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

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Message Hash: ef068f855ff0dc3931df26dc1573b628309884ba694591c1a36ed4f2a534e3b1
Message ID: <199408220354.UAA03679@netcom6.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199408202150.RAA13710@zork.tiac.net>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-22 03:54:17 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 21 Aug 94 20:54:17 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 94 20:54:17 PDT
To: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Subject: Re: e$: buyinfo, internet commerce, and GMU
In-Reply-To: <199408202150.RAA13710@zork.tiac.net>
Message-ID: <199408220354.UAA03679@netcom6.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> There are some people from GMU ("Coalition for Electronic Markets;
> George Mason Program on Social and Organizational Learning") talking about
> superdistribution schemes (one put an article in the new Wired) and
> internet commerce on the new (?) www-buyinfo list I just started watching.
> If anyone has comments on this bunch, it may be interesting to hear them here.
> Bob Hettinga

Brad Cox at GMU is one of the "superdistribution" advocates. In
addition to his article in the latest "Wired," he's had pieces in
"Byte" and elsewhere. The big article on Cypherpunks that Kevin Kelley
wrote for "Whole Earth Review," Summer 1993, has a large section on
superdistribution, the work of Peter Sprague, etc. (This Kelley
article is now a chapter in his excellent "Out of Control" book,
recently published.)

Cox was on the Extropians list for a while, at the same time I was,
and we debated crypto, digital money, resuable objects, etc. I won't
try to rehash what we talked about. I believe I was the one who
suggested he link up with "Center for the Study of Market Processes"
people, as he had just arrived at GMU around the time we were talking
on the Extropians list, in the fall of 1992. (Cox was a partner with
Tom Love in Productivity Products International, and the developer of
Objective C in the early to mid-1980s. Objective C is of course the
rival to C++ (which has doomed it) and is what NeXT uses. Cox is also
the coiner of the "software IC" term.)

And the Cypherpunks list has other connections to GMU. Mark Miller
worked with the GMU market folks (along with other friends of mine,
including the late Phil Salin, Chip Morningstar, and Eric Drexler);
Mark has attended several Cypherpunks physical meetings, but does not
subscribe to this list. Dean Tribble and Norm Hardy are also involved,
in a swirl of projects under various names: Agorics Project (with some
links to GMU), the Joule programming language, Digital Silk Road,
etc. They have actual, real contracts with various clients.

So, the GMU folks are variously tied-in. Cox has his own views, and
does not seem to be willing to explore the implications of Chaumian
digital cash (my impression from talking to folks who know him....we
haven't talked since he left the Extropians list, some months before I

Being a skeptic, as many of you know, I am not too interested in the
half-assed "IMP-Interest" or whatever talkathons. A friend of mine is
now telling me that I "need to join" some "EDI"-related list, which is
now talking about digital cash. And Bob tells us about Yet Another
Digicash Crypto Cash (yacc) discussion group. 

Too much yammering. It's all I can do to read the Cypherpunks list,
which at least seems to have a fair number of good folks on it. These
several other lists and groups seem to form, talk up a storm for a
while, and then fizzle. At least we keep on going strong.

--Tim May

(P.S. Last night I was at Yet Another Bay Area Party (yabap) and had a
good chat with Whit Diffie, Bruce Schneier, Russell Brand, Mike Perry,
and others. Some interesting rumors about the NSA pressure on RSADSI,
the motivations for the Cylink lawsuit against RSADSI, etc. I'm gonna
miss these parties when I move to the Caribbean!)

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."