

> "Demonizing" our opponents, or making them look like dunces (as with the
> many "I've never heard of Dorothy Denning before" posts), does not help our
> cause. In fact, it probably weakens our cause, for two reasons. First, it
> cuts off dialog with those we disagree with. Second, we tend to
> underestimate people we have written off as stooges or dunces.

The first rule of most martial arts, as the first rule of combat, is "never
underestimate your opponent".  However irresponsible I may think Dorothy
Denning, Jim Bidzos, or David Sternlight are, I don't underestimate them.
If any one of those three (or anyone else, for that matter) has something to
say, I will listen and judge it on its own merits.
Ed Carp			erc@apple.com, erc@saturn.upl.com	510/659-9560
   For anonymous mailers -->   anonymus+5300@charcoal.com
"I've met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely
 superior."      -- Hippolyte Taine  (1828-1893)