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Re: Problems with anonymous escrow 2--response

Hal writes
> What is this stuff, reputation capital?  What does it look like?  How can
> it be measured?  How much is it really worth? 

Obviously none of these questions are answerable:  So what?

If you are arguing that intangibles do not exist, and therefore
cannot affect real things, then this is obviously false.

> I think this concept needs
> to be clarified and examined if it is to serve as one of the principle
> foundations of pseudonymous commerce.

No it should not be "clarified and examined" or you will wind up 
with the supreme court declaring that such and such an act should
dock your reputation thirty points, and that it is cruel and unusual
punishment for people to have their reputations docked for acts
committed more than seven years ago.

We already know what reputations are.  "Defining" them is going
to make them into meaningless nominalist hot air.

>  (I know there is a concept in
> modern finance which attempts to measure the economic value of a firm's
> reputation, called, I think, "good will", but I don't know how similar
> that would be to what we are talking about.)

Not that similar, which is why they did not call it reputation.

> One question is, to the extent that a "piece of reputation capital" is an
> actual object, a digital signature or token of some sort, how heavily
> linked is it to a given owner?

Since a reputation is not a digital signature or token this is not
a sensible question.  A reputation belongs to a person identified
by signature or token.

>  If I run two pseudonyms, Bert and Ernie,
> and Ernie earns a piece of reputation capital, can he securely transfer
> it to Bert and have Bert show it as his own?


That is why corporations like to have one logo on all their products.

> On the other hand, untransferrable credentials are undesirable from the
> point of view of privacy.

Life's a bitch, and then you die.

> If pseudonym credentials are untransferrable
> we have a problem where information builds up about a pseudonym that is
> very nearly as bad as a completely identified system.  It is true that at
> least the ultimate linkage between pseudonym and physical body is broken,
> but to the extent that your on-line activities _are_ your pseudonym, it
> is no more desirable to allow dossiers to be built up about your on-line
> personality than your off-line life.

If your on line personality is selling something, it would seem highly
desirable to have dossiers built up about it.

We have the right to defend ourselves and our
property, because of the kind of animals that we              James A. Donald
are.  True law derives from this right, not from
the arbitrary power of the omnipotent state.                [email protected]