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At 11:17 PM 9/4/94 -0700, James A. Donald wrote:

>The objective is to go to a system where good conduct is
>enforced by the non material and unquantifiable value of
>reputations, rather than a system where good
>conduct is enforced by coercion.
>Credentials are not reputations.  Any attempt to make reputations
>more precise, objective, and knowable, will turn them into
>credentials, which are incapable of achieving the desired

I'm afraid I don't understand what you guys are talking about.  My wife and
I bought a car on Saturday.  We drove it away, based on what the dealer's
computer printedout from his TRW inquiry. My personal credit (tied to my
Social Security Number)is terrible. My wife's is pristine. We used hers.
(Is this "transference of reputation? Could *I* use a couple different SSNs
for different "reputations"?) They asked about how much $$$ she makes, how
long we've lived in our house and looked at the record of payments on other
loans. They took a copy of her driver's license (credentials?) and TRW
calculated a "risk factor" for us. It was a specific number, between
1-1000. This sounds like a reputation kept by a third party (escrow agent?)
to me.

My actions (good conduct) will be based on (enforced?) by the non material
and semi-quantifiable value of the TRW credit report, not coercion (I want
more stuff in the future). TRW seems like a "reputation reporting agency".
I can take a copy of that print out into another bank and get another loan
if I wanted. Is that a "credential"? What's the difference? and what are
the implications of the difference?

Give me a better model to illustrate what you think would be better or
worse. Drug dealers only need cash and a gun to make transactions while
they keep totally anonymous. Futures traders need a credit line and a
government registered agent to work through and have *no* privacy, but more
money than I'll ever make.

>By calling a credential a reputation, we imply that it automatically
>has value.  Of course it does not.

But this is like saying that a credit card has no value. While this is
technically true, in reality, where I live, I can turn that credit card
into food, gas, stereos and computers. If I don't pay my bill at the end of
the month, they won't give me anymore stuff.

Reputations *and* credentials both have nothing to do with the value, worth
or character of a person, but I don't think the car dealer cares if I kick
my dog, only if I pay my bills.

PS- I lost the note about Sandy's Privacy  Seminar. Did I miss it?

Conrad Walton                        [email protected]
Without JOY there can be no STRENGTH.
Without STRENGTH, all other virtures are worthless.
                                                            Edward Abbey