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The problem with Internet and PSTNs is that they will always be controlled from the top. Hierarchic control is designed into the very fabric of those networks. It is irreversable. Because control is possible, eventually that is what always happens. There is a palpable will.

As soon as the old hierarchies are torn down, new ones will be built up. Maybe it's heresy to say so on this list, but the whole centralized/hierarchical vs. decentralized thing is cyclic. People don't want to run all the services in their lives themselves. They will pay other people for the convenience and economies of scale of having "experts" do things for them, and thus the pendulum swings toward centralization. Then the people running things get greedy and monopolistic and the people paying them get annoyed and the pendulum swings the other way.

Net connectivity is no different. Let's say we set up this excellent ad-hoc wireless network and everyone abandons traditional connectivity providers to use it. Let's even say that the effort doesn't run up against FCC regulations or something that never mattered before until the traditional bandwidth providers sent a bunch of lobbyists to defend their "turf". Sooner or later someone will have more connectivity and/or expertise than someone else, and other people will start contracting with them to provide a service level better than what they get on their own, and so the wheel continues to turn.

New technology won't make this phenomenon go away. It's not even clear that it's possible to make it go away, or for that matter desirable. Since the first "I hunt, you gather" deal was struck, human society has been based on specialization and on paying specialists for the benefit of their expertise. Even the self-labelled anarchists participate in and benefit from that activity. In fact, I think that very often people who push for one technology to replace another do so for the ultimately selfish reason that their experience and expertise with the newer technology will make them the princes of the next dynasty.

Networks must be designed from the first line of code, for user sovereignty. --to enable simply communicating from node to node, with total privacy and security. Today's internet allows the interests of parties other than the user to interfere.

A lot of that "interference" is really deliberate delegation as mentioned above, allowed by and beneficial to the people you would portray as victims. The most successful consumer Internet provider is also the one that most controls and constrains the user experience. Coincidence? I think not. An awful lot of people (yeah, bad pun) want someone else to run things to the maximum degree possible. They'll actually pay someone to take away some of their freedom (as we might see it) so that they can avoid the burdens of decision-making and responsibility for consequences that accompany that freedom.

It is built on unix model, over decades of work by large organizations who needed central control. There is an illusion of freedom, on Internet, but that freedom is a privilege, granted from the top.

Your mention of UNIX is ironic. Were you perhaps unaware that UNIX grew largely as an alternative to even-more-centralized mainframes?

3. I want free software. There is *nothing* in commercial software that isn't available with open source software, that I have any need for.

...that you have any need for. Very many users will pay for support, for standardization, or just for the knowledge that there's someone to sue if things go too horribly wrong. Those same users have absolutely no use for source code. One should always be careful about projecting one's own perspectives and needs and desires onto people who are different in every imaginable way (and occasionally a few unimaginable ways) from oneself, and that's even more true for iconoclasts.

All software copyright and patents should be removed. This would have tremendous social benefit. Software developers spend 100 hours on their "Business Model" and locking in their users, for every 1 hour spent writing useful solutions to real problems.

At risk of overreacting...BULLSHIT. I'm sorry, but there's just no other way to express how totally contrary that claim is to my own experience as a software developer, nor how offensive I find it.

Have you noticed how much better the music has gotten lately?

No, I haven't. It's still 5% genius and 95% crap, just like it has been for as long as I can remember.

If you want clear and undistorted expression and evolution of the culture, it cannot be run as a selling platform, a taxing platform

What makes you think it can be run any other way? The profit motive is often the only thing that motivates people do do the down-and-dirty grunt work that is an unavoidable part of bringing many new things into the world.

or a top-down persuasion and ideological push.

I'm seeing a lot of ideological push in your jeremiad. I don't know whether you're motivated to speak so strongly by hope of profit (either short or long term), by ego gratification, or by pure idealism. I also don't see much difference. One way or another, you're trying just as hard as anyone to tell people what they should believe and how they should be, and treating as invalid choices (e.g. to pay someone for a service) that they should be free to make.

It is logically irrefutable, that if the government can monitor, then, so can hackers and thieves. Any network where this discussion even arises, where it is even *possible* to surveil to that extent, is fatally flawed by design.

If you remove the possibility for surveillance, you also remove things such as authentication and accountability, and you make the network totally useless for a great many valid and valuable purposes. Considering the Internet as a medium to carry only conversation, and not commerce or other kinds of information (e.g. logistics) is a common trap, leading to many invalid conclusions about what's "right" for the Internet. A design can only be considered flawed relative to its goals.

The peer networks must also be designed so that they simply are not suitable as yet another top-down broadcast medium.

Some people like being passive recipients of broadcast content. See previous warning about considering others to be like oneself. If you are thinking of replacing the current Internet with something else, then any design which does not address this common need/desire would be truly and deeply flawed.

From 1800-1950 we built railroads and factories. Motors and machines took over physical work. Mechanized warfare raged all over the planet. 1950-2000 our parents built computers that took over repetitive mental work. 2000 we are building decentralized and peer networks since all that shit resulted in so much centrallized control and war.

Mechanization did not cause those things; it just made them more efficient. War in particular has always been driven more by ideological inflexibility and refusal to accept the humanity of "the other" than by anything else. There were those who claimed that steam power would, by removing resource constraints, create a more peaceful world. Your claims regarding the benefits of peer networking sound eerily similar to those earlier utopian visions.


The right answer is latitude/longitude/height coordinates as the native routing scheme, to replace MAC layer, IP addresses, ports etc.

Todd, your technical naivete is showing. Geographical coordinates will never replace any of those things. Your claim that geographical location is the ideal basis for routing has much more meat to it, but is also questionable. Connectivity has always mattered more than location in networking. The highly reliable high-bandwidth low-latency 10km link is in all practical ways "closer" than the unreliable low-bandwidth high-latency 100m link, and any sensible routing algorithm should take advantage of that.

The benefits are simplicity, and not needing permission from bosses like IANA or ICANN or somebody's cisco router table.

Geographic location is neither necessary nor sufficient with respect to these particular benefits.

Geo. coordinates are a natural antidote for spam. You can find the SOB and go punch him in the nose if necessary.

He, or his friends, or the police, or some random stalker can also find you very easily. There's a light side and a dark side to this, and it should not be assumed that the balance is positive.

Every node in a peer network should have a built in general ledger.

Who is responsible for reconciling discrepancies between parties' general ledgers, and how? How is fraud handled? Your idea sounds like a way to provide increased job security for CPAs, and I wonder how those telco-union members you're so eager to see unemployed feel about that.