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Re: Ayn Rand and Crypto-Anarchy

[email protected] writes:

> I recently read Atlas Shrugged by Ayne Rand.  I noticed two 
> crucial technologies that seem like good analogs for cypherpunk 
> technology.   

Yes, lots of parallels. I read Rand when I was 16, was mightily
influenced, but have been unable to read her since. Just the writing
style, I suppose. Other people tell me the same thing, that you
basically have to read her when you're young and impressionable. (put
a smiley here if you like)

> Did Ayn Rand anticipate crypto-anarchy?

Rand later in her life denounced libertarians, let alone the even more
extreme anarcho-capitalists. And the crypto anarchists of today are
beyond even anarcho-capitalism.

But her ideas were of utmost importance. In fact, in 1988, I set out
to write a novel that would "update" "Atlas Shrugged." It's still
languishing, but many of the ideas I developed while attending Crypto
conferences, reading Vinge ("True Names") and Card ("Ender's Game"),
and exploring the implications of fully anonymous communication and
trade found their way into my "Crypto Anarchist Manifesto" that year.

So, I would agree that 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.

Someday I'll repost my essay "Libertaria in Cyberspace" to this List.

-Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
Note: I put time and money into writing this posting. I hope you enjoy it.