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Re: Problems with anonymous escrow 2--responsey

John Young writes
> 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.

If we assume that reputations are themselves some kind 
of credentials, rather than assuming that credentials 
provide information on which people infer reputations, 
then we will wind up proposing credentials that will 
work like motor car licenses -- credentials that will 
not by themselves achieve the desired effect, and will 
therefore need to be supported by coercion.

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.  Adopting a nominalist
meaning for the word "reputation" would frustrate this objective,
since nominalist "reputations" cannot enforce good conduct.

I am not arguing for increased rigor in the use of the word
"reputation".  Indeed I am protesting and opposing inappropriate
and misleading rigor.

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 

The "frightful consequence" is simply that.   A world in which
cyberspace business functions only by the fiat of government,
which is of course not at all what Hal wishes to achieve.

We have the right to defend ourselves and our
property, because of the kind of animals that we              James A. Donald
are.  True law derives from this right, not from
the arbitrary power of the omnipotent state.                [email protected]