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Re: A problem with anonymity

At 2:27 PM 9/2/95, Buford Terrell wrote:

>Actually, you guys are trying to repeat the whole history of the
>law merchant (today's commercial law).  The basic problem was how
>can a buyer in one city acquire goods from a seller in another
>through agents acting at a distance when neither knows the other
>and neither is willing to risk loss on the transaction.

Which might be why I specifically cited this last night in an article in
this thread:

"(Think of various trading situations where one has no idea of the True Name
of the other parties: cash-and-carry transactions, flea markets, many
international trade arrangements, etc. As we have discussed in past
discussions of anarchy, the international trading regime is essentially an
anarchy, in that no Higher Authority exists to resolve disputes in a
top-down way...the so-called "Law Merchant" evolved to resolve disputes in
such trading situations.)"

Benson's "The Enterprise of Law" is of course a libertariant outlook on
these matters. (I should mention that Michael Froomkin says he doesn't
think much of it, but I found it useful, especially as it confirmed my
views on these matters! :-})

--Tim May

Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."