BCH finally hit the fan

jim bell jdb10987 at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 17 11:58:38 PST 2018

You show your biases when you say "creating a tool to murder people".  Arguably, the AP as a new tool (as I foresee it) would also allow people to defend themselves from aggression, and I define "aggression" to include being victimized by governments.  Most weapons can be misused.  A gun can protect, but yes, it also can murder.  Or, you can also accidently drop it, on rare occasions it will fire, and the bullet might go through a flimsy apartment-complex wall and strike somebody next door.   Does that make entirely illegitimate the concept of a gun?  You seem to think so, that merely because a weapon can be used to 'murder', there is something inherently wrong in making and using it for self-defense.
And while you go on to concede that 'the government' causes problems, you don't say how to eliminate government.  I, at least, claim a system that seems to have the ability to do so.  At least, plenty of people have had the ability to consider the matter, and nobody that I'm aware of has proposed that an AP-type system couldn't be implemented that could stop current governments.  At least, not since about 2002 when a guy named Bob Murphy made a stab at it.  That's 16 years.  http://www.anti-state.com/the-politics-of-destruction/    Also, see: https://libertarianinstitute.org/blog/can-libertarian-society-provide-national-defense/  ×

 His friend, Bob Vroman, took the opposite position.   http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=009ape%C3%82%C2%A0   although that link seems to have been deleted.  Try the Wayback Machine, I suppose.  This one seems to still work correctly:  https://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg02068.html   
And for what seems to have been the most 'professional' analysis, you could see:    https://idsa.in/strategicanalysis/CryptologyDigitalAssassinationandtheTerrorismFuturesMarket_rsukumaran_0404.html.%C3%82%c2%a0
But it, too, is no longer directly available.  See the Wayback Machine, I suppose.
×These are referred to in:  https://lists.cpunks.org/pipermail/cypherpunks/2015-September/024894.html  
Ironically, on January 2, 2018 Murphy actually argued the case in favor of privatized defense systems, against another who claimed that such defense should be left in the hands of monopolized, government-like entities. https://attackthesystem.com/?s=bob+murphy    Although I don't think Murphy mentions the AP system by name.  (perhaps the 'not-invented-here' syndrome at work?)
Murphy's 2002 position was long before even Bitcoin was invented, and TOR was not nearly as well-known as it is today.  Simple doubts about whether an AP-type system could be implemented are not unreasonable, but the passage of another 16 years has changed things.  

You said, "If you want to change the world, create first and foremost human-respecting tools and systems".

Fine words.  Can you be more specific?  You went on to say, 

"that are also voluntary, decentralized, censorship-resistant, and provide utility to everyone with as fair access as possible."

The version of AP I've long advocated would have those characteristics, I believe.  With the one exception that AP wouldn't be "voluntary" to those it will eventually target, but for a good reason:  They will be the ones who have been aggressing against the rest of us.  It could be said, however, that even AP would be "voluntary" those those people too:  They will have the choice to stop aggressing against the rest of us.  Stop, and live.   Don't stop, and die.  You also said:

"You wouldn't know but some cryptocurrencies fit as example."

Yes, Zerocoin has good anonymity.But, but don't forget the government may intrude.  For example, a few years ago the US Federal government decided that 'we' should pay tax on the illusory 'gains' of people whose digital cash has appreciated in value.  This is inconsistent with their treatment of foreign currencies:   If you buy a Euro, a British Pound, a yen, a ruble, etc, if the value of those currencies go up, the IRS doesn't claim you have to pay "income tax" on the value of that asset.  But if you buy digital cash, and the value goes up, they demand that you pay tax on the 'gain'.  

Show us a flaw in an AP-type system, one that appears not to be able to be fixed, and you will make a major name for yourself.  Or, design a system to get rid of today's governments, and people will remember your name forever.  
                                  Jim Bell

    On Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:52:20 PM PST, furrier <furrier at protonmail.ch> wrote:  
 Your idea sucks because creating a tool to murder people is not adding anything new to the picture. We already have it and it's called "the goverment". Like any other violence-provocative tool that fits the status quo, the more powerful people are going to take control of it and use it for their own purposes more effectively that you will.

If you want to change the world, create first and foremost human-respecting tools and systems, that are also voluntary, decentralized, censorship-resistant, and provide utility to everyone with as fair access as possible. You wouldn't know but some cryptocurrencies fit as example. Community initiatives around the world that are based within the community and seek alternative ways to reach consensus about things and live a respecting life are moving along those lines. 

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
 On Thursday, December 13, 2018 11:05 PM, jim bell <jdb10987 at yahoo.com> wrote:

Any answer from Karl or Furrier?

Naturally, I'm genuinely interested to find out if my AP idea has any flaws.  Many people could say, and no doubt many of them have said, 'I just don't LIKE your AP idea, Jim!'.   But that doesn't mean it wouldn't work.  Or that it isn't necessary.  

A person could really make a name for himself if:

1)  He figured out a distinct flaw in the AP idea, such that it wouldn't work..

2)  He figured out a solution that would make AP unnecessary.

Has anybody done this?   I haven't seen it.

                       Jim Bell

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 5:52:45 PM PST, jim bell <jdb10987 at yahoo.com> wrote:

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 2:18:45 PM PST, Karl <gmkarl at gmail.com> wrote:

>I think I'm beginning to understand some of where you come from.  It
sounds like you blame our problems on the presence of legal

I don't know why you added the word "legal" before the word "government".  A redundancy?  Or are you trying to distinguish between "legal government" and some sort of "illegal government"?   I hope you are not using the word "legal" as a stand-in for "legitimate".  

But yes, I do blame "government" for much of the problems society has today.  

"  I believe government is mostly just expressing the wishes
of those with the power to influence votes and laws."

The devil is in the details, no doubt.  One major problem is that the total number of such people is much less than even a majority of the population.  One commonly-cited statistic is that the top 1% of Federal taxpayers pays 37% of the total Federal income taxes.  Many people don't seem to have a problem with that, but I wonder:   Would they have a problem with those 1% of taxpayers having 37% of the influence over the policies of the Federal Government?

Myself, I think it would have been far better if the 16 Amendment (the Income Tax amendment) had been limited to, for example, a maximum of 5% tax, rather than it being unlimited.  Limit it to 5%, and the Federal government would be far smaller than it is today, maybe one-fifth as large.  

>I see money as the biggest source of votes and laws, so I don't see
things changing too much with the introduction of AP. 

Okay, what do you think would happen?

> I believe money
also provides greater anonymity and ability to surveil than e.g. Tor
provides for the masses.

How would that work?  

             Jim Bell

More responses in-line.

On 12/11/18, jim bell <jdb10987 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I searched, and found a number of messages about "Public Shielded Work
> Room", but that was all I found in 2018.  What was the date you sent the
> message?  Was it to the CP list, or to me directly?  You could send it to me
> again, at my email address.

Sorry, I tried to contact you before I began participating in this
list.  I submitted a comment to the AP website, but I'm not sure what
e-mail address I used, so it's nothing to worry about.  I'm happy you
got this e-mail here.

>>As it offers a market, doesn't AP give life-and-death power to those
> with the most money?
> Well, it kinda-sorta gives life-and-death power to just about everyone, in
> small parts.  And superficially, it looks like people who have more money
> will have more such influence.  People who are fixated on the issue of
> "inequality" will initially find this to be either a fatal flaw or at least
> a major drawback.

Inequality is relevant here, because in a free market, people try to
make the largest profit, and this will be provided by the highest
payout.  A relatively small price by many people on a leader will be
swamped by a price of $40 billion by one wealthy individual on their
opposition.  The people with exponentially inequal finances can then
directly control the political presence of the world.

> In the pre-AP world, achieving political change requires speaking out,
> identifying yourself.  That potentially makes such people targets.  In the
> post-AP world, nobody has to speak out publicly.  And what speech occurs can
> probably be made anonymous.  How would "the rich" target their "enemies" if
> they cannot identify them?

>I agree that providing for more anonymous dissent is greatly helpful.
I worry that focusing on it so strongly here can be misleading,
though: "the rich" can hide and hunt exponentially better than the
masses can, who are surveilled daily by e.g. spyware controlled by
groups more powerful than them, and can't hire people or push legal
systems to do things for them.

>"The rich" could target enemies by (A) targeting the systems that
facilitate their discourse, (B) outbidding them, and (C) using their
immense resources to hunt them down.  Additionally, there are likely
tricks to put a ton of pressure on something, like informing to the
FBI that an offer was made by a terrorist.

I still don't understand how you expect "the rich" to know who their enemies are.  It's hard to target what you can't identify.  

>What's to stop a major investor in a military weapons corporation
putting their profits into AP offers for assassinations of the
operators of servers allowing access, until nobody can access it?
This would be a profitable move for them, if AP would make their
military weapons obsolete.

Ethereum has been implemented in the last few years.  It's a distributed computer system that, I suppose, anyone can 'join'.  A great idea. When I thought of my AP idea, in 1995, I imagined a hidden server protected by some sort of anonymization.  Vaguely like a TOR-protected Dark Market.   Plausible, but Ethereum seems to have the power to supplant it.  Rather than the AP server running at one specific, hidden location, under Augur and Ethereum, AP will run 'everywhere', potentially on hundreds of thousands or even millions of computers.   It would be pointless to try to take thousands or even tens of thousands of computers offline.  

>>Wouldn't this provide for the set of people with the most money to
> bend power more and more towards themselves, eventually producing a
> situation where a few select people control the many?
> If AP can be said to be "biased" in any way, that "bias" is in the direction
> of tearing down involuntary heirarchical power structures.  It isn't clear
> how AP can be used to build up such power structures, instead.  Anybody who
> exercises power openly will tend to make others his enemies, and they would
> be able to use AP to counter such a person.  That doesn't exclude the
> possibility of exercising power secretly, but it is a reasonable question
> how that trick might be accomplished.

>AP itself provides a method to exercise power secretly.  People with
more money can put bigger prices on their opponents' heads.

You keep ignoring the question:  How do people know who "their enemies" actually are?

>  If people
start putting a price on them in return, they can look at the media
sources resulting in those opinions, and assassinate those people to
sway opinion.

I can't argue with that!!!   The biased MSM certainly angers a large segment of the population.  The MSM would have to change its tune greatly.  There will still be a market for news, of course, but not biased news of the type we've seen.

>Additionally, a wealthy person can likely exercise a wide variety of
secret power, via e.g. bribes and black markets.

Who would they bribe?   For what outcome?

>I see financial power as a major involuntary hierarchical power structure.

To the extent that the existence of government allows some segment of the population to make money off the rest, that will be eliminated or drastically reduced.  

>> You said,  "a few select people control the many?".  How would that come
> about?  Who would be "the select few"?  (We might suspect that at least
> initially, they would be "the rich", at least those people who are currently
> rich.)
> But how would they "control" the large masses?  They would no longer be
> able to use the structures of government to maintain their positions, I
> think.  They wouldn't be able to identify those in "the many", at least not
> the relative few that those "in control" would consider their enemies.
> Taxing them would be a problem.  Passing onerous and discriminatory laws
> shouldn't even be possible, since the governments that would do so, and
> enforce them, will be dismantled.

>Laws are no longer needed.  The rich can assassinate not only anybody
who publicly disagrees with them, but also anybody facilitating
anonymous communication channels that could be used to privately
disagree.  This could facilitate violent dictatorships.

I guess we're talking past each other.  

>> There should be a free market, ideally a
> truly free market,, and not the 'crony-capitalism', and 'crony-socialism' we
> now have in America and Europe.  Am I being too optimistic?  I won't claim
> to be unbiased, as I am the person who thought up the AP concept initially.
> But large numbers of people have been exposed to the AP idea, and I
> continually do Google-searches for such appearances.  (Such as Google "jim
> bell" "assassination".)  Myself, I would greatly welcome further
> discussion.
> Yes, these issues ought to be debated.  Although, I think that relatively
> few people who are familiar with AP doubt that there is going to be an
> actual problem.  At least, I haven't seen that.

>I found AP so incredibly inspiring when I read some of its marketing.
It is additionally so inspiring to see how the strength of blockchain
technology can provide for software solutions to make real change in
the world.

Blockchain is indeed a major breakthrough.  Most people think of it as simply a basis to implement various types of digital cash, but it can be so much more than that.  

>I AP provided a way for people to have logical discourse around
decisions, rather than voting with their dollar.  Additionally, I
worry that focusing on assassination could push away large groups of
possible supporters.

I suspect most people who consider themselves opponents (or at least, non-supporters) of AP don't claim they really like today's world, but at the same time they can't figure out any alternative mechanism to fix it.  

>I imagine a blockchain app focused on permanent storage of 'proposals'
with 'reasons', with each reason providing for more reasons that
support why it is or is not valid, all accumulated in a decentralized
manner by people who have an opinion on a proposal.  If analysis of
such a graph of discourse could create economically-incentivized
change, it could move a lot of things forward in the world.

>>  I believe that implementing an AP system, like I describe, will lead to a
> truly-free market and individual freedom.  It will do so, first, by
> eliminating governments as we currently know them.  I think that should
> eliminate the method by which many in current society maintain their
> positions of power, including inequality.

>I'm hearing that you directly associate truly free markets with
individual freedom.  I see a free market as a hierarchical system,
where those who start with more money call the shots, as they provide
the jobs and can directly change demand with their dollars.

I distinguish between involuntary heirarchical structures and voluntary heirarchical structures.  Employment (i.e. companies) will probably remain heirarchical for a long while, but people generally aren't forced to take a specific job.  

>I feel governments are great for really rich people, because such
people can buy laws, and that governments are hence likely to only be
replaced by something more stringent as long as those with more money
have more power.

That's a good reason to want to weaken governments.  I think governments, at most, should only be asked to do what must be done collectively, even where they do that.

>I agree with you on debate, though.  It sounds like we have really
different experience and assumptions.

I've tried to stir debate about AP since 1995.  Particularly due to the Ethereum/Augur/Death-prediction market, I think society will have to have that debate!

                             Jim Bell

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