A Cyberspace Independence Refutation

lmccarth at cs.umass.edu lmccarth at cs.umass.edu
Sat Feb 17 01:29:27 PST 1996

I wrote:
# I'm afraid I'm not willing to take [vulnerability of the state] on faith. 

James Donald writes:
> You delete my arguments, and then say:  "I am not willing to take this on
> faith", implying that I made no arguments.

Frankly, I though much of what you said was not really in the form of an
argument, and thus did not bear response. At any rate, see my message prior
to this, in which I have gone back and responded to everything I didn't
explictly address before.

I wrote:
# Strata made some good observations about the tangible vulnerability of 
# the net-as-we-know-it to government intervention.

James Donald writes:
> During the American revolution, the British troops could go where they
> pleased, and destroy whatever they wished, but they could not obtain
> political control by so doing.

It helped that Americans formed an army and otherwise took up arms against
the limeys. (ObImpunity: I'm a limey by birth.) Ah, I see you are about to
address the difference between flying-lead wars and flying-electron wars

> Yes, we are vulnerable, and so are they.  If they used the measures
> proposed by Strata, the measures proposed by Jim Bell would gather 
> wide support.

I disagree. I presume that Jim Bell will now pounce, call me a "fucking
statist" or some such, and induce many folks to killfile the remainder of
this thread. I don't plan to respond to anything he says about this. 

(Are we witnessing the birth of a new corollary to Godwin's Law ?)

> Ob Crypto:
> They cannot obtain political control by mere acts of destruction, because 
> they cannot be sufficiently selective in who they silence.

I disagree. (This level of debate seems rather unproductive.) 

> For destruction to be effective, you must not only harm those who oppose
> you, you must refrain from harming those who do not oppose you.  

I disagree. It seems to me that all sorts of "innocent bystanders" etc.
get mowed down, usually at no noticeable detriment to the mowers. Since
this thread is already doomed, I'll plough ahead and suggest that lots of
people who didn't oppose the U.S. were obliterated by Fat Man and Little
Boy, and yet the Enola Gay's mission(s?) was/were effective for the USG. 

> The destructive acts proposed by Strata conspicuously fail to do this.

Probably true.

> Under the extreme conditions that Strata envisages, the measures proposed 
> by Jim Bell would be effective in obtaining politically desired consequences,
> because they are selective and targeted, and the measures that Strata fears
> would be ineffective in obtaining the politically desired consequences, 
> because they are unselective and untargeted.

See my comments above.

-Lewis	"You're always disappointed, nothing seems to keep you high -- drive 
	your bargains, push your papers, win your medals, fuck your strangers;
	don't it leave you on the empty side ?"  (Joni Mitchell, 1972)

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