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Subject: [IP] more on Why the FCC should die

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To: Ip <>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 07:24:03 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: June 12, 2004 11:41:11 PM EDT
To: "'JFC (Jefsey) Morfin'" <>,
Cc:, "'David P. Reed'" <>
Subject: RE: [IP] more on Why the FCC should die

I want to preface this by noting I find it far easier to post these 
(well, it was supposed to be short) comments than writing (and editing)
"real" essays where I try to give more information for a wider audience 
tend to be more cautious. I'm willing to post teasers to those who 
have enough background. (I can also get away with typos that are more
embarrassing in a more formal posting.)

Trying to actually explain why digital systems composite into stable 
(at scale, with perturbation etc) is a challenge that I am still 
working on.
How to explain this to people is an interesting challenge -- one of my
college advisors, Seymour Papert, gave me with a number of insights 
how people learn (and the flip side, how to teach them) as well as the
limits. I can't need to reach everyone -- but I can reach some.

These concepts are about more than just computers -- they apply to 
in general including economic systems (marketplaces) as I pointed out 
in my
recent posting about the US becoming nation of lessees. Marketplaces 
provide opportunity rather than solutions are a vital part of what 
the virtuous cycles in which demand actually creates supply (if no one 
claims it I'll call it Frankston's law). This is very much related to
digital systems which can preserve success and regenerate it. 
Opportunity is
another way of saying that meaning gets defined at the edge whereas
solutions are defined by the center or provider.

These ideas influence the way I look at IP (TCP is at the application
layer). I very much agree that IP is broken because it is too smart -- 
at the edge are dependent upon a layer that provides addresses and has
created a scarcity of edge identifiers. The DNS was meant provide more
stable identifiers but has failed because of governance which has made 
DNS identifiers too valuable to be owned and has assured that they are
scarce and unstable.

The key is to recognize that the idealized Internet in which we could 
IP addresses (or DNS names) as stable end-point identifiers worked very 
and gave us all the opportunity participate in discovering the web (a
process of preserving that which worked and discarding that which 

Unfortunately we've gone too far beyond the design point of the 
and we now have just-enough "Internet" to keep the asymmetric web sort 
working. P2P approaches work around some of the problems in various 
ways but
without the synergy of a large commons and with varying degrees of 

Given that we can coin our own GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers) we 
need the to depend upon the IP address as anything more than a transient
routing handle if we choose to route over the legacy Internet. Hosting 
et al above the GUIDs (in the role of IP) allows us to preserve the
successful applications.

This may seem naively simple but it's essentially the same as current 
IP --
only without the dependency on providers and without any limit on the 
of identifiers available. Obvious questions like how do you find a path
between two end points are easily handled -- a simplistic model is to 
post the path in a common directory if you want to be found.

It's actually a tad more complicated than that because crypto is 
What makes it difficult is managing human foibles against crypto with 
such as compromised and lost keys as well as matching human intent with 
rigidities of crypto. That's where I'm focusing my attention before 
up a design in detail.

One test of an architecture is what "just works" and this approaches 
gets us
mobility and a dynamic network while mooting ICANN and the DNS. I am 
to provide mechanisms (opportunity) rather than implementing policies
(solutions). It doesn't even make sense to ask Mr Internet to define 
and security.

By understanding how and why digital systems composite and evolve we 
can effective alternative to central governance and we gain the ability 
innovate and experiment. We can preserve those experiments that work and
survive those that don't.

Prescriptive governance denies us the benefits of such a process.

-----Original Message-----
From: JFC (Jefsey) Morfin []
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 20:47
Subject: Re: [IP] more on Why the FCC should die

Dear Bob,
I went on your site first and I suppose you might enjoy/hate this.

At 12:23 12/06/04, David Farber wrote:
> From:
> My current sound bite is that the Internet is the result of the / 
> between

Yeap. This is good. What still do not work are the TCP and the IP parts.

> We now need put the slash in tele/communications to separate
> transport from meaning.

May be more complex? Remember Computer Inquiries?

Another pov:
- telecoms: infrastructure - bandwidth and hardware
- datacoms: structure - protocols and software
- intercoms(?): metastructure - interrelations and brainware (the "use

Brainware is the thing. You know what make the NTIA/ICANN DNS root 
system so important: that people _believe_ it is of use.

> While I want to go into far more detail, I'll keep this note short. 
> What is
> important is that the idea that the Internet is not just unnecessary 
> but
> real harm become widely accepted.

Just teasing. But the more we go, the more we would like to know what 
internet is? Just a way among many others to (ill?) use the telecoms to
structure our digital exchanges. Nevertheless, now quantum decoherence
gives should give a good image for people to understand my 30 years old
interest (the digital decoherence: when data become an object). Changing
from FCC rules to Intellectual Property law. From Plank to Newton, from
Vint to Disney.

I know everyone is not Einstein, but don't you think such a simple image
should be understood by a few.... nope. I am losing faith.

May be if Dave quotes it, it will go into Google. Google credits me for 
of the 12 texts on intergovernance, but it has not found yet any of my
mails on the e-intergovernance. All this explains why we may meet some
difficulties in trying to manage the XXIth e-ecosystem and the digital
convergence with XIXth century solutions.... (as we know Plato's word 
ship steering gave cybernetic and governance - depending if we talk of 
ship or of the crew, I suppose). Time has come to understand that we 
not a single ship at sea, but that shipping is quite dense.

Quite concerning if only 7 people in the word (according to Google) have
spotted the way we organize peace, policy, energy, water, 
Happily the first one was from Oregon, from a small town which just won 
America in Bloom National award. A good omen for the world. Others are 
Hungaria, Italy, South-Africa, Aborigenal Australia and Cambridge.

All the best.
JFC (Jefsey) Morfin
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, they
you win. Gandi.

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