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Re: Problems with anonymous escrow 2--response

Responding to msg by [email protected] (James A. Donald) on 
Sun, 4 Sep 11:24 AM

>I am complaining about dangerous carelessness in your 
>use  and definition of words.  Your use of the word 
>reputation  is as fraught with frightful consequences 
>as Marx's use  of the word "value".
>Reputation based systems work for freedom, and coercion 
> based systems work for centralized government, for 
>obvious  reasons that all of us agree upon.
>*Define* reputations to be something other than  
>reputations, and you are kicking the crucial foundation 
>out  from under freedom.

>support a  reputation, but by abandoning the correct 
>usage of the  word "reputation" you have obscured that 
>fact from  yourself.

>Use the word *credentials*, not the word *reputations*. 
>If we were to start using the word *reputations* in the 
> way that you have been using it, we will make errors 
>with  vastly more serious consequences that the errors 
>that you  have made.


Your answers to Hal and Tim have been enlightening.

And your attempt to move away from nominalism to improve 
precision of language and to ward off inadverdent undermining 
of fundamentals, is admirable, that is, if I understand your 
objections to Hal's proposals correctly.

Perhaps to avoid counter-objections that matters of definition 
all to often lead back into nominalistic debates, you will be 
able to suggest practical examples of what you mean by 
"dangerous", "frightful", "serious consequences", "kicking the 
crucial foundation out from under freedom", and the like.  
Sometimes these melodramatic terms obscure rather than point 
toward concrete situations that will convey your intentions 
more effectively.

Your strong feelings on these matters are clear, but I for one 
do not know what you would do in place of what Hal, and others, 
are proposing, to build and sustain reputations in the 
electronic realm.  Not, to be sure, to undermine what is valid 
in brickspace, but how such firm foundations might be extended, 
even emulated occasionally, in the cyber realm.

I don't yet see these efforts as threatening as you claim.  
When you get a chance, your specific examples would help.