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Anonymous nobody at
Wed Oct 5 10:57:55 PDT 1994


Black Unicorn <unicorn at> wrote:

> Anonymous scripsit
> >
> >
> > > That being said let it be known that I consider the following as a
> > > "Cypherpunk victory."
> > >
> > > 1.  Complete freedom of technology, particularly encryption technology,
> >            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > regulated only by market forces.  This implies the lack of import/export
> > > restrictions, and a complete absence of projects designed to limit
> >                            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > technology, or to standardize it for nefarious ends like Clipper.
> >   ^^^^^^^^^^
> >
> > I think you overgeneralize.  No limits on toxic waste incinerators,
> >low-mileage automobiles, unsafe medical devices, genetically tampered food,
> >or nuclear reactors?  "Market forces" in such cases positively encourage
> >dangerous technology (e.g. incinerators are superficially cheap) or are
> >markedby their inability to distinguish the good from the crap (e.g. medical
> >devices).
> It is you who have overgeneralized.  No limits on technology certainly
> does not mean allowing low tech and poor incinerators to continue operating.
> The fact that low mileage cars still drive is a result of poor markets
> than anything else (baring colletables).  How would you argue that some
> low mileage cars are the result of a no limitations on technology policy?

A lack of mileage standards, which are regulations on technology, can be
expected to result in technology that doesn't meet the standard.

> Unsafe medical devices?  I would say this is a problem with testing
> technology, not a lack of limitation on technological advance.

If medical devices are sold without ANY limitation, e.g. the requirement
that they be safe and effective, the result is unsafe equipment.
Improved testing technology isn't useful if there's no requirement to
use it.  And "the market" is composed of people who have neither the
expertise to test the equipment before they consent to its use, nor (in
the case of someone's who's bleeding or in labor) the time.

> Genetically tampered food?  Why is this dangerous?  Have any evidence?
> Most of the livestock/crops you eat today have been altered in one way
> or another, be it selective breeding, low tech botanical splicing, or
> genetic/hormonal therapy.  You see this as a regression?

In some cases, yes, I see problems in biotech.  For example, hormones
used in cattle in high doses are known to cause tumors in women in low
doses.  Whether people would choose to eat horemone-treated meat is
debatable; I had thought that the right to make the choice was taken by
cypherpunks as an article of faith.  Without regulation on the
technology, even an innocuous labeling requirement, the right to choose
is taken away because consumers can't detect the difference between
hormone-treated beef and organic beef.

> You never make the distinction between regulation designed to promote and
> regulation designed to deter technological advance.

Technological advance is a means to an end.  Regulations should properly
be about insuring the public welfare.  While we might reasonably
disagree about what that welfare is, clearly technological anarchy
doesn't promote it.

> Market
> forces are lathargic, sometimes they need a boost.  I propose this boost
> be accomplished with motivators like tax breaks, market assisters and
> privatization.

Either the market works or it doesn't.  You can't decry all government
regulation and then call for handouts to businessmen.

> When Germany wanted to promote environmentally sound
> packaging and manufacture, they started a program called Gruun Punkt (The
> Green Point)  They allow manufactures to place the green point sticker on
> their products provided they meet XYZ specifications.

Actually, I think this is a great way to proceed.

     Crim Tideson                     Privacy is its own justification.

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