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

Shatan, Gregory S. GShatan at ReedSmith.com
Mon May 5 15:57:06 UTC 2014

It is good that you identify this as "philosophical," since it is not an expression of fact.

In particular, the concept that all parties are at one of two "extremal poles" is both incorrect and dangerous.  It leads to all sorts of flaws in reasoning and analysis, since by doing so, one fails to distinguish the differences between the positions of various parties, as well as the common ground that various parties can find.

Assuming for the moment that these are valid "poles," I would instead suggest that parties are arrayed along a spectrum between these two poles, with a mixture of "self-interest" and "public interest" (assuming that is consistent with your concept of "free communication").

I think it is also flawed to align those who "use the communication requirements in order to realize [their] own interests" with "those for which the current structures and organizations are important".  There may be overlap between these two "sets," but they are not by any means the same.  Many who support the "current structures and organizations" do not do so out of self-interest, but because they believe these are valid mechanisms to achieve the public interest.  (I'll note that most who support the current structures and organizations do not do so uncritically -- "support" does not equal "worship.")  Conversely, many self-interested parties are not particularly fond of the current structures and organizations.  They may work for some but not for others.

One of the problems with "philosophical" discussions is that they tend to be abstracted and avoid concrete terms and identifications. In other words, it can be hard to identify what someone is saying or where they are coming from.  Cutting through the "we" and the "those" it is my impression that your philosophy is "anti-corporate" and/or "anti-private sector" and/or "anti-capitalist."  I'm not making a judgment, just an observation.

Understanding this as your point of origin, your following statement is consistent with this orientation:

"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."

It is good to know that you have rejected every legal system in the world.  This may be splendid philosophically, but it renders anything you propose impossible as a practical matter.  Knowledge is not something that merely exists, it is created.  Therefore, to claim that it is "appropriated" is a loaded statement.   The balance between rewarding those who create and advance knowledge and allowing for "freedom of knowledge" underpins all legal systems relating to intellectual property (and more).  There is certainly room for debate on this balance (and there is a mountain of debate out there), but taking the "extremal pole" that all knowledge is free is not going to advance that debate or have any practical result.

Finally, I would note that the very idea that all "actors" are at one of two "extremal poles" is inconsistent with the very idea of the consensus-driven multistakeholder process.  If all stakeholders clung to one or another "extremal pole" stakeholders could never develop consensus.  In a well-designed multistakeholder process, the consensus mechanism forces parties to let go of their "pole positions" to try and create a position that is not at any pole. A philosophy that puts  all actors at two poles has no method to resolve conflict other than power.  And this is certainly a result to be avoided.

Greg Shatan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of willi uebelherr
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 12:38 AM
To: 1net discuss
Subject: Re: [discuss] Internet: the INTER-connection of local NET-works

Dear friends,

I am very grateful for the constructive responses. In particular, the critical questions are important. They force us to organize our thinking and to substantiate our views.

In this response, I will deal only with the philosophical basis for my proposal. Some answers are originated from a different orientation. In a second response I want to discuss some technical aspects that are general in nature. Special reviews and questions I want to answer specifically, as far as I am able.

The background

We can distinguish two extremal poles.
a) we support the desire from all people to a free communication
b) we use the communication requirements in order to realize our own interests.

To a) I stand and many members of this list.

To b) stay all those for which the current structures and organizations are important. Be it to stabilize their jobs or to secure their livelihood in any other form. But it is also important to organize governance and to try anything that the people in the regions can not organize independently. And therefore are not in a position to shape their communication system itself. As part of the many actors worldwide.

As in all questions of constructive design also flow into our principles of the design of our communication systems our philosophical orientations and ultimately determine our methods. We always have to deal with limitations in the technical possibilities. But from the contradiction between target and condition arise the driving forces.

This also applies to those for which the needs for communication are only objects for their money-oriented actions.

In general I formulate the following development principles:
a) massively decentralized
b) massively parallel
c) massively redundant

 From that directly follows that our global communication system rests on independent local networks. 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. And it also follows that the capacity should be well above the maximum demand.

The current restrictions are primarily the monopolization of knowledge and a specific concentration of technical infrastructures. But these restrictions have no inherent legitimacy. They are the result of constructive design.

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.

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.

Communication is always bidirectional. It also follows that we consider in our technical terminology the client and server as a unit. In our direct verbal communication, we also do this. Technically that's not a problem.

If we treat our connection paths for data transport such as public roads, which everyone can use, then we immediately see the massive limitations. Again, there is no technical reason. Always the people in the local regions make their paths and trails usable for guests.

Communication takes place primarily locally and regionally. In families, between friends and colleagues. Therefore, it is natural to organize our technical communication systems locally and regionally. This eliminates much of the meaningless data transports.

I will summarize it briefly. We focus on the needs. We decentralize and parallelize our activities for the construction of the components for our global communication systems. We cooperate worldwide. We help each other worldwide. We can do this because we have the same needs for a free communication worldwide.

Many greetings in solidarity, willi uebelherr Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

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