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Re: positive rep

> but how do you know who to add to the positive rep list?  take netnews,
> e.g.  i generally scan a group for names i know (+ rep), then read

For example, all mail/news reader software would have a function where
after reading the article you could press a key to indicate you found
the article useful/informative/interesting.  What it would do is send
the person a "certificate", which in essence says "I recommend reading
messages by this person", signed cryptographically with your signature.

These certificates could be appended to messages by that person, or 
posted to some special newsgroup just for that purpose (similar to
"control"), or distributed through some other means.  

If several people to whom you have assigned high credibility recommend
messages by a person, then your news software would automatically sort
his messages to appear higher in the list before other people's messages,
and also that person's recommendations would have a higher weight in
computing other people's sort values.

All this pre-supposes widespread use of authenticated messages, so 
someone could not forge himself some certificates from well-known
people.  Also, it would not allow a J. Random to forge a post that
appears to be from a person with high reputation.

The technology for such communication exists now (PGP, MD5, RSAREF, etc)
it is just not integrated into most news/mail software.

Unlike negative reputations, positive reputations are immune to
subversion by creating many anonymous or pseudonymous identities.

You might imagine someone creating two hundred "people" and have them
all send him their "certificates". 

But this would not work, since no-one has recommended these people, their
certificate would carry no weight whatsoever.

Yanek Martinson    mthvax.cs.miami.edu!safe0!yanek     uunet!medexam!yanek
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