RE: the power of cryptography

From: Matthew Gream (
Date: Sat Feb 12 2000 - 13:41:22 MST

Hash: SHA1

> Where have you been for the past decade? It's been done. Your observations
> are not new, and are actually fairly naive in many ways. You need to read
> some Nozick, for example. And Friedman, my own writings, those of other
> Cypherpunks, and so on.

I have been active in cryptographic activities some time ago, including the
creation of a national radio show to protest against what happened to
Zimmerman and Clipper! Does that give me some starting credo ?

I agree that my observations are perhaps not new and are perhaps niave.
Therefore I do have further reading to do.

> Your "in a perfect society locks and ciphers would not be needed"
> philosophy is...uninteresting.

Tim, please do not misquote me. Perhaps from your perspective, it is

I make the assertion that 10000 years ago, locks and ciphers were not needed
because at that time, society was not sufficiently constructed to need them.
However, at that time, rights were needed, as society has always needed
rights. At that time, society used physical implements and other
constructions to maintain rights.
I make the assertion that 0 years ago, locks and ciphers are needed, because
at this time, society is sufficiently constructed to need them. At this
time, rights are needed, as society has always needed rights. At this time,
society uses cryptography and other mechanisms to maintain rights, and sees
physical implements as an irrelevant historical artificat.
I make the assertion that 1000 years henceforth, locks and ciphers _may not_
be needed, because in such a time, society may be sufficiently advanced
beyond these notions. In that time, rights will still be needed, as society
has always needed rights. At this time, society uses some other mechanism to
maintain rights, and sees both physical implements and cryptography as a
historical artifact.

Therefore, I agree that at the present time, and for the forseeable future,
based upon our realistic extrapolations of the developments of technology
and society, that cryptography is needed. I agree with you Tim. Cryptography
is not just needed, it is fundamental.

Anyway, this seems pointless, what am I arguing about ? I am trying to argue
about a bigger picture. What is the point of arguing about a bigger picture
? A bigger picture helps frame what is happening now. What is the point of
this ? It helps convince people that cryptography is the appropriate
technology; people who may otherwise still perceive it as an esoteric
technology but are convinced by reasoning that illustrates its place in the
bigger picture.

> I suggest that instead of trying to get someone to fund your stupid idea
> that you instead do some basic reading and then move on to more
> interesting
> issues.

Firstly, Tim, please do not say that my ideas are "stupid";
- - perhaps I have not fully explained my self ? perhaps you have not
comprehended me properly ?
- - perhaps my totality of experiences puts me at a different perspective
than does the totality of yours ?
- - perhaps my ideas may be "stupid", but perhaps that is not something that
can be determined for a very long time ?
- - perhaps the outcome of the pursuit of my "stupid" ideas is some
"non-stupid" results ? (If I could remember a quote that suggest that
philosophers think that their ideas are the absolute, but they should
realise that the importance of their ideas are the way in which they can be
broken down and used and developed by further philosophers).

In any case, perhaps also my comment about funding was a general comment
that I realise I need to do further reading and investigation in order to
determine something particularly worthwhile to spend time on. In fact, that
was the intention of my comment. Perhaps I did not express it properly or
perhaps you misinterpreted it.

Perhaps I have got my knickers into a knot again ?

Best regards,

- --

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