1995-08-10 - ciphergroupies

Header Data

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 7690238dcd9bfe45691d64d277b0e261f90476b57edaaaf5f8e618098712e06f
Message ID: <v02120d01ac4f9581290f@[]>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1995-08-10 12:29:41 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 05:29:41 PDT

Raw message

From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 05:29:41 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: ciphergroupies
Message-ID: <v02120d01ac4f9581290f@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

As one of ciphergroupies (call a spade a spade, the man said, and, frankly,
I don't write code, much less cryto-code) I agree with Perry.

While I understand that crypto isn't the only thing discussed on this list,
it used be quite apparent to anyone who signed on to this list that strong
crypto and its consequences was the the focus of the group.  Some days it's
very apparent that that is not the focus.

My mail.torrent skills are pretty well advanced these days, because I sit
on lots of mail groups. The first high volume one was cypherpunks, where I
got my bones in such matters, and I've gotten pretty adept at thrashing the
noise out of the way. However, it does seem that, like Tim said a while
ago, we're getting a lot of forwards from other groups, which dilute the
content here pretty significantly.

I've done this myself. A lot. Not as much as I used to, but it still
happens: I just forwarded here an announcement for a digital commerce
conference in Texas, for instance.

So, I have a few suggestions. First, we might try to be more considerate of
the other's wetware, while developing our own, and try to limit our
postings to this net to original contributions where possible, even if it's
just a summary of something you've read. Write it in your own words, in
other words ;-). I'm not saying rewrite instead of forward if the message
is extremely crypto (or consequent) relevant, we get action messages from
EPIC, for instance, which are mostly relevant (opinions of the efficacy of
EPIC aside, of course).

Second, if you have something which people here might be interested in, and
it's vaguely tangental, post a pointer.  The classic case here is someone,
who shall remain nameless for reasons you'll see in a moment, who's
brilliantly cryptic (!) pointers to his droid-fed article stash have been a
very useful and pleasantly salient feature of the landscape here for more
than a year now.

You can point to an FTP file, a web page, have people ask for it in an
e-mail reply from you, and if it's something er, professionally written,
and want it handled er, gingerly, you can probably contact the above
mentioned droid-master for his help in distributing your find. I just sent
him such an article on dark fiber / frequency multiplexing which he pointed
the group to within the last week. Not that you should choke the droid
factory, mind you, but it can be done in a special circumstance.

Perry seems pretty burned up, and he's burned up for the right reasons, not
the least of which is that he's been busting his butt in a project which
will encrypt the net at the very core: the TCP/IP layer itself. This is
very very important, and people should pay attention to it, and help
however they can. (It's also likely to make Perry insufferable --
deservedly -- pretty soon ;-)). Like everyone else, he subscribes to this
group to learn more about crypto, and he's finding the crypto content
dwindling, the "S1" discussion notwithstanding, and as someone who's
invested a lot of time, energy, and emotions in this group, he doesn't
sound happy about it.

This is also compounded by the fact that while Perry is one of my favorite
people here, Perry is also a grouch. I usually laugh when he goes over the
top about something, because his polemics are some of the best I've ever
seen. That doesn't make it any better if you're on the receiving end of
such invective, and he's pissed off people who agree with him most of the
rest of the time as a result. He's usually right, however, and he's a
grownup, so I don't think he's going to change his tone anytime soon, and
I've just learned to ignore his more inflamitory remarks as a cost of doing
business with his not inconsiderable talents.  That goes for several people
around here, by the way, and it's a shame when they don't play well with
others, but, like Perry, they're grownups. Another cost of doing business.

So, in summary, point instead of forward where possible, particularly if
it's not explicitly crypto or crypto consequent; a good immediate way to
help the cause of crypto on the net is to bone up on this IPSP stuff and
see what you can do to help, because it's very important; and Perry and
other people here are grouches and can't seem to play nice with each other
on occasion (So, what else is new? ;-)).

Bob Hettinga

Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com)
Shipwright Development Corporation, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131
USA (617) 323-7923
"Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
>>>>Phree Phil: Email: zldf@clark.net  http://www.netresponse.com/zldf <<<<<