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Re: "Reputations" are more than just nominalist hot air

Stephen D. Williams writes
> Would someone care to create a mini-glossary, complete with author-noted
> alternate definitions of the current topics?


The problem is that Hal wants a definition of "Reputation" that is 
more objective, concrete, controllable measurable and well defined, 
whereupon I went ballistic because reputations do not have the 
properties that he thinks a good definition of reputation should have.

Thus reputations, defined to have the nice properties that Hal
would like them to have, would lack the crucial property of
enforcing good conduct.

Since we want "reputations" to serve in place of state violence,
rather than serving in place of drivers licenses,  I argued
that the kind of definition that Hal was seeking would be
catastrophically counter productive.

We should propose credentialing systems, rather than define

Of course what Hal really wanted to do was discuss credentialing
systems, rather than get involved in a discussion of nominalism
and realism etc.

My objection was that by calling credentialling systems "reputations"
he was obfuscating the crucial part of the process whereby credentials
obtain value.   This is an error akin to that of "the labor theory
of value", and would lead to the same disastrous error that the
labor theory of value leads to:  We would end up proposing "non
coercive" systems that would in reality require a great deal of 
coercion in order to work.

By calling a credential a reputation, we imply that it automatically
has value.  Of course it does not.

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]