Truth Machines and Open Networks

John K Clark (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 20:54:01 -0800 (PST)


On 16 Mar 1998 Yak Wax <> Wrote:

>every bit of information is tide to every other bit of information.
>Change one piece of history and you've got to change it all.

I'd only need to do that if I wanted to make the network consistent and
thereby useful, but not if I just wanted to fuck it up.

>Besides, this is an autonomous meta network, everything you do
>creates additional data.

It creates contradictory data and a huge amount of it. All that crap must be
examined with software tools, tools vulnerable to tampering.

>you can't hack in because it has nothing to hack into (it's open,

I remember, that's why It would be easy as pie to make the network useless.

>You can't change history for the reasons above.

You look in one part of the network and find ironclad evidence that I
committed a murder on Thursday, then you look in another part of the network
and find ironclad evidence that I did not commit a murder on Thursday.
Did I murder anybody on Thursday?

>You could try and destroy the data but it's completely distributed,

Far from trying to destroy the data I would make thousands or millions
of copies of it, all suitably mutated of course, and leave you the job of
determining the truth.

>which makes things very hard to find.

If it's hard for me to find stuff on the network it's hard for everybody,
so what's the point of the network?

>You could try to orgainise somekind of anti-openess conspiracy, but
>the majority of people have more to gain from openess than from
>privacy (i.e. losers.)

That's probably untrue and certainly irrelevant. The perfect world would be
one where everybody and everything was open, except for me.

>There's are no network administrators, it's completely distributed
>autonomous anarchy.

If it can do that then it's no longer an autonomous network, it's an
autonomous AI and all bets are off in predicting what it will decide to do
with a fifth wheel like the human race.

>But the data must be machine-readable.

I don't see your point, cryptographic data is almost always machine-readable.

>For the sake of argument, let's say you managed secret communication.
>Who would you send communicate with?

My banker.

>What would you say?

"Here's the money I made from selling 26 tones of cocaine to children, don't
pay taxes on any of it, just put it in a standard anonymous encrypted account.
Tell your Russian friend that 7 tones of heroin is too much to pay for his
H bomb, it's only 3 megatons for goodness sake and it's not like he's the
only one around selling nukes, I refuse to go higher than 6 tons of marijuana,
take it or leave it."

>Do you think you can organise people against the network?

Don't know, don't care.

>What are you going to stop?

Stop the trust people have in the network by making it hopelessly unreliable.

>What can you steal from an open society?

Money and power, and because of that it won't be open for long.

>How can you bribe an open society?

With money and power.

>What have you got that they haven't?

Money and power.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i