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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Some thoughts on Stuart Lynn's 'Authoritative Root' Discussion Draft | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 6 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Some thoughts on Stuart Lynn's 'Authoritative
    by craig.mctaggart@utor (craig_mctaggart canada com) on Wednesday June 06 2001, @05:42AM (#750)
    User #671 Info | http://www.innovationlaw.org/cm/index.htm
    Rather than being "simply and most profoundly incorrect", Dr. Lynn's statement that "coordination of the assignment function by a single authority is necessary where unique parameter values are technically required" is fundamentally correct.

    Professor Post's comment, as well as many of his published works, do not recognize the inherently *binary* nature of computing and computer networking. Things are either on or off. In or out. 1 or 0. Computers are maddeningly unforgiving of ambiguity and diversity - two of the hallmarks of non-computer languages.

    Arguments which apply in environments of diversity are inapplicable to environments of uniformity. You may wish to use a symbol other than the ampersand in email addresses, but your email won't get far. No one can tell you that you can't do so - you are completely at liberty to do so. This is good news for libertarians. But if you want to be heard via Internet email, you use that darned old constrictive, oppressive ampersand. The text comprising your message can be diverse. The codes in the header can't.

    It is essential in Internet discourse to distinguish between the many layers which comprise networks, and similarly distinguish the kinds of arguments that apply at different layers. Professor Post's arguments relating to language may be appropriate at the content layer, where diversity is the rule, but not at the protocol layer, where uniformity is the rule.

    If you don't believe Dr. Lynn, listen to the series of heavy-duty experts (e.g., John Klensin) who supported the unique root idea (in the abstract, at least) during the open mic segment of the discussion of Dr. Lynn's paper on Sunday June 3 in Stockholm. The majority of speakers supported it, in fact, contrary to the many who apparently disagreed in online comments submitted. I'm serious - listen to the feed.

    Let's try to recognize that if we want one network that works everywhere, we need uniformity at some layers. Other networks, using other roots, are always possible, but by definition have less reach than this amazing network that we all use and love, which Dr. Lynn accurately describes as "the public Internet".

    Craig McTaggart
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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