Re: Decentralization and exhastive searches: mutually exclusive?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 20:48:45 MDT

Alex Future Bokov wrote:
> Okay, this is a theoretical question that I'd like to ask without
> getting bogged down in politics. I'm using Napster and Gnutella as
> convenient examples and not because I approve or disapprove of either.
> 1. Gnutella--
> It's distributed and therefore robust. You cannot shut down
> gnutellanet by shutting down one, or ten, or a thousand servers.
> However, you cannot do exhaustive searches on it. The content
> you're looking for might be out there and yet not be guaranteed
> to show up on a search. Another disadvantage is that the
> searches make inefficient use of bandwidth.
> 2. Napster--
> It is exhaustive. For better or worse, you'll find every single
> instance of Michael_Jackson_Thriller.mp3 that anybody on the
> network is serving. However, the server/s that store the
> content listings and corresponding locations of the content are
> all under the control of one company, which means they are
> vulnerable to legal action, censorship, company-wide technical
> failure, corporate abuse, and attack by hackers.
> So, what about combining the best of the two? Decentralization and
> exhaustive searching? Is it a logical impossibility, or is it merely
> something that hasn't been done yet? is supposed to answer this, apparently.

I wonder about the legality of creating a virus that only targets
napster. If it is merely doing in action what the courts of the land and
the police agencies cannot seem to accomplish (much like Eliezer's old
goal of a virus that eliminates the coca plant), is it vandalism or
merely vigilantism? If it is non-violent, then its not illegal
vigilantism, is it?

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