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Re: The Nature of the Cypherpunks List

Timothy C. May writes:
> While some folks would rather we talked only about "crypto," just how many
> times can basic questions about Diffie-Hellman, or RSA, or elliptic curves
> be discussed?

I think a better question is "do we need to have to make sure people
are posting for the sake of posting? Why must we have a charter broad
enough to generate too much volume to allow conversation?"

Sure, there is a limit to what can be said about cryptography and the
direct politics of cryptography. *THAT IS THE POINT*. That is why I'm
starting a new list -- so that I can abandon this waste heap to those
that like frolicking in the mire.

> And as I was there at the initial planning meeting in July of '92, and then
> at the first physical meeting, I can assure you that what soon became
> "Cypherpunks" was never intended to be an announcement list for research
> discoveries in mathematical cryptography!

No. It was intended for discussion of cryptography *and* the politics
of cryptography. Not theories about some airliner was shot down by
aliens, not random musings on "assasination politics". The idea was
never to be restricted just to the technical aspects of cryptography,
but the notion was to have a place where the non-technical discussion
also was on *cryptography*. This list no longer has *any* charter. A
posting on sexual practices in Botswana is probably as "on topic" as
anything else these days.

The new list, however, will have a charter, and it *will* be enforced.

> Much as some have been shrilly claiming "This list is for crypto and
> programming discussions only," this was *never* the intent.

Tim, I hate to say this, but cypherpunks is a sewer which has driven
off anyone seriously interested in the area, and you are part of the

> The serious crypto researchers, e.g., the Matt Blazes, the Whit Diffies,
> and the Carl Ellisons of the world, have various channels they use to
> communicate in.

For those who can think back a few years, this *used* to be one of
those fora. No longer, of course. This is not for people serious about
anything. I no longer read 99% of what is posted here -- its drek.

I do not believe it would be good, however, for the list to be shut
down, because there have to be sewers to carry the world's
intellectual waste products, and if this list did not exist the likes
of Jim Bell and the others would be out causing harm on other mailing


PS Still looking for a solid site that can host a 1500 member
significant volume mailing list without choking.