1994-08-22 - Re: Snore…Re: e$: buyinfo, internet commerce, and GMU

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: solman@MIT.EDU (Jason W Solinsky)
Message Hash: a2b87a056f4490740adc1885dc2477ad5c72490f2303cdf15aae353be9470195
Message ID: <199408220609.XAA03456@netcom10.netcom.com>
Reply To: <9408220542.AA09717@ua.MIT.EDU>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-22 06:08:56 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 21 Aug 94 23:08:56 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 94 23:08:56 PDT
To: solman@MIT.EDU (Jason W Solinsky)
Subject: Re: Snore...Re: e$: buyinfo, internet commerce, and GMU
In-Reply-To: <9408220542.AA09717@ua.MIT.EDU>
Message-ID: <199408220609.XAA03456@netcom10.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> > Cox is getting a lot of press and is positioning his team to get some
> > serious NIS&T money. There are serious privacy problems with Cox's
> > superdistribution. There may be solutions, but so far, nothing that I've
> > seen mitigates the 1984 aspects of Cox's ideas.
> Can you elaborate on that? I've been pushing what I understand to be
> superdistribution (although never by that name) forever (as measured
> in 20 yr old time) and I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the aspects
> of which you speak. Has he proposed some sort of nightmarish enforcement
> system?

Jason (and others),

I cited some references in my long post a few hours ago: the "Wired"
article, the "Out of Control" book, "Byte," "Dr. Dobbs" (I think),
etc. A search of Current Contents and Reader's Guide to Periodical
Literature would reveal articles. 

Anyone working on these issues should dig up all of these articles and
spend the time necessary to read them carefully. Failing that, to make
an effort to at least know the main players. Reading Schneier,
skimming the past volumes of the "Crypto" conferences, and keeping
current with the mainstream magazines and journals (CACM, Sci. Am.,
Computer, Dr. Dobbs, and Byte) should do nicely.

Pat's assessment of Brad Cox's approach--in line with my own
assessment--will not be spelled out in any of these articles,
naturally. How things "ought" to be done is a judgement that comes
from experience, reading the literature, etc.

Whatever the administrative deficiencies Chaum may have in getting
DigiCash actually deployed (another subject, mentioned frequently in
message by various of us), it is clear that he (Chaum) thought long
and hard about "Big Brother" issues and that his method of anonymous,
untraceable digital cash is much to be preferred over the many other
proposals for digital payments, metered usage, etc.

To tell the truth, I'm losing faith that people will take the time to
educate themselves to the point where they can be taken seriously.
Too many of the "proposals" here show obvious signs that people aren't
"getting" the core ideas. I urge that people take a Saturday and spend
it at a fairly large university technical library, hanging out in the
crypto section and Xeroxing some articles. Otherwise, too much idle

And yes, I'm trying to finish a FAQ. It's over 500K and will have to
split into multiple pieces, for ftp access from my site. The remaining
problem is that many points are in outline form, which is my preferred
writing tool for things that require thinking about reasons,
arguments, rebuttals, tangential points, etc.

I don't think the lack of a FAQ has much to do with the stuff I'm
complaining about here, as no FAQ can substitute for the deep exposure
I'm talking about here. And maybe most people will skip my FAQ, just
as they skip FAQs in most groups. 

On a positive note: Hal Finney's introduction to the work of Brands
was excellent. I urge anyone interested in "digital money," beyond the
level of writing rants about how "we" need to "do something," to read
Hal's article, dig up the stuff Brands sent out about a year or so
ago, and find his articles.

--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: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."