[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

"Reputations" are more than just nominalist hot air

James Donald writes:

(quoting Hal Finney)

> > 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.

Why not try to clarify and examine such an important concept? Where's
the danger in gaining a better understanding? Jumping forward to
speculations about what the Supremes might do with such knowledge
(were they to subscribe to our list and thus gain this knowledge :-})
and from this concluding that such research should not be done seems
unwarranted. To put it mildly.

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

James, I can only conclude you were in a bad mood when you wrote
this, as surely the study of how reputations work, how they get
increased and decreased, etc., cannot be a bad thing.

> >  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?
> No.

My close friend and frequent collaborator, Sue D. Nym, known to you
also as S.  Boxx, as Pablo Escobar, and as an12070, has been
researching this issue very carefully. His analysis of pseudospoofing
is precisely on target here, and answers this question affirmatively.

(In this paragraph, I have just "spent" some of my "reputation
capital" in this praise of Detweiler. Depending on the views you
readers have about my reputation, and Detweiler's reputation, and how
serious you think I was here, my reputation could get better or worse,
and Detweiler's could get better or worse. This is one way the
reputation of one agent can be transferred to another. It happens all
the time, in reviews of movies, books, restaurants, and pseudonyms.)

The study of reputations and how they change is an important one. It
is more than just "nominalism" to see how things tick, what the key
features are, what the conserved quantities are (if any), and so
forth. This I think was the thrust of Hal's questions.

--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: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."