1993-11-29 - Let’s Talk About Solutions

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From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 40a81fbbb8b5f53a27f58205b41e841176721bcad76a05b151c8f3dfd6574475
Message ID: <9311292214.AA07283@ah.com>
Reply To: <199311291601.LAA15061@eff.org>
UTC Datetime: 1993-11-29 22:22:02 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 14:22:02 PST

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From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 14:22:02 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Let's Talk About Solutions
In-Reply-To: <199311291601.LAA15061@eff.org>
Message-ID: <9311292214.AA07283@ah.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

re: on forum disruption

>The best solutions are bottom-up solutions: solutions in which individuals
>can make choices about what they wish to see, but can't impose those
>choices on others. 

I agree with this, I really do.  Nevertheless, I think this
characterization incomplete in two ways.

First, let us stipulate that for the near future the notion of the
named group, whose members are all expected, more or less, to share in
a common discourse, will remain useful and desirable.  The sharing of
discourse creates a group history, which in turn creates a group
identity.  The lack of completeness in Mike's characterization is to
recognize that group participation is not completely individualistic,
that to gain the benefits of a common discourse it is necessary to
participate in that discourse by saying one thing and not saying

Stricture creates structure.  The bottom up solution is not merely the
elimination of stricture but rather to increase the ability to choose
structure.  In a truly free society one has the ability to limit one's
freedom for whatever purpose desired.

Cypherpunks is like this.  I have no theoretical problem with turning
off list disrupters, although I do consider it a grave action.  It is
the practice of the list to broadcast anything requested to be
broadcast, yet this does not make this forum a public forum.  Each
person on the list has transferred, _de facto_, some agency to the
maintainer (that's me) about how the list will operate.

The second incompleteness is remedied by explictly referring to
transferability of preference.  One thing the extropians list software
does right is to allow filtering at the server; this is a transfer of
preference and can be an economic optimization.  Bottom-up solutions
are incomplete to the extent that they require the solution to remain
at the bottom.