Valley Girl Sez: Liberarianism Sux!

John Kawakami johnk at
Thu Aug 24 01:53:15 PDT 2000

If I may augment this post. I think that two social phenomena will be ignored by future historians when they write about the network:

the IETF's RFC procedures

USENET voting rules

They were the two most formalized systems of decision making that arose to support the development of the network, and both were extremely democratic. Directly democratic too; they didn't rely on representatives or spokespeople -- volunteers coordinated everything. At some level, they were trying to build a utopian research community that was inspired by university life, but tried to be better. It's something worth documenting.

I'm sure they'll also forget about FidoNet, which wasn't usenet, but went through similar political ordeals, and had a global impact on the online world. (And it was written by an anarchist.)

Please, if some historian would consider studying these things as part of their research, a whole bunch of net people would be forever grateful.

>No, he'll be sure to tell us again that he personally invented it. You
>underestimate the importance of the hackers, the freethinkers, the
>scientists, the students who invented the internet that created the
>economic miracle. The only reason the .gov wasn't involved is because
>they didn't predict what would happen (if I had predicted it I'd be
>philosophizing from my private island right now). Evil capitalists didn't
>predict it either - even M$, a "high-tech" company, didn't realise how the
>internet would change their business until about 1995. Only their size
>and deep pockets kept them afloat for that blunder.
>I often here from people how the "internet wouldn't exist w/o the .gov and
>taxes". Well, fair enough, they paid for it. But the manner in which
>things were developed and the manner in which they work now is a system
>free from, or formerly free from, .gov regulation and involvement. Once
>one gets an understanding of the technology "glue" that holds the internet
>together, say DNS and name resolution, BGP and distributed routing, and
>the RFC process, you might become amazed that it works at all. .gov and
>serious .com involvement in the net is a phenomenon of the past 5 years,
>but the internet is much older than that.
>I've rambled a bit here and elsewhere but my main point is that there is a
>distinction between the hackers and the silicon valley startups, but that
>may not seem apparent if you think the internet was created in 1995 by
>Algore. The author snit referenced was condemning the former's
>techno-libertarianism because of the latter's practices, and that is
>Matt Cramer <cramer at>
>The true method of knowledge is experiment.
> -William Blake


-------------------------------------- John Kawakami work (10am - 7 or 8) 818-385-2048 home (9 pm - 1 am) 818-543-0864 johnk at, johnk at

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