> To quote from their overview :
> To a large extent, most of today's communication and information
> services are centralized. They require some basic underlying
The Internet has to be replaced. It is fatally broken.
You can't build a new network without considering why it is needed. Below are Five good reasons we need peer networks: free telephony, free commerce/settlement, free software, freedom of expression and privacy. I offer Three conclusions - you need a headless routing solution based on geographic fact, an economic mechanism, and a security mechanism.
I think is going to be necessary to create a completely parallel network, completely replacing the internet and the public telephone network. I don't think you can get there by layering something on top of the existing routers and cables owned by the man.
It will have to be done with wireless or optical, bouncing light off the sky or off of tall objects. It's fine if wireless P2P nets have internet gateways. But in the end, those will be futile.
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. The structure of the networks, the economics and ultimately the content are subverted.
For example, it is clear that in most countries, PSTNs are not just networks. They are a mechanism first of all, for concentration of wealth, and for taxation.
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. 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.
It is impossible to design the new networks without being more explicit in the design goals. Making this more concrete,
1. I want free telephone service and free telecoms. Obviously, we don't need a single central PSTN especially for local calls of a few miles.
Consider that telephone conversations only need 8k to 16k and phones are only in use 10% of the time. We are paying $25/month and it all goes to payoff the mortgage of the 5ESS switches on every streetcorner, and the wages and benefits of the telco.
Megabit DSL costs $50/month. So, one could start a pirate telco serving 1000 homes, and charge them each 5 cents a month. Too cheap to meter. The postage and paper check and getting a payment thru the banking system would cost more than the bandwidth.
Obviously the man would shut you down in 15 minutes. So, the pent-up demand continues to build. The PSTN is a contract signed by our grandparents. We were never a party. We need to repudiate that contract and walk away from the telcos. The PSTN is really a contract for transfer of wealth, but you can't get rid of the damned thing because of this "universal access" bugaboo. It would be wayyy cheaper to mail a part 15 wireless phone to every man, woman and child in the country, and totally eliminate all telecoms regulation. But the public is too stupid so the cellphone operators enslave us into fiefdoms, again, fundamentally designed for centrallized socioeconomic control. Every detail is hardwired to their celltowers and the PSTN.
2. I want free payments and settlement with data integration and have long ago lost my sense of humor about this. All dealings are conducted between principal parties. There is no technical or social reason why every payment in the country has to get written on ledgers in banks to be legitimate. Please read this http://www.gldialtone.com/exploration.htm How America fondles its books. Redundant entries by four separate parties, accompany every transaction. (buyer, seller, buyer's bank, seller's bank) Double entry bookkeeping, in four locations = Octuple Entry. That's a lot of fondling.
The economic cost of this utterly inefficient systm are at least 10 million man/years per year. You and I bear these costs while elites who profit from the banking system laugh. They couldn't care less about our admin costs. To make $1 they gladly impose $100 costs on us.
Banks perpetuate their profitable monopoly by a corrupt liaison with government. Instead of serving their customers they serve, also, the government. Pols make hay evoking fears of law breaking, tax evasion, money laundering etc. and claim that only banks are the solution for these problems. Meanwhile money laundering goes on at full speed and drugs are over $1 trillion, the single largest component of international trade. The money laundering bugaboo is really about maintaining the bank monopoly, and government tax revenue. Those are fine--but they're screwing up everybody's data integration.
Having total, complete monopoly, the banking industry invests nothing to improve efficiency globally; in fact their incentives are opposite. Like the software industry they eschew open interfaces and jealously protect their control over your data. They break everybody's ecommerce, or efficiency.
To repeat: I want totally free and unregulated, unregulatable commerce for the entire sales cycle from sourcing, PO, fulfillment thru payment and settlement. Exactly like we have in the cash economy (which is *not* illegal, last time I checked.)
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. 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. Software developers need to behave more cooperatively in integration.
The situation is widely recognized as a disease, in which the "first user" of procedures which are common sense are given the right to prevent others from those procedures. Discoverers of algorithms which are matters of natural science are given monopolies for reasons lost in antiquity. We need to repudiate again, this contract signed by our great grandfathers. If people don't want to write software or invent things for the common good, for free, then the hell with them.
Have you noticed how much better the music has gotten lately? Music pretty much died out during the X generation but its creative vitality is now improving thanks to Napster.
4. I want freedom of expression. Accessing data and information is a voluntary act, and the reader or viewer has no right to any protections whatsoever. If they don't like what they see, they can always click outa there. Total repeal on victimless censorship. The only exception I can see is libelous injury, things like that.
5. I want privacy. This cannot happen as long as the sysadmin on some server is granting me rights and has the power to see source and destination of all my communications. The security of todays Windows and Linux are a joke in any case. The internet is a complete piece of crap, totally incapable of supporting privacy or security at this time, and everybody knows it. This is an unmet need in the market, and an opportunity for peer to peer networks, and for an entirely new operating system that is private and secure.
What you need, is a new box and a whole new network, having a basic interface for reading, speaking, and xml rendering. It would have a file space in which nothing could be executed, but in which data could be transported to and from a 2nd ethernet port. Thus we would run Windows unconnected from the internet, forever. It would be used for "productivity applications" (gag), but only offline, and nothing Windows could ever touch, could ever be touched by the New OS except as a data file. I don't know how we're going to do this but we need to sandbox Windows itself, to protect the rest of the computing environment and the internet itself.
You know, people need to face some very uncomfortable facts about networks. If you want clear and undistorted expression and evolution of the culture, it cannot be run as a selling platform, a taxing platform, or a top-down persuasion and ideological push. It needs to be designed impossible to censor, rather than being enlisted to share the burdens of social and regulatory agendas of the government.
Because we have negligently allowed commercial and government interests to design and deliver the internet, it is accordingly designed to sell stuff to us, to be very easy to use, and to trace all of our activities to tax them.
Another uncomfortable fact is that you *cannot have* a secure and private network, that does not immediately attract a lot of prohibited content ranging all the way to communications between criminals. Of course this has always been true since the telephone and fax. What is wrong today, is that world governments are trying to make the internet different from any previous network: a network where for the first time, communications can be systematically and totally monitored.
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. http://www.shouldexist.org/?op=displaystory&sid=2000/9/9/232253/5307
Any network that doesn't reflect illegal activity in proportion to the general lawlessness of society, is not a secure network and is somehow achieving a bias toward control. Criminals are your canary. They are the other animals in the ecosystem that tell you when toxins are present, by their absence. If you don't see any criminals or prohibited content, then, stay away from conducting commerce on that network because it's not private or secure. In other words, your money would be stolen.
Networks should be designed, this time, so that servers are not necessary, since servers will always be captured for profit, for surveillance, and for taxation and social and regulatory agendas of government, i.e. the religious right, etc.
The peer networks must also be designed so that they simply are not suitable as yet another top-down broadcast medium. The new networks must be designed to have diseconomies of scale. When it's time for global reach, for global broadcasting, we can always use the commercial internet, and broadcast media.
Now, taxation is fine, and profits are fine. But when you load tax enforcement and profit motives onto the network it muddies the water so terribly that we can't see anymore, or communicate clearly. Those functions are somebody elses' job in the economy. Don't let those people usurp the users' sovereignty over our network, our communication.
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. We're trying to figure out what it means to be human and how we came to be so predictable that we are a food source for robots.
The internet and PSTN reflect hierarchic organizations. They will always be regulated, taxed, censored, and more importantly, their content extends and perpetuates giantism and statism in our social structures. This is unnecessary. We can totally, massively reorganize now *without corporations*.
The alternative vision of peer-to-peer wireless networks is often articulated by windbags involved in Freenet, Gnutella, etc. software that piggyback on the cisco/wintel/telco internet. Freedom of speech, free commerce, breakout from censorship, breakout from regulation or taxation in some countries, breakout from royalties and rents of all kinds. Taken as a whole, there is a lot of heft in those communities, as demonstrated by 50 million Napster users who repudiated copyright laws.
Alas, those software can never deliver on their promise, no matter how clever their software. It's like trying to write a replacement for Windows, using Visual Basic. You cannot escape from the centrallized nature of the internet by piggybacking some encrypted layer. This is as naive as the Sealand venture, which imagined that physical distance or location, alone, could escape regulation.
P2P wireless can happen technically when devices have a built in routing capability with an unambiguous namespace for addressing. And it needs some kind of economic mechanism built in that allows the users to buy and sell resources i.e. connectivity. And, it has to be effectively secure.
The right answer is latitude/longitude/height coordinates as the native routing scheme, to replace MAC layer, IP addresses, ports etc. The benefits are simplicity, and not needing permission from bosses like IANA or ICANN or somebody's cisco router table. Remember: this is not about anonymity or hiding from the government: it is about expression of our existing, mature culture of freedom, and interpersonal relations, in the networks instead of today's network architecture which is an inherently centrallized dictatorship, and mechanism of economic exploitation.
Latitude/longitude coordinates will be highly useful today enabling very cheap solutions in neighborhoods by telling you what direction to point your antenna, for example. And they are biased for diseconomies of scale while permitting hubs to measure and aggregate demands for particular destinations and implement point to point jumps, out of band, efficiently. Conversely it is trivially easy to identify/block addresses claiming to be in a known property or zone such as a mall or business park. Over time these controlled zones *could* cover sections of neighborhoods. Think about this. I like it. Like I say, this is not a hobby for me. It is as important as life. It is not a trivial intellectual exercise. AT&T or Quest could not take over my area of town without a big political fight, and intruders could not so easily enter either.
Geo. coordinates are a natural antidote for spam. You can find the SOB and go punch him in the nose if necessary. Geo. addresses also have some very satisfying advantages in business, credit, and in security generally.
Geo. addressing in peer lans can be gatewayed to the internet. It is comforting that there is a point of control over your traffic i.e. the traditional IP address of your domain name, where a lot of good added services can be applied, which again, are biased towards soveriegn users and just a big roadblock for the spammers, governments and lockin companies like AOL.
P2p developers should build pure emptiness. A pure flat infinite address space. Latitudes and longitudes. With a user controlled "volume control" for distance. Users should decide both outward "signal propagation" and maximum distance they accept inbound packets. New protocols will tell you the propagation settings of routers you connect with.
There is a mathematical law that as the range of the domains decreases, geometrically larger numbers of agents would be necessary to control it. The economic costs of squashing or monitoring the network exceed the benefits, for the lazy exploiters like spammers and regulators, so they leave you alone.
I know most P2P network aficionados eschew paying for their bandwidth but I rest my case on one fact: the network will grow faster and in particular, will overcome expensive scaling points, when there is some way to pay the service providers. And, the technology of unlicensed wireless is going to be so much cheaper than the regulated fulltime union-paid telcos, we will be glad to pay.
Every node in a peer network should have a built in general ledger. A general ledger has two things. A balance sheet and income statement. When every node is part of an economic fabric, as it is in Mojo Nation, it needs to hold various asset and liability balances, and classifications of incomes and expenses. There are so many users who need that level of detail the network will be nonviable without them. I'm a CPA. I'm telling you what I know, for a fact. I have observed thousands of peoples' financial activities in great personal and private detail these last 20 years. What they actually do with their time and their lives, is very greatly influenced by the economic incentives they face. duh.
When every node in a peer network has a real GL to keep track of its micropayments for network resources, that GL is a sort of currency ledger and can do two very cool things right away: it can serve, natively, as the acconting infrastructure for other kinds of transactions, i.e. payments and ecommerce, and it can be interfaced with larger accounting systems (in both directions). Double entry accounting is amazingly flexible and everybody has it, even Quickbooks/Quicken are double entry. There are no single-entry accounting products left in the marketplace.
I am not qualified to write any plan for this and it would anyways be a pipe dream, unless it runs on existing lowcost chipsets. If we are stuck with 40 bit and 128 bit 802.11 radios, then the peer network will need another layer on top of that, to provide security for the public.
Do you agree? Peer networks are fun as a hobby but they're a waste of time if they're not secure. You would not be able to get the five things I want: free telephony, free commerce/settlement, free software, freedom of expression and privacy.
* Todd F. Boyle CPA http://www.GLDialtone.com/
* firstname.lastname@example.org Kirkland WA (425) 827-3107
* XML accounting, webledgers, BSPs, ASPs, whatever it takes