Deryk Makgill

The Quotable Timothy C. May

from Anarchy to Writing

This page is a work in progress. Quotes will be thoroughly vetted for inclusion according to my personal publishing standards after all possible quotes have been added. I am deliberately attempting to leave out a large segment of May’s posts on race during his later years.

Book Summary

This book gathers for the first time the enigmatic cypherpunk, cryptoanarchist, and all-around provocateur Timothy C. May’s most profound, inflammatory, insightful, and clear-cut commentary from his thousands of posts in the Cypherpunk Mailing List, interviews and papers.

Get the paperback or Kindle book at…

  • Amazon.com: Kindle - paperback

Or you can support this free digital version with on Patreon or with a Bitcoin tip.

About Timothy C. May

"Tim May was my chief cypherpunk inspiration. His vision is of a cyberspace free from government oppression. I was further blessed to be able to hang out with him and kvetch about our crazy world. Will miss you greatly Tim!" -- Nick Szabo

"RIP Tim May, one of the founders of the cypherpunks, and one of the most important people in digital liberty." -- Ryan Lackey

"Tim did not die in a hail of bullets as so many who didn’t know Tim all that well and largely from his public writings had predicted." -- Lucky Green

"Tim was always thought-provoking and infuriating."-- Amara Graps

"I was on Cypherpunks from 1995 to about 2005, and even though Tim and I took many swipes at each other (and even though I disagreed with much of his politics), he was a Grade-A true-blue troublemaker in the highest sense of the word: He always jolted us out pre-packaged ways of seeing things in a way that no bullshit FOX BOX could ever do.And though I can't tell whether he understood the respect I had for him, it was there, even despite all the other stuff he might say that enraged me. But then again, if Tim never said anything that enraged you, then you're not smart enough to understand him." -- Em An

"Even among the cypherpunks, Tim stood out as a brilliant thinker. His ideas were strong, always interesting, and usually scary..." -- Henry Strickland

Introduction

Reflecting on his career (or lack thereof) as a writer, Timothy C. May wrote “I spent a lot of time in the 1992-95 period writing for many hours a day. I don’t have it in me to do this again. That a real book did not come out of this is mildly regrettable, but I’m stoical about it.”

The Quoteable Timothy C. May is an attempt at making that many hours of writing accessible and available for the first time in a readable format. We might not have a ‘real book,’ but we what we do have thousands of emails, several essays, and forum posts that make up a corpus of several hundred thousand words full of insights into the ideas of ‘cryptoanarchy’ and related subjects.

This book presents the most interesting, most insightful, and most controversial quotes from that corpus under topical headings ranging from Anarchy to Insider-Trading to Politics, Technology and Welfarism. Readers will note quickly that he did not hesitate from taking the radical stance. For example:

  • He was a free-speech absolutist in a sense few people today can match, even believing that yelling “fire” in a movie theater should be decriminalized.
  • He had an uncomfortable ability to root out hidden agendas behind seemingly noble causes. See his thoughts on child pornography.
  • He thought politicians who voted against gun rights should be executed.
  • He had seemingly no limits in how far he would go to prove the principle of a point he wanted to make. For weeks he posted a recipe for a pipe bomb in the signature of his email in defiance of Senator Feinstein’s legislating.
  • He despised democracy—”Our government doesn’t actually represent the people. That’s why it is stable”— and characterized himself and his fellow cypherpunks as “elitists.”

What the above show are not a man committed to contrarianism for contrarianism’s sake however, but a man committed to speaking what he saw as the truth regardless of how controversial that truth might be, even among his fellow cypherpunks.

Despite his caustic tone, readers of his quotes might find themselves often at odds to argue with him. May displays in his writing a deep knowledge of economics, incentives, and human nature and a willingness to follow his premises to uncomfortable conclusions many of us choose to evade. He’s often sarcastic and makes offensive attempts at humor, but he’s clear and easy to understand.

Though this book comes from a position of respect, he is not always correct—his writing reveals sometimes a deeply flawed moral sense, and his New York Times obituary noted: “He often wrote about arming himself and waiting for government agents to show up. After the Cypherpunks faded in the early 2000s, he began expressing racist sentiments to other online groups.”

But at his best he’s a genius who is worth paying close attention to.

A word in disclaimer. Having not had the chance to communicate with May before he died, I cannot say whether or not he would have approved of this book or its selection process. I’ve deliberately left out several…exceedingly controversial… quotes that I think would distract readers from the brilliance of May’s thinking, while also including material that remains offensive to most people in order to stay true to who May was.

Naturally, playing God in this sense has its downsides. I might be judged a sellout for what I didn’t include in the book in order to make it more tasteful and I might be judged an idiot, a radical or a bigot for what I did include in the book in order to be true to May.

Really, I’m just the messenger for a guy I find compelling, challenging, and yes, often frustrating or distasteful, and I think May himself has a good answer to both these charges: “If you don’t like ‘em, ignore them or filter them. That’s the Cypherpunk way of doing things.”

Index

  • Anarchy
  • Anti-Trust
  • Assassination Markets
  • Bitcoin
  • Books
  • Breast Implants

Anarchy ↩︎

Anarchies are tough for hierarchical minds to grasp.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Anarchy is much more common than many think. Anarchy—the absence of a ruler telling one what to do—is common in many walks of life: choice of books to read, movies to see, friends to socialize with, etc. Anarchy does not mean complete freedom—one can, after all, only read the books which someone has written and had published—but it does mean freedom from external coercion.

Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities

[Permalink] [Source]

Anonymity ↩︎

Anonymity may not be either good or not good, but the outlawing of anonymity would require a police state to enforce, would impinge on basic ideas about private transactions, and would foreclose many options that some degree of anonymity makes possible.

The Cyphernomicon

[Permalink] [Source]

Anti-Trust ↩︎

No self-respecting Cypherpunk thinks the Antitrust Act and related acts are worthy of enforcement.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Assassination Markets ↩︎

As things seem to be getting worse, vis-a-vis the creation of a police state in the U.S.--it may be a good thing that anonymous assassination markets will be possible. It may help to level the playing field, as the Feds have had their hit teams for many years.

The Cyphernomicon

[Permalink] [Source]

The fact is, some people simply need killing. Shocking as that may sound to many, surely everyone would agree that Hitler deserved killing. The "rule of law" sounds noble, but when despicable people control the law, other measures are called for.

The Cyphernomicon

[Permalink] [Source]

It is hard to imagine any level of digital contract killings ever coming close to nationstate barbarism.

Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities

[Permalink] [Source]

Ayn Rand ↩︎

Ayn Rand was one of the prime motivators of crypto anarchy. What she wanted to do with material technology (mirrors over Galt's Gulch) is much more easily done with mathematical technology.

The Cyphernomicon

[Permalink] [Source]

Bitcoin ↩︎

I can’t speak for what Satoshi intended, but I sure don’t think it involved bitcoin exchanges that have draconian rules about KYC, AML, passports, freezes on accounts and laws about reporting “suspicious activity” to the local secret police. There’s a real possibility that all the noise about “governance,” “regulation” and “blockchain” will effectively create a surveillance state, a dossier society.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

The excitement about bitcoin was mostly about bypassing controls, to enable exotic new uses like Silk Road. It was some cool and edgy stuff, not just another PayPal.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

Sending bitcoin...is equivalent to “saying” a number. To ban saying a number is equivalent to a ban on some speech.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

The people I hear about who are reportedly transferring “interesting” amounts of money are using basic forms of bitcoin or bitcoin cash, not exotics new things like Lightning, Avalanche, or the 30 to 100 other things.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

I still think cryptocurrency is too complicated…coins, forks, sharding, off-chain networks, DAGs, proof-of-work vs. proof-of-stake, the average person cannot plausibly follow all of this. What use cases, really? There’s talk about the eventual replacement of the banking system, or credit cards, PayPal, etc. is nice, but what does it do NOW?

The most compelling cases I hear about are when someone transfers money to a party that has been blocked by PayPal, Visa (etc), or banks and wire transfers. The rest is hype, evangelizing, HODL, get-rich lambo garbage.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

Mathematics is not the law.

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto

[Permalink] [Source]

Books ↩︎

The book "Snow Crash," by Neal Stephenson, offers a wickedly satirical look at a possible future for America. Other books of interest include: Vernor Vinge's "True Names," David Friedman's "The Machinery of Freedom," Hakim Bey's "TAZ," Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game," Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," and John Brunner's "The Shockwave Rider."

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" is well worth reading; he advises against getting upset and frustrated that the world is not moving in the direction one would like.

The Cyphernomicon

[Permalink] [Source]

Breast Implants ↩︎

I'm awfully skeptical that any kind of remote sensing device is to be placed in the breasts of women seeking enhancement. The technology just does not currently support small devices, though I suppose some of the 55GG strippers could support an active transmitter (or, "transtitter").

Conceivably, when the women go down to their local doctors to have their tits inflated there can be some kind of "taggants" added, a la the taggants added to some explosives, but this is a far cry from an electronic identificaton device.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Child Pornography ↩︎

It is clear that the child porn laws are not necessarily aimed at the protection of specific minor children from "exploitation," as the laws apply to porn imported from countries where the age of consent is lower, apply to images of dead children (who can no longer be exploited by the images), and to "created" images of children (morphing, cut-and-paste, paintings, etc.)

The laws are clearly aimed at both extinguishing the market for child pornography and the thoughts themselves, not at the protection of specific children. (Advocates will argue that by suppressing the production of child porn markets, future children may be protected....)

The main Cypherpunks theme I can find here is this: anonymous remailers and Web proxies will be used to access offshore (or indeterminately located) sites. The Feds will likely come down very hard on any remailers or proxies found to be "trafficking" in such materials.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Look for arguments about limiting access to strong crypto to be more heavily focussed on "pedophiles" and "pornographers."

"We have to protect the children."

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Code ↩︎

Man does not live by coding alone.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Commerce ↩︎

The future lies with protecting electronic transactions against surveillance.

The Cypherpunk Mailing List

[Permalink] [Source]

Compromise ↩︎

Compromise often ends up in the death of a thousand cuts. Better to just take a rejectionist stance.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Conspiracy

I think a better, and less loaded, tern than “conspiracies” is “threat models.”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/1c8e7b55334c834d0281033946bb5c28a4566507452010917d6561ab49b432fd/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto

Honest people need crypto because there are dishonest people.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto is economics. People will begin to really care when it costs them.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto has long ignored economics, except peripherally, as an engineering issue (how long encryption takes, etc.) in particular, areas of reputation, risk, etc. have not been treated as central idea…but economics is clearly central to the systems being planned…digital cash, data havens, remailers, etc.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

We have no tanks, only cryptography.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/13279435abe9d7f68c4f93a5d994b10ccfea30208937f492d32c15a2a859a3eb/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto is a form of language or speech, clearly protected by the First Amendment. Thus, writing one’s diary in an encrypted form is a form of language one uses.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/d59e2c2fec559942161cf9f1f2330e42bee3bbb5f8b5fcf8f8360a5432630cd6/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Cryptoanarchy

A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.

https://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/crypto-anarchy.html

The Crypto Anarchy Principle: Strong crypto permits unbreakable encrypion, unforgeable signatures, untraceable electronic messages, and unlinkable pseudonomous identities. This ensures that some transactions and communications can be entered into only voluntarily. External force, law, and regulation cannot be applied. This is “anarchy,” in the sense of no outside rulers and laws. Voluntary arrangements, back- stopped by voluntarily-arranged institutions like escrow services, will be the only form of rule. This is “crypto anarchy.”

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

If you wish to change things, go ahead and have a schism. That’s what the Protestants did, once they realized the Catholic Church wouldn’t be changing its system anytime soon.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/30ddf1d7eba0d378d76a801f363a5560cab3ddce3aa587e23eddb998e0b9a5db/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

We won’t get crypto liberty via the ballot box, we’ll get it only if the technology is sound and is deployed widely enough so that attempts to stop it are futile. This has been how the most important changes in society have occurred, from agriculture to printing to telephones: the technology filled some need, spread, and became unstoppable. Convincing the voters at the ballot box was never an issue.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1993/02/babe4d391ef6e360526e3d3178d6702297e60811c1b9f98b6fbe0f2c450dc539/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto anarchy means the racists, sexists, speciesists, and other “ists” cannot be muzzled. I call this a good thing. It’s why I’m here.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/f44a358053728dddc5f52aafb8d86b6b5fba5b710adaf66886a7a5261d2a9747/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Nothing can be done about who uses strong crypto. And most fasicst/racist situations are made worse by state sponsorship–apartheid laws, Hitler’s Germany, Pol Pot’s killing fields, all were examples of the state enforcing racist or genocidal laws. The unbreakable crypto that the Aryan Nation gets is more than offset by the gains elsewhere, and the undermining of central authority.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The fact that crypto may be used by plotters and planners, thus making detection more difficult, is in no way different from the possibility that plotters may speak in an unusual language to each other (ciphers), or meet in a private home (security), or speak in a soft voice when in public (steganography). None of these things should be illegal, and none of them would be enforceable except in the most rigid of police states (and probably not even there).

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto anarchy effectively allows people to pick and choose which laws they support, at least in cyberspatial contexts. It empowers people to break the local bonds of their majoritarian normative systems and decide for themselves which laws are moral and which are bullshit.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto anarchy means prosperity for those who can grab it, those competent enough to have something of value to offer for sale; the clueless 95% will suffer, but that is only just. With crypto anarchy we can painlessly, without initiation of aggression, dispose of the nonproductive, the halt and the lame.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

“The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will, however, be digitized.”

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto anarchy will allow national secrets to be trade freely and will allow illicit and stolen materials to be traded. An anonymous computerized market will even make possible abhorrent markets for assassinations and extortion. Various criminal and foreign elements will be active users of CryptoNet. But this will not halt the spread of crypto anarchy.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/crypto-anarchist-manifesto/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

States have killed a hundred million or more people in this century alone–think of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot–through forced starvation of entire provinces, liquidation of the peasantry, killing of intellectuals, and mass exterminations of religious and ethnic groups. It’s hard to imagine crypto anarchy causing anything that bad!

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Constitution

“‘National security’ is the root passphrase of the Constitution.” The idea being that the normal Constitutional protections are bypassed by invocation of “national security.”

But it occurs to me that we are seeing a new variant of this: “Protect the children.”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/97fd968e94dd433641337c754a893e695a13d37f8e5364fa7406598b8e01a48e/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Cyberspace

It will be easier to form certain types of libertarian societies in cyberspace than in the real world of nations and physical locations. The electronic world is by no means complete, as we will still live much of our lives in the physical world. But economic activity is sharply increasing in the Net domain and these “crypto anarchy” ideas will further erode the power of physical states to tax and coerce residents.

Libertaria will thrive in cyberspace.

https://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/libertaria.html

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Cypherpunks

If you don’t like ‘em, ignore them or filter them. That’s the Cypherpunk way of doing things.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/1c8e7b55334c834d0281033946bb5c28a4566507452010917d6561ab49b432fd/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

As the Great Leader once said, “Trust, but verify.”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/fe9171f2473d3f54d38a082314e26319e68cd009eca12c6c8c82bd8252667e1a/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Individuals and their organizations are free of course to do as they wish, but if they claim to speak for “the Cypherpunks,” they’ll be out of line.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/aca4650a2768bbd5633d74f7c6248bcf484d2faabac548ba1c89d325c746ab5d/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

One of the problems we’re facing with “Cypherpunks” services is that they are catch-as-catch-can, or, bluntly, “flaky.” Archive sites stop being archives, remailers vanish overnight and other experiments pop up and then vanish with regularity.

I’m not criticizing these folks. Rather, I’m just saying something pretty obvious, that persistence is important.

This probably means commercialization, or formalized business relationships. With such persistent business set-ups, “the show must go on.”

Another reason for digital money.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/5eb1797bcb030572ac4841659f82ca998147f5a457f7dfc00ae6eaca43a2d06f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

THERE IS NO SPOKESMAN, THERE IS NO CENTRAL OFFICE, THERE IS NO BOARD OF DIRECTORS!

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/46bfd9818584a8718f482dc60feef2b4753342fe3f82a4934f2938d78778ac72/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Anarchy is part of our charm. More importantly, part of our theme. A spokesman for the Cypherpunks is an oxymoron.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/46bfd9818584a8718f482dc60feef2b4753342fe3f82a4934f2938d78778ac72/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

This may shock some of the newcomers here, who haven’t heard this, or who haven’t deduced it from our posts, but many of us are elitists. Or, more precisely, we are for people looking out for Number One, with the expectation that many other people simply won’t make it.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/3d1f406e443468483d2e12c1d3d3d5bd9472dcc00c3c228d63afe4803c35a330/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

It makes no sense for us to whine and complain about Country A outlawing some activity that is legal in Country B.

The thing for us to do is to use technology and code to subvert and bypass laws of any country which are repressive and controlling.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/93ffc418f3373381001c173e8f224c0cca99276adfd153b3a23393206d6bf8c8/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Democracy

I’ve come to despise the modern version of democracy we have. Every issue is framed in terms of popular sentiment, in terms of how the public would vote. Mob rule at its worst. Should people be allowed to wear blue jeans? Put it to a vote. Can employers have a policy on blue jeans? Pass a law. Should health care be provided to all? Put it to a vote. And so on, whittling away basic freedoms and rights. A travesty. The tyranny of the majority.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I support strong crypto because it undermines democracy. It takes some (and perhaps many) transactions out of the realm of popularity contests, beyond the reach of will of the herd.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

A growing problem in America and other “democratic” countries is the tendency to make mandatory what were once voluntary choices. For example, fingerprinting children to help in kidnapping cases may be a reasonable thing to do voluntarily, but some school districts are planning to make it mandatory. https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The “sheepocracies” of the modern so-called democratic era are voting away their former freedoms in favor of cradle to grave safety and security.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Digital Cash

In my eight years of following digital cash work, I’ve been struck with how little economics enters the fray. Many of the protocols that seem to have problems from a purely cryptographic point of view seem to get fixed when additional economic considerations are included…

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/1af369f6b4738e9e8a9d0f53358571cbc5b772d5340a7816e85b77132d961aec/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Does anybody think that a particular instance of digital cash is the end state of the evolution of digital cash? It is likely just the beginning.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/ee30d1c8519f5dab8be27f79a44724e35a748f2d3bc40d4633e6aad06e97eb27/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

In a real ecology of competing digital cash schemes, unconstrained by the software patent issue we now are facing, there would likely be “online clearing only” systems, “offline clearing only” systems, and various hybrids and variants. The market would then decide, based on transaction costs, convenience, security, anonymity features, etc. As with the “real” economy, where a variety of financial instruments coexist.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/bff188c59ac0d8306a93152f3e400debb7779b82ee5f019217c86438c7de1a46/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

So many monetary transactions happen in the course of business that even a 4% fee per transaction would rapidly wipe out most of the value.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/cedf031887bdce1f992b8382dc4c27486c61a68bebd117b9bf2818fa2d6dbe23/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Untraceable digital cash will likely play a central role, especially in non-ideological, or “casual,” espionage.

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/tcmay.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

One predictable move against digital cash will be that unsupported forms will not receive access to the court system. That is, parties in a contract using digital cash will not be able to use the courts to enforce performance on contracts (just as participants in illegal markets, such as gambling or prostitution, cannot use the courts). This lack of access to the courts has not stopped a wide range of activities, and digital cash should only slightly be disadvantaged by this lack. Importantly, some of the robust features of digital cash make court remedies less important.

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/tcmay.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

There really is no middle ground between digital cash being essentially unfettered and being completely regulated (i.e., no longer being anonymous). As with cryptography, where a cipher is either breakable or unbreakable, digital cash is either traceable or is not.

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/tcmay.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Untraceable digital cash is here. It will become easier to use and more established in the next several years. It is indistinguishable from speech, so any laws intended to control it will almost certainly impinge on speech in general. While scare tactics may work to drive average users away from using digital cash, those operating on the margins have the most to gain and lose and will likely not be dissuaded by such laws. Not only have criminals rarely been dissuaded by tax and banking laws, but here the chances of getting caught are nearly zero. Boom markets in information of all kinds can be expected. Crypto anarchy has its benefits as well as its problems.

It’s going to be an exciting world.

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/tcmay.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

If governments don’t want anonymous cash, they can make things tough

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Digital cash is not necessarily a form of currency, but is instead a transfer mechanism. More like a “digital check.”

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The purpose of anonymous digital cash is partly to at least make it more difficult, to not give Big Brother your detailed itinerary from toll road movements, movie theater payments, etc. To the extent that physical cameras can still track cars, people, shipments, etc., anonymous digital cash doesn’t solve this surveillance problem.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Economics

All productive output helps all. That is, productivity around the world is a “common good.” As Milton Friedman points out, what should our response be if the Koreans want to sell us supertankers at $1 each? Buy as many as we can.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/b85c1b045378c559eee7d2436bb2d782dff18f1fb38630a0ec1744a84f16b169/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Don’t forget the “law of unintended consequences.” The biggest gun boom in history came when the Feds cracked down on gun purchases.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/cfa8e3b23b54dadc469c89bd0819853d2347d2c5d2e3cfede639fd5865a1fe87/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

All crypto is economics.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/e987944225eecb62fd062bef1cf949dcdf6b02a427f55898825db8e83ee223e4/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Even a small [government] involvement, through special regulations, granted frachises, etc., produces vested interests. For example, those in a community who had to wait to get building permits want others to wait just as long, or longer. Or, businesses that had to meet certain standard, even if unreasonable, will demand that new businesses do so also. The effect is an ever-widening tar pit of rules, restrictions, and delays. Distortions of the market result. https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Enviornmentalism

I am persuaded that the importation of rare tropical birds into the U.S. is a GOOD THING, and that the attempts to ban such imports are misguided eco-fundie efforts. Diversity will be enhanced by having the birds in the U.S., and if left in their native jungles, most will die anyway. Better a pampered tropical bird in a gilded cage than lunch for some predator, or starvation as the jungles are cleared by slash-and-burn farmers.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/9bf10cb23e507fdb9ca1faf389e490d7cfd1da6e9339df222a56752268d325f3/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Feinstein

By the way, my blasting of Sen. Dianne Feinstein as “Fineswine,” “Swinestein,” etc, is heartfelt. I don’t mind dealing with opponents, even articulate enemies of freedom. But Feinstein is a halfwit and a hypocrite. A San Francisco society lady masquerading as a senator. She’s proof that transmigration of souls is real, being the incarnation of Marie Antoinette. “Let them eat cake.”

–Tim May

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/a36f414a62c6b99ace6cb2de1d716a8aaa3348a0d2d279dc3e2674a55649a998/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Freedom

It’s easy to get too negative on the situation, to assume that a socialist state is right around the corner. Or that a new Hitler will come to power. These are unlikely developments, and not only because of strong crypto. Financial markets are putting constraints on how fascist a government can get…the international bond markets, for example, will quickly react to signs like this.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

In a free and open society, we let people believe in “wrong ideas” (witness Christianity, Islam, Scientology, Judaism, and a thousand other cults).

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/1f23425ba19c9d47d4b2db33088e19b03bd0f8bacfb3e59bec4d8a7fbbcbb6ec/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Free Speech

I lean toward throwing out all laws about libel, slander, and false information. After all, “what is truth?,” to coin a phrase.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/5aaabc5c586337ecafce99f0fd216a5c7e668c7e0c3ee852dcd2522eae5212af/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Our liberal, Western society went through this debate a long time ago, and it was pretty much concluded that people could choose their own paths to hell without interference from others. That people were free to believe any damned fool idea they wanted to believe in.

Somewhere along the line we’ve adopted the new view that government needs to correct all incorrect thoughts, needs to protect people from “hurtful” ideas and speech, and needs to determine what is true and what is not true.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/408d4e257adf969150907f4405c009f3892683087a4a6c4f9ab3b21c9c881df6/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

People will say what they wish. Sometimes they’ll speak inaccurately, sometimes without all of the facts. Such is life.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/a83655cd3a4eb2a4c6738b99edf225f6c595a968245f0060efd9e5a38a3943ff/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The new “civil rights” laws are just one avenue for the suppression of what was once considered free speech.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/d0dee5e4d35448eaf31ba30d581871b48729c90785dd10d603f52c1ff0ac20ca/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The U.S. has a truly stunning amount of regulation of speech. Between regulation of professions, restrictions on product claims, the whole mess of tort law, and the various anti-discrimination and fairness laws, the only speech which is truly free is that of penniless idiots spouting off in public parks.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/909e2482896cd495899846212c2cbcaed336b05628df55d1fc3aed9b3e6d2fa1/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

It wasn’t “free speech” in pre-war Germany that led to the extermination of Jews, it was the rise to power by Hitler and the placing of too much power in the hands of a central government.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/01c2cc87ae70d395af8ec57acfea2250bb0b6bc57f40953ea25f40f47e274906/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

General threats, such as “all lawyers should be taken out into the parking lot and garotted” are not specific, direct, and concrete, and hence fall under the free speech provisions.)

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/6c93f896c27f5e7c22b0d2de65ed9daceafc55bc2d33145d7ae02927ec95c5a1/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Very few governments actually like free speech in all of its forms, and certainly the U.S. government does not. Sure, there is lip service paid to “free speech” in the U.S., but the list of illegal things to say keeps getting longer (just last week Clinton illegalized many forms of speech involving cigarettes–what part of “Congress shall make no law” is not being understood here?).

“Fucking statists. Time to nuke ‘em back to the stone age.”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/bdea750ba780bb69bae3638feaaa76d75aee82024872d8338fe2c7212282dc6e/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Geeks

I despise the terms “geek,” “dweeb,” and “nerd,” and think anyone who calls themselves by these insults is not “reclaiming and deconstructing the labels of the oppressor class,” as the slogan goes, but is merely insulting themselves. Blacks who call themselves “niggers,” homosexuals who call themselves “queers,” and computer programmers who call themselves “geeks” and “dorks” are all playing the same game.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/d9ececadb2c96eb6f63d37c27fc48fdac9e2aa5354cf531ae5a7756a5f962e67/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Gun Rights

Gun grabbing politicians, for example should be killed out of hand.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Any judge who talks about keeping his Glock handy has my vote.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/f1eaf98df6f103c43752d3f67bcae2ba6ac49b1ec6a6f3ef94a7224de377b49e/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The Second Amendment has been turned into a shadow of itself by creative lawyering.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/df916d672cfd3d1f5fff1382867f738117bca23f7ef06628b9416ad44ebba84f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

What the folks worried about “gun registration” are concerned about: any system in which guns can be registered could be converted with the stroke of a pen into a system for confiscation; this is the main reason they fight gun registration.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/04e7e41086f4b8c5a679cb1e010b6df331f42f68e046ff1e00241d579a847f26/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Hacking

The image in so many novels of massive computers breaking codes is absurd: modern ciphers will not be broken.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Immigration

Crypto anarchy means the undermining of governments, and hence handouts to people by government. People will only move physically for physical jobs, and not for handouts. People will flow to where the jobs are, and jobs will flow to where the people are. Isn’t this what we really want?

Tim May

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/4b5b14f21a119d820254559608513a628c0f7e4753393ba0607275a7062be2df/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Twenty years ago impoverished boat people began to arrive in the U.S., practically floating into the San Francisco Bay on inner tubes. And, despite what is often claimed, most of these people were not the generals and colonels or prosperous merchants of Viet Nam. Many were dirt poor to begin with, and even poorer when they arrived.

Many spoke almost no English. They took low-level assembly jobs (I was Intel in the 1970s and saw this every day), they lived in crowded conditions, they saved as much money as they could, and they constantly told their children to learn English, to study hard, and to excel. By 1980, five years after the boat people began to arrive, an interesting phenomenon was becoming apparent. Namely, the Valedictorians and Salutatorians and other top achievers of Silicon Valley high schools were named Nguyen, Tranh, and other such names. And there parents were moving up the food chain, starting small businesses, often with banking pools operated in conjuntion with other Southeast Asians.

Today, the “boat people” are, by and large, incredibly prosperous. Their children are now doing well, and their value system has been rewarded.

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Incentives

That banks don’t often scam customers for small amounts of money is testimony to the fact that they’ve got a better payoff matrix element in being a bank than the meager payoff in scamming a few customers.

Most commerce hinges on this, not because of law enforcement.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/51c5906137f8fb56763d79eab94f455ba408779826f4a6606f9b513b6229ead2/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Insider Trading

If insider trading rules are interpreted logically, then failure to make a planned trade on the basis of insider information is just as illegal as deciding to make some trade on the basis of insider information.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/51f21a44424ed764be8db083e3409ea899d7ffcef13776a6a9c623edffb188f2/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Crypto anarchy opens up some exciting possibilities for collusion in financial deals, for insider trading, etc.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Intellectual Property

Like it or not, copyrights and patents are the way things are now being done. It sometimes takes having a patent portfolio before one can “trade” with those having other patents. Longterm, this will likely change (crypto anarchy and all that), but for now….

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/b9ec12f570a4ef7ef6d6bb79eadd7f625e31af830a9e0103ae2891df66e0df33/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

One thing that worries me is that some of the proposed laws about intellectual property and enforcment of copyrights may make it illegal to try to break the cryptographic protections of systems, even systems one has control over.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/9fd72d98d6c491676bca7347477e36b5b9fe040e2ae2c046cf170576bc320f32/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

By the licensing of particular systems, and by having convoluted and restrictive arrangements for use of the patents, the evolution of digital money and crypto systems grinds to a halt.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/ee30d1c8519f5dab8be27f79a44724e35a748f2d3bc40d4633e6aad06e97eb27/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Interventionism

Make no mistake about it: I cannot support the sending of American gunboats to the backyards of other countries merely for perceived notions about American rights to their oil. Hopefully, as crypto anarchy spreads, imperialism such as this will be undermined, destabilized, and ultimately be defeated.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/5dee01705776db75803e86283593e0e8d46a71dca738c69838c94b9bdf0814db/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Journalism

Instead of good “science reporting,” we get “personality pieces.” Instead of explanations of crypto, of PGP, of the many important (and complicated!) issues involving identity, key signing, “nymity,” digital money, and the implications of crypto anarchy, we get “People” magazine.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/94d4f41e32c54416081a0359533f4591061e5c97faebed7d2d8eac154ae20d25/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Key Escrow

“Escrow” of communications keys, when commanded by the government, is no different than requiring that all locks have duplicate keys “escrowed” with the police, or that all curtains and window shades have a special “invisibility mode” that “law enforcement” can enable under certain circumstances.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/eb3d472f67b42e1374065d4bdd93b3e8190757340ef816ccc8f708f7cda61fa1/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Law

Certainly the really basic crimes (murder, assault, rape, theft, etc.) were adequately covered 20 years ago, or 50 years ago, etc. I can see some reasons for refining the definitions in the light of new situations, but I have to conclude that most of the vast number of new laws and statutes deal with “created crimes,” as I understand the term.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/074f2aa6fc430d43841ce486cd0a53eec7064704119cd1b21ab0e1be14a93646/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Things are much simpler and less stressful when you don’t look to the law to fix things.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/46751fbaa46666a58ffffdaed01dbadab07daff6150f6015896f096f53fd2aab/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

One of the reasons I advocate having a minimal set of laws and then strongly enforcing them is that having too many laws makes enforcement of the important laws very difficult. Having too many laws, such as the laws about what one can do with one’s own money also blurs the lines between what is really criminal and what it is not.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/7156991d3a050fa3f8a0da41a23634c3b7a45e1ac739fa41e080061842562683/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I support no law I would not personally be willing to enforce and punish.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

What I find useful when thinking “There ought to be a law!” thoughts is to imagine how it might be enforced against me. Creative visualization. For example, while I get angry at times with TRW and TransUnion like everyone else, I imagine a welter of laws about the keeping of records and I imagine someone coming to my door and announcing that he was there to inspect the contents of my hard drives to determine if I had unlicensed data.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/1c4518d4d4115e6309c399f3a4037bcbabcec436e911c37fe6e865998b0faa28/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Libertarians

I usually vote Libertarian, even though it’s pointless. And I’m even registered “Libertarian Party,” which matters even less.

But I’ve never signed the LP “pledge” as I dislike such blanket pledges. And I dislike the notion of pledges per se.

And I place a lot more faith in crypto activism having an effect than in the LP having an effect.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/17289464e6726dd1a37fd35c20ebe0dd7dbd0d72890b023bfb5395daa5a12f9c/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Ludditism

Bashing the cybernetic aspects of our culture is hot these days. I expect Oprah and Sally Jesse to soon be doing shows on this. Children whose mothers are Net addicts, brothers who kill their sisters for using “vi,” and jilted cyberlovers who are in relationships with their shrinkwraps.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/dde7e50171fd289407933fc8fc8fcb96b2a631b9a9acc6e7b920fff22b288ec8/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Micropayments

I expect…someday…to pay for some things at a fraction of a cent per hit, some other things for a few cents a hit…

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/7360338eca8a1dd3cd96917ce610482914d044f18646f0eedf6979dc69f08681/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law is an observation of past behavior, not a law of nature. Gordon thought the curve would “slow down” around 1980 or so. It didn’t, for various reasons. But many of us expect it will.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/1449c8fe20125d093fe5b638e7851de7a89158ace99206aa8a80d111b37178ad/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Nationalism

I am not a U.S. chauvinist. I really don’t care which countries do well, so long as my investments continue to do well.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/43ae49628e70614a4a5c46af18fefd9945fd8e3e8f1957c340e48b18c23a925d/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Increased espionage will help to destroy nation-state-empires like the U.S., which has gotten far too bloated and far too dependent on throwing its weight around; nuclear “terrorism” may knock out a few cities, but this may be a small price to pay to undermine totally the socialist welfare states that have launched so many wars this century.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Borders are becoming transparent to data…terabytes a day are flowing across borders, with thousands of data formats and virtually indistinguishable from other messages.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Netscape

I think we need to be very careful not to do things like we have a vendetta against Netscape.

Netscape has a Cypherpunks presence, of course, and His Andreeseeness was even on the list for a while last December.

It’s sort of hard for me to imagine a company being more “Cypherpunks friendly” than [them].

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/256381438a48da75eb7513f0bafa901c673d3b9cbf7ea92a3f6d1361c8f13c43/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Police

It’s clear that cops cannot protect people, only try to catch the perpetrators.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/7156991d3a050fa3f8a0da41a23634c3b7a45e1ac739fa41e080061842562683/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

No all cops are corrupt. Indeed, I suspect that they are no more corrupt proportionately than is the general population…which is not too reassuring to me,

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/07/f014b3423dc1a8cb6a7bec169be8a14e5626a6bbba6cd7e7330c4f79d14c3c7c/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Politics

I’m not convinced that “political action” matters very much. As Greg puts it, if we’re right, politics won’t matter. And if we’re wrong, politics won’t matter.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/ca1c026dddfab91f963620763e78e3658ba3ffb4a62948e0def95e5a434a412f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

On even days I think the work of the Washington lobbying/policy groups is very useful…

On odd days, I think of them as “Beltway insiders,” with the same handful of “spokeswonks” handling all of the issues, dealing with all of the press conferences, attending the various D.C. events, and essentially being part of the System.

The “think tanks” which ring D.C. and other areas (Brookings, Cato, the new Progress and Freedom Foundation, the military advisory think tanks, and a dozen or more others) are an industry unto themselves. Add to these the various lobbying groups (NRA, AMA, tobacco, Right to Life, etc.). And throw in various national groups with D.C. offices. Quite a stew.

They all play off each other, with the lobbying groups trained to “give good sound” to the reporters who want some quotable line about child porn, or Clipper, or whatever.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/1b6f706896eadcad959e832a852af309023bdc99c2e31cc38c56d5ef1dcaa422/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

In a movie theater today there was a preview of the upcoming movie “Independence Day,” showing a flying saucer hovering over the White House, then destroying it. The audience cheered and clapped.

I’m not sure this would’ve happened in, say, the early 1950s.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/f284bf4560687a56ec600ca7ed3d725db7873b0fc0dc353791054755430c5f4a/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Conventional political ideology has failed to realize the huge changes coming over the next several decades. Focussing on unwinnable battles at the ballot box, they fritter away their energies; they join the political process, but they have nothing to “deal” with, so they lose. The average American actually wants to pick the pockets of his neighbors (to pay for “free” health care, to stop companies from laying-off unneeded workers, to bring more pork back to the local enonomy), so the average voter is highly unlikely to ever vote for a prinicpled Libertarian candidate.

Fortunately, how people vote has little effect on certain “ground truths” that emerge out of new technologies and new economic developments.

The Cyphernomicon

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Politicians

Fuck them. Fuck Swinestein, Klinton, Gingrich, and all the rest. And fuck Dole. (On second thought, don’t–it might not be a survivable experience.)

I say they’ve all earned only our contempt.

It’s time to accelerate our efforts to undermine this foolish experiment in pandering to the masses.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/08/b55d646f79c8b899b3e012a35bb10c2361191780f5127080422d4ec3dcb2e095/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

In my highly personal opinion, many people, including most Congressrodents, have committed crimes that earn them the death penalty; I will not be sorry to see anonymous assassination markets used to deal with them.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Political Correctness

We are becoming a nation of sheep, fearing the midnight raid, the knock on the door. We fear that if we tell a joke, someone will glare at us and threaten to sue us and our company! And so companies are adopting “speech codes” and other such baggage of the Orwell’s totalitarian state. Political correctness is extending its tendrils into nearly every aspect of life in America.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I for one will not slow down my speech, slow down my postings to Usenet, by carefully reviewing my words to see if they are offensive to children, their parents, their grandparents, Mormons, Jews, Boy Scouts, schizophrenics, high-strung neurotics, Muslims, animal rights advocates, queers, Rosicrucians, persons of color, persons of no color, or persons of poundage.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/01abf592d106693afc52352b6720c92ea47be0912a36dfcbb74a970a00f7f43b/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Privacy

European-style data privacy laws are a further step in a wrong direction.

Think about it: the name “data privacy” sounds good, at first blush, but what it really means is that my records are not private, that my records are inspectable by government agents to see if I have stored any illegal facts or correlations.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/5a520ad68a0bdbcaa98a0c2d97ca303c13bb17f236f42f7b428dc7c469feba32/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

One thing I’m hoping for is that Clinton will, as he contemplates his last year and a bit in office, have an attack of “liberalism.” That is, I am hoping he realizes that any mandatory key escrow system is not only a massive infringement on the right of people to speak and communicate as they wish, it is also handing the keys to the Surveillance State to the likes of Bob Dole, Jesse Helms, Alonse D’Amato, Newt Gingrich, and William Bennett.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/e16fa3a66de8a74f448b914abc6dd37b85e51caf2980115dbd12fc9160ee4bc5/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I am greatly disturbed by [the] “mining” of ancient comments.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/c41c24d92ad18b17f3d1ed86ea8d4ab317ba2e298f0ef17f89daab1a538518dd/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Folks like us should not be lobbying for limitations on what other private individuals or companies are doing, but should concentrate first, on technological alternatives (encryption, unlinkable credentials, digital money, that sort of thing) and second, on educating others that security and privacy is best self-arranged and is rarely accomplished by government assuming the role of protector.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/835edaa1a876ac91315cea1d4e6cd4f57ec29a7622d3c950bde572bf151960bc/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Privacy needs to be protected by keeping some things secret, not by passing laws limiting the records others can collect from public or voluntarily offered information.

Don’t get me wrong–I don’t like TRW Credit, Equifax, TransUnion, or anyone else compiling “dossiers” on my spending habits, my travel itineraries, etc. But by using my VISA and MasterCard cards, and by agreeing to their terms and conditions, I am tacitly accepting that credit reporting agencies will have access to my transactions.

We should not lull ourselves into a false sense of security by adopting the unconstitutional and anti-liberty approach of having “Fair Credit Reporting Act” and “Data Privacy Act” sorts of laws.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/bd8ed8d502f3e5206a9f7cd4d69a6da2d93e6f5bbb33c0fac1f5090ffec1cc2b/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Data Privacy laws make us all criminals for storing received messages in data bases.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/c908fb6076dfe66c19a6a37240f23ede7de825cd58c46f4d8579498b257cde23/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The modern “identity state” is becoming consumed with the notion that everyone needs an index number. Not necessarily because the police want to compile dossiers on them (though this is a factor), but because of the focus on rules and regulations which affect monetary flows based on identity.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/3ca05208e7d7fd5c676d2d867eba318c1c34f0ca1eca6438cdd84b7f19c07f12/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

“Security and anonymity” are not matters for government to ensure.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/54524e14d99e7e62792dd4d8ea6bd35b8d466de67b79b487fc44edd0504de546/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

strong crypto, anonymous remailers, message pools, data havens, and digital cash will of course be used by some to hide crimes. It would be disingenuous to claim otherwise. But so are locked doors, closed curtains, whispers, and coded signals used to hide criminal activities. And yet in free societies we do not allow random searches, bans on strong locks, or insist that curtains have a special “law enforcement transparency mode” to assist in the “legitimate needs of law enforcement.” The Founding Fathers of the United States of America certainly did not envision that the goal of catching criminals, heretics, dissidents, or even revolutionaries would justify searches of homes and papers without a specific, court-ordered reason; this is what the Fourth Amendment specifically ensures.

http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/tcmay.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Creating a law which bans the keeping of certain kinds of records is an invitation to having “data inspectors” rummaging through one’s files.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I am willing to support a few laws, about murder, theft, rape, etc., but not busybody laws trying to control what information people collect.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/1c4518d4d4115e6309c399f3a4037bcbabcec436e911c37fe6e865998b0faa28/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Public School

Many parents are not altogether convinced that the “public school socialization” is all that beneficial. Do kids really need to learn to wear gang colors, smoke to be cool, get pregnant at age 14, and so on?

An awful lot of accomplished persons grew up in isolated areas, on small farms, and were educated in very small classrooms (or at home).

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/f5309f0fe3dc51ae39d3b65e2fd72759a3d81185a0d5fc3665cd92bcfbd27691/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Quantum Computing

I think nanotech and quantum computers have even less to do with real concerns than Waco and Foster do.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/c40592e9bbd9d618fdf380e96a923202627234b772d4db74509e43b7af2a0de4/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Racism

While I’m not a racist, I despise quotas, setasides, and preferential treatment for lazy people, of any race…this obviously makes some people “ashamed for me”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/01/316b7421e02896680aa9fbaa7cc574cec14cabbcd982858d73c9fb2da55f2698/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Reputation

The concept of “reputation capital” is a critical one.

Ideally, one never “trusts” an agent with a transaction greater than the value of the reputation capital he will lose if he defaults.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/09/28302b53736813d64c9c428ca32dd5b7f982564cc4e64cc5c3745b4619a2b27d/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Robin Hood

“With “Robin Hood,” the message is often confused. Robin Hood was not “stealing from the rich,” he was taking back what was stolen from the peasants and farmers by the King and his tax collectors, notably the Sheriff of Notingham. At least this is how I read the myth.”

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/d37964d255a4f467edc66e84c44f4eed1793aa4099eef525690a1ec3a180718f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Science

The history of science is filled with cases where bets with trivial payoffs intensely motivated people.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/10/5535833e27e60a39fac545f8879adeed74ef0e3bb32fb5c9822028eda9a906b3/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Security

Most people never think about real security. Safe manufacturers have said that improvements in safes were driven by insurance rates. A direct incentive to spend more money to improve security.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Selective Service

“Aptical Foddering.” I put this as my occupation on my draft registration form (Selective Service, aka “the draft”) in 1969, from memories of a science fiction story. The canonical nonsense term, but vaguely plausible.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/cea5556504e709587d3e3606c66fc5d51030e68aaafaa796c25129fdf84981be/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Technology

I’d always look to a software solution first. Anything that requires chips is automatically harder to build and to sell.

Most importantly, a solution which runs on standard hardware available around the world will be trivially exportable (technologically) and will spread within days of availability, whereas a hardware-dependent solution will likely remain obscure and hard to export. Sofware solutions rule!

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/08/27830331481b5d21c01017fceb471c809e14c68a2983279b7ff3d6666cef8f57/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I sense a backlash coming…people will say “screw it” to new technology that actually complicates their lives more than it simplifies their lives. “Crypto tweaks” who like to fool around with “creating a client” in order to play with digital cash will continue to do so, but 99% of the sought-after users won’t.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

I’m normally skeptical of claims that a “singularity” is coming (nanotechnology being the usual place this is claimed, a la Vinge), but “phase changes” are more plausible. The effect of cheap printing was one such phase change, altering the connectivity of society and the dispersion of knowledge in a way that can best be described as a phase change. The effects of strong crypto, and the related ideas of digital cash, anonymous markets, etc., are likely to be similar.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Theory

I learned a long time ago not to lose any sleep over the “potential” bad effects that ideas can have.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/b79dc83dcf10a5ebac5a6d0977560c0408f6eb33d8cc56e21ffe322d6d15fdd2/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Totalitarianism

Police states need a sense of terror to help magnify the power or the state, a kind of “shrechlichkeit,” as the Nazis used to call it. And lots of informants. Police states need willing accomplices to turn in their neighbors, or even their parents, just as little Pavel Morozov became a Hero of the Soviet People by sending his parents to their deaths in Stalin’s labor camps for the crime of expressing negative opinions about the glorious State.

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/cyphernomicon.txt

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

A surveillance state that arises because modern computers and data bases allow all economic transactions to be monitored, taxed, and approved or disapproved is a horror we should fight with all of our resources.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1995/11/3ca05208e7d7fd5c676d2d867eba318c1c34f0ca1eca6438cdd84b7f19c07f12/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

War

I am hoping for a war. A war that goes badly, a war that results in world opinion turning sharply against the American aggressor state.

A war that returns the United States to blissful isolationism.

A war that, Allah willing, causes Washington, D.C. to be be hit with a suitcase nuke, cleansing it of a million criminal politicians and two million inner city welfare mutants. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

https://cryptome.org/war-reason.htm

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Welfarism

“As to the “social safety net,” things are far, far beyond a simple safety net. When 14-year-old pregnant inner city girls are given money to set up their own household, this is not a “safety net,” this is subsidized breeding.”

(Tue, 17 Sep 1996 04:21:18 +0800)

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/bc696022e25e71c67ed4c5a9c0d3d5d0e405aaa917aae1688b0458f0e48eaa7b/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

The thing about traditional charity, of the religious or community sort, was that it was not treated as an “entitlement,” as something the resentful masses could “demand” as part of their “human rights.” A parish priest, for example, might extend charity to a poor person, or a widow, or whatever, but not to an able-bodied person who simply decided to not work. Nor to an unmarried woman who kept getting pregnant and having more mouths to feed.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/d37964d255a4f467edc66e84c44f4eed1793aa4099eef525690a1ec3a180718f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

At certain supermarkets I sometimes shop in on the way back to my town, people in front of me in line put their nice cuts of meat down, their fine loaves of bread, their frozen dinner entrees, their “Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream,” and then pay for it with books of blue “Department of Agriculture” food stamps. They use their own cash (perhaps gotten by cashing their welfare and “disability” checks) to buy their smokes and booze, as food stamps are not allowed to be spent on this stuff. My impression is that they eat more expensive food than I do, perhaps because they’re buying the food with “play money,” whereas I’m buying my food with money that’s what’s left after I had to pay 40-50 taxes, so I seek to economize when I can!

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/d37964d255a4f467edc66e84c44f4eed1793aa4099eef525690a1ec3a180718f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

People will simply not give 40-60% of what they earn to support a growing population of people who say it’s their “right” to welfare, AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), food stamps (*), and suchlike.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/09/d37964d255a4f467edc66e84c44f4eed1793aa4099eef525690a1ec3a180718f/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Writing

I write because setting down my thoughts and exploring ideas is far more important to me than just about anything else I can imagine doing.

[The Cypherpunk Mailing List] http://mailing-list-archive.cryptoanarchy.wiki/archive/1996/02/701942df8e8d452d5b3e92a4371be44a648aefa6a7ab421e74a6606d8a352f8e/

[Index ↩︎] [Permalink] [Source]

Acknowledgements

This project was worked on and completed during a challenging time in my life. I’d like to thank my wife for supporting me in getting work done despite it all, and my friend T.K. Coleman for his conversations which helped me keep my head.

The work, of course, would not have been possible without Ryan Lackey’s archive and Tom Busby’s cryptonanarchy.wiki.



The opinions expressed on this website are my own. They do not represent those of my employer.