[discuss] Internet: the INTER-connection of local NET-works

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Mon May 5 05:22:15 UTC 2014

One more time, after which I will be silent on this thread.

On 05/05/2014 16:37, willi uebelherr wrote:
> In general I formulate the following development principles:
> a) massively decentralized
> b) massively parallel
> c) massively redundant

Remarkably similar to the principles formulated by Paul Baran in 1962,
which led directly to what we have today.

> From that directly follows that our global communication system rests on
> independent local networks. 

More or less what Louis Pouzin wrote in ~1974.

> It also follows that the people in the
> regions concerned in parallel with the development of technical
> components that they need for their communication systems. 

Which is exactly why the relevant technical standards have been
freely available since the late 1970s.

> And it also
> follows that the capacity should be well above the maximum demand.

Yes, this is the principle adopted by most ISPs with the slogan "throw
bandwidth at the problem," although it does have to confront economic

> The current restrictions are primarily the monopolization of knowledge

What knowledge is monopolised? The knowledge is pretty much all available
for free at http://www.rfc-editor.org/ (and a couple of other places for
physical transmission standards, which you might have to pay for).

> and a specific concentration of technical infrastructures. But these
> restrictions have no inherent legitimacy. They are the result of
> constructive design.

I don't know what "constructive design" means. I also don't know what
you mean about concentration of physical infrastructure. The Internet
is one of the most distributed technical systems ever built,
alongside the phone system. There isn't even an equipment duopoly,
as there is for the airline system.

I would guess that the distribution of Internet infrastructure, viewed
from space, would turn out to match the distribution of street lights.
In other words, it matches the distribution of economic infrastructure
in general. It could not be otherwise.

> Where the boundaries lie for distributed and parallel development of the
> necessary technical components, we do not know. But we know that
> diversity is an essential prerequisite for a strong development.

Again, that's why we have open standards; nobody restricts such diversity.

> We are inevitably confronted with the private appropriation of human
> knowledge. This is not a problem for me, because for me knowledge is
> always world heritage. This eliminates all the justifications for legal
> systems to patents and licenses. This is because basically our
> individual knowledge rests on the knowledge of our ancestors and
> contemporaries.
> Because not the needs of the people to free communication are the
> foundation in the technical development of components for communications
> systems, but the interests of capital utilization, there are no
> reasonable technological systems. Therefore, we can never make the
> present state of the technology to the basis of our discussion.

At this point, the argument leaves Planet Earth and moves to
the magical plane. There, I cannot follow.


More information about the discuss mailing list