1993-10-06 - Options for Speech on Cypherpunks

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: c4d76117b7e049e37a633c4c94462020849948b3f04f4e5e91727d676cb80631
Message ID: <9310061931.AA16528@netcom5.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199310061842.AA17128@access.digex.net>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-06 19:30:39 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 6 Oct 93 12:30:39 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 93 12:30:39 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Options for Speech on Cypherpunks
In-Reply-To: <199310061842.AA17128@access.digex.net>
Message-ID: <9310061931.AA16528@netcom5.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I'll be brief, to same tempers and bandwidth.

Lots of options for dealing with too much volume, too much flamage,
too little content, too many diverse interests, whatever. Not all
options are feasible for the Sysadmin (Eric Hughes), of course, and
software is not always available.

The Extropians list dealt with this problem in the past year (too many
messages for everyone's liking, too much rancor at times). The
Cypehrpunks list may want to adopt the software they use, and I know
discussions along these lines continue. (Indeed, Ray Cromwell has
talked about his software here, I believe.)

* the Extropians software allows nice filters:

- users can be filtered by the "::exclude user paranoid@clueless.rant"
command. None of his posts will be seen by the excluder. Threads can
also be excluded. And so on.

Makes for a more civil experience. Not perfect, though.

(This consumes some CPU time. Issues to be discussed.)

(Why filter at the source and not the destination? First, there are
several dozen mailers people are using--often multiple mailers per
person. Second, the Extropians have an idea of eventually using
"reputations" derived from and related to the popularity (or lack
thereof) of various posters.)

Anyway, I need to be brief.

* Dividing the List into two or more pieces has been debated several
times. There are some advantages that go linearly with the number of
sublists, but also some disadvantages that scale unpredictably
(cross-posts ot several sublists, missed posts, etc.).

Also, maintaining several sublists and the adds/drops to each
multiplies the management effort. (Unless "majordomo" is used....)

* "Paying to post" has many downsides....

* "Paying _not_ to post" is even stranger.

* All of these schemes to control volume via pricing of posts are
hindered by several things:

- lack of a currency, as personal checks and credit card numbers won't
be used

- lack of any real concept of "value"--if I have the time to post, for
example, should I be "penalized" by paying? By what logic? And if I
try to "sell" my posts, how do I enforce redistribution limitations?

(As an anarcho-capitalist, free market supporter, I am not against
schemes to charge or collect for things. But I just don't see an
environment that is conducive to the such schemes. The proposals for
"rationing" of one sort or another fail miserably. To wit, do we
really want to tell Mike Godwin or Hal Finney that they've exceeded
their limits, while J. Random Lurker never posts?)

Just as the Extropians are now showing new interest in digital cash,
reputation markets, crypto-anarchy, and so on, I suggest we on this
list get more interested in what they are doing with their list
software, with their "HEx" reputation market, etc.

By the way, I think a real business could be made out of selling "list
server machine" access. Put the Cypherpunks and Extropians mailing
lists on a machine with good connectivity and then sell subscriptions,
just like magazines. The rates could be negotiated to be flat, as in
$20/year per user, or based on volume, processing time, etc.

Imagine locating these machines physically in offshore locations, safe
from seizure, but still on the Net.

Needless to say, these ideas are swirling around in many minds.
"Abraham-Hughes" described their ideas along these lines at a
Cypherpunks meeting, the Extropians are debating releasing or selling
their list filtering software, and services like "Netcom" are
spreading rapidly across the country. Lots of opportunities.

-Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay@netcom.com       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
Note: I put time and money into writing this posting. I hope you enjoy it.