1997-06-06 - Re: Bell/Vulis Ranters (Was: Re: McVeigh)

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From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
To: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Message Hash: 704b2cd51861fce7acbc20f33d0f4b3cd146e50d46387e4c23d9d206058f5098
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UTC Datetime: 1997-06-06 01:32:12 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 09:32:12 +0800

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From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 09:32:12 +0800
To: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Subject: Re: Bell/Vulis Ranters (Was: Re: McVeigh)
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
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	[Well, this should trigger most people's killfiles.... :-)]

At 05:29 PM 6/3/97 -0400, Hallam-Baker wrote:
>I'll accept that the ranting faction do some good work but I've 
>not seen anything usefull out of either Bell or Vulis unless that
>is you are an FBI agent looking to get a promotion from Freeh.

Vulis has contributed a few good things to the remailer discussions,
such as methods for keeping block lists as hashes rather than plaintext,
which potentially increases privacy of people on publicly accessible lists.
(I say "potentially", because I don't think anyone's implemented it,
but it's clearly the Right Thing to do.)
However, he's deliberately made himself annoying to everyone,
without the redeeming social value in most of his posts that
arch-ranters like Detweiler had, and even his useful posts generally
include gratuituous vulgar insults.

Bell's value, by contrast, has been in the Assassination Politics work.
Sure, he's a mostly one-track ranter, to the extent that lots of people 
got fed up with it, but much of his analysis is sound even though
his advocacy of it is pretty dodgy.  I don't think that anybody is
likely to set up this sort of Assassination Pool on a regular basis,
but he does solve one of the fundamental difficulties with it -
how to let the real hit man claim that he did the job and where to
send his payment when the deal is handled entirely over the net
(and thus there's no good way to prove who done it vs. who's claiming
they did it to get the money.)  Some of these techniques may be useful
when applied to other problems in the emerging Internet economy;
it gets at issues of repudiation of anonymous transactions,
need for (real) escrow, etc.

Bell's point that government would be much better behaved if the individuals
in government could be held individually and personally responsible
for their actions is certainly valid.  Whether shooting them is an 
appropriate way to hold them responsible is another discussion (:-).

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts@ix.netcom.com
# You can get PGP outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto/pgp
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)