End of a cypherpunk era?

Anonymous cripto at ecn.org
Sat Mar 5 21:20:36 PST 2005

EMC writes:
> Loudly renouncing ones citizenship is a lot less effective in destroying 
> the infrastructure of oppression, than anonymously telling everyone in the 
> world how they can make a 20 megaton thermonuclear explosion working for a 
> few years in their basement using only non-radioactive materials that can 
> never be made illegal to own.

That would certainly be conducive to destruction, but I imagine we'd see
a lot more than just "the infrastructure of oppression" being destroyed
in such a world.  The problem, vs your dolphins, is that nukes can be
delivered anonymously, hence used without fear of retribution.

> There are two types of societies in the world.  Those in which everyone 
> has a deadly weapon that can never be take away, and against which there 
> is no defense.  And those in which everyone has an inpenetrable shield 
> that can never be taken away, and against which no weapon is effective.

No, I don't think every society in the world falls into one of these
two categories.  Don't you recognize that we live in a world where there
are neither perfect shields nor perfect weapons?

> Dolphins are an example of the former.  Usenet is an example of the 
> latter.  Dolphins are polite, friendly, and respectful of eachother, and 
> no group of dolphins can ever form a government to oppress the rest of 
> them.  
> We should try to be more like dolphins in cypherspace, while attracting as 
> little attention to ourselves in other places.

Unfortunately, cypherspace even more than cyberspace tends towards the
perfect-shield side of the equation.  You can't harm a person if your
only interactions are anonymous communications.  About the worst you
can give him is a stern talking-to.  If your social analysis is correct,
then cypherpunk technologies are going to make online interactions even
less polite, friendly and respectful.

Still, if we could achieve mutual respect and freedom in the physical
world, we would happily pay the price of increased rudeness online.

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