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what's in a name?

I've stayed out of the debate about list moderation so far, but a recent
post from [email protected] reminds me of something I've been
thinking about.  An interesting way to look at what happened is that John
Gilmore owns the name "[email protected]" and has chosen to exercise
that ownership.  Even though those of us who disagree with the way he has
done so are free to leave and set up our own mailing list, it is costly to
do so, and the problem of central name ownership remains.  List
subscribers have made investments that are specific to the name
"[email protected]", and most of the cost of switching to a new list is
in the new investments they would have to (re)make.  The fact is that a
promise of no censorship is not enough incentive for us to do so. 
I suspect that the hierarchical nature of name ownership on the Internet
today will be an important technological barrier for the establishment of
truly anarchic virtual communities.  Unless this problem is solved, the
closest we'll come is pseudo-anarchies that exist with the tolerance of
beneficent dictators.
Wei Dai