2.14.1. "Why can't people just agree on an approach?" - "Why can't everyone just support my proposal?" - "I've proposed a new cipher, but nobody's interested...you Cypherpunks just never _do_ anything!" - This is one of the most consistently divisive issues on the list. Often a person will become enamored of some approach, will write posts exhorting others to become similarly enamored, urging others to "do something!," and will then, when no interest is evidenced, become irate. To be more concrete, this happens most often with various and sundry proposals for "digital money." A close second is for various types of "Cypherpunks activism," with proposals that we get together and collect a few million dollars to run Ross Perot-type advertisements urging people to use PGP, with calls for a "Cypherpunks radio show," and so on. (Nothing wrong with people doing these things, I suppose. The problem lies in the exhortation of _others_ to do these things.) - This collective action is always hard to achieve, and rightly so, in my opinion. Emergent behavior is more natural, and more efficient. And hence better. + the nature of markets, agents, different agendas and goals - real standards and markets evolve - sometimes because of a compelling exemplar (the Walkman, PGP), sometimes because of hard work by standards committees (NTSC, electric sockets, etc.) - but almost never by simple appeals to correctness or ideological rightness 2.14.2. "What are some of the practical limits on the deployment of crypto, especially things like digital cash and remailers?" + Lack of reliable services - Nodes go down, students go home for the summer, downtime for various reasons - Lack of robustness 2.14.3. "Is crypto dominated by mistrust? I get the impression that everything is predicated on mutual mistrust." - We lock our doors...does this mean we are lacking in trust? No, it means we understand there are _some_ out there who will exploit unlocked doors. Ditto for the crypto world. - "Trust, but verify," as Ronald Reagan used to say. Mutual mistrust can actually make for a more trustworthy environment, paradoxical as that may sound. "Even paranoids have enemies." - The danger in a trusting environment that lacks other mechanisms is that "predators" or "defectors" (in game- theoretic terms) can exploit this trusting environment. Confidence games, scams, renegging on deals, and even outright theft. - Crypto offers the opportunity for "mutually suspicious agents" to interact without explicit "trust." 2.14.4. "Who is Detweiler?" + S. Boxx, an12070, ldxxyyy, Pablo Escobar, Hitler, Linda Lollipop, Clew Lance Simpleton, email@example.com, Jim Riverman - often with my sig block, or variants of it, attached - even my phone number - he lost his ColoState account for such tactics... - electrocrisy - cypherwonks 2.14.5. "Who is Sternlight?" - A retired policy analyst who is often contentious in Usenet groups and supportive of government policies on crypto policy. Not nearly as bad as Detweiler.
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