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A Cypherpunk's Manifesto (1993) (activism.net)
31 points by dylmarcor on Aug 25, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments

This, indirectly, and after a lot of work and several failed attempts at solutions on the cypherpunks mailing list, resulted in bitcoin.

There was a movement at the time, coalesced by this manifesto, of the geekiest of the nerds, the very few engineers who really cared about encryption, privacy and libertarianism. (OG Libertarians)

For awhile, it was like a window into the world of a William Gibson novel.

Unfortunately, technology marches slowly, and by the time bitcoin was released, the movement was a lot less strong than it was.

Now bitcoin crystalized a second cypherpunk movement around it... but it's success over the past 5 years has attracted a whole lot of momo, traders, players, "investors" and generally non-technical types who can't tell the difference between ripple and bitcoin, except "Ripple has all the banks excited, I'm gonna make bank!"

At some point, though, those eople will be less of an influence as we, as a wider cypherpunk community, recognize, ironically, that identity and the trust that a real identity can accrue, is what is key.

Adam Beck, Luke-Jr, Samson Mow, Matt Blue, and others I don't know as well are accruing the riches of correct predictions, and a half decade of actions with integrity, while the wannabe kings make their plans and push agreements, they will be cast aside as their true intentions become more widely recognized, and their proposals fail in the marketplace (you can't just rip code out of core and call it "bitcoin" and expect it to survive-- the gyrations of BCH's hash rate are a good example of this.)

A good elucidation of cypherpunk philosophy:


re: "If two parties have some sort of dealings, then each has a memory of their interaction. Each party can speak about their own memory of this; how could anyone prevent it?"

This is defeatist. There are ways. Imperfect, but they exist.

There are legal remedies like HIPAA. It seems that we don't actually want the health care system to share everything it knows about us.

Also, Snapchat got where it is by realizing its users want disappearing messages and doing their best to give it to them.

It will always be valuable to know things about other people. Technologies that enhance privacy without providing perfect privacy merely increase the cost of technologies that collect data. Even with perfect privacy tech, people sell their privacy for small discounts all the time already. Is the resulting information asymmetry better or worse than sacrificing privacy altogether? I'm not sure.

Does this really require a monicker? Can't we just call people opposed to the freedom to privacy and encryption... luddites, authoritarians, or assholes?

I think I prefer all three actually...Authoritarian Luddite Assholes.

But seriously, I don't think that's necessarily an accurate description of everyone who's against encryption. Some of them just have a poor understanding of the subject and are told total bullshit by other people about it. Often times people who are allegedly "experts".

I agree, it's the overall complete lack of education on any topic that's even remotely cutting edge. Technologies and ideas move faster than the institutions can keep up with. The only subject that should really be taught now is the ability to self-educate as much as possible.

Ignorance to these kinds of things keeps people who would otherwise totally support in the dark, and thus, afraid of it.

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