1997-02-04 - Re: what’s in a name?

Header Data

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
To: weidai@eskimo.com (Wei Dai)
Message Hash: acc421ede9ee8e39402173980cfe0478a83f6e19183c1c888ec0e8ee207fd6a8
Message ID: <199702040623.WAA29603@songbird.com>
Reply To: <199702040140.RAA09183@toad.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-02-04 05:19:57 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 21:19:57 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 21:19:57 -0800 (PST)
To: weidai@eskimo.com (Wei Dai)
Subject: Re: what's in a name?
In-Reply-To: <199702040140.RAA09183@toad.com>
Message-ID: <199702040623.WAA29603@songbird.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

Wei Dai allegedly said:
> I've stayed out of the debate about list moderation so far, but a recent
> post from tmcghan@gill-simpson.com reminds me of something I've been
> thinking about.  An interesting way to look at what happened is that John
> Gilmore owns the name "cypherpunks@toad.com" and has chosen to exercise
> that ownership.  Even though those of us who disagree with the way he has
> done so are free to leave and set up our own mailing list, it is costly to
> do so, and the problem of central name ownership remains.  List
> subscribers have made investments that are specific to the name
> "cypherpunks@toad.com", and most of the cost of switching to a new list is
> in the new investments they would have to (re)make.  The fact is that a
> promise of no censorship is not enough incentive for us to do so. 
> I suspect that the hierarchical nature of name ownership on the Internet
> today will be an important technological barrier for the establishment of
> truly anarchic virtual communities.  Unless this problem is solved, the
> closest we'll come is pseudo-anarchies that exist with the tolerance of
> beneficent dictators.

While the name hierarchy may have some effect similar to what you 
suggest, I think the real issue is more likely economic hierarchy -- 
toad.com is a name of some value, true, but toad.com is also a T1 
connection and some compute power that many people simply can't afford.

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent@songbird.com,kc@llnl.gov		the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   5A 16 DA 04 31 33 40 1E  87 DA 29 02 97 A3 46 2F