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HR3261 & S968 are
threatening CL and
the rest of your
Internet. Most of
the web sites you use
strongly oppose these
bills. Find out why, and
how you can help put
a stop to this madness
before it's too late!
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Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn't want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn't want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.
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? One could pass laws against it, but the freedom of speech, even more than privacy, is fundamental to an open society; we seek not to restrict any speech at all. If many parties speak together in the same forum, each can speak to all the others and aggregate together knowledge about individuals and other parties. The power of electronic communications has enabled such group speech, and it will not go away merely because we might want it to.
Since we desire privacy, we must ensure that each party to a transaction have knowledge only of that which is directly necessary for that transaction. Since any information can be spoken of, we must ensure that we reveal as little as possible. In most cases personal identity is not salient. When I purchase a magazine at a store and hand cash to the clerk, there is no need to know who I am. When I ask my electronic mail provider to send and receive messages, my provider need not know to whom I am speaking or what I am saying or what others are saying to me; my provider only need know how to get the message there and how much I owe them in fees. When my identity is revealed by the underlying mechanism of the transaction, I have no privacy. I cannot here selectively reveal myself; I must always reveal myself.
Therefore, privacy in an open society requires anonymous transaction systems. Until now, cash has been the primary such system. An anonymous transaction system is not a secret transaction system. An anonymous system empowers individuals to reveal their identity when desired and only when desired; this is the essence of privacy.
Privacy in an open society also requires cryptography. If I say something, I want it heard only by those for whom I intend it. If the content of my speech is available to the world, I have no privacy. To encrypt is to indicate the desire for privacy, and to encrypt with weak cryptography is to indicate not too much desire for privacy. Furthermore, to reveal one's identity with assurance when the default is anonymity requires the cryptographic signature.
We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence. It is to their advantage to speak of us, and we should expect that they will speak. To try to prevent their speech is to fight against the realities of information. Information does not just want to be free, it longs to be free. Information expands to fill the available storage space. Information is Rumor's younger, stronger cousin; Information is fleeter of foot, has more eyes, knows more, and understands less than Rumor.
We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. We must come together and create systems which allow anonymous transactions to take place. People have been defending their own privacy for centuries with whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, secret handshakes, and couriers. The technologies of the past did not allow for strong privacy, but electronic technologies do.
We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems. We are defending our privacy with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and with electronic money.
Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and since we can't get privacy unless we all do, we're going to write it. We publish our code so that our fellow Cypherpunks may practice and play with it. Our code is free for all to use, worldwide. We don't much care if you don't approve of the software we write. We know that software can't be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can't be shut down.
Cypherpunks deplore regulations on cryptography, for encryption is fundamentally a private act. The act of encryption, in fact, removes information from the public realm. Even laws against cryptography reach only so far as a nation's border and the arm of its violence. Cryptography will ineluctably spread over the whole globe, and with it the anonymous transactions systems that it makes possible.
For privacy to be widespread it must be part of a social contract. People must come and together deploy these systems for the common good. Privacy only extends so far as the cooperation of one's fellows in society. We the Cypherpunks seek your questions and your concerns and hope we may engage you so that we do not deceive ourselves. We will not, however, be moved out of our course because some may disagree with our goals.
The Cypherpunks are actively engaged in making the networks safer for privacy. Let us proceed together apace.
Abelman's Dry Goods
Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. I. Abelman, Mongoloid, Esq.:
We have received via post your absurd comments about our trousers, the comments revealing, as they did, your total lack of contact with reality. Were you more aware, you would know or realize by now that the offending trousers were dispatched to you with our full knowledge that they were inadequate so far as length was concerned.
"Why? Why?" you are in your incomprehensible babble, unable to assimilate stimulating concepts of commerce into your retarded and blighted worldview.
The trousers were sent to you (1) as a means of testing your initiative (A clever, wide-awake business concern should be able to make three-quarter length trousers a by-word of masculine fashion. Your advertising and merchandising programs are obviously faulty.) and (2) as a means of testing your ability to meet the standards requisite in a distributor of our quality product. (Our loyal and dependable outlets can vend any trouser bearing the Levy label no matter how abominable their design and construction. You are apparently a faithless people.)
We do not wish to be bothered in the future by such tedious complaints. Please confine your correspondence to orders only. We are a busy and dynamic organization whose mission needless effrontery and harassment can only hinder. If you molest us again, sir, you may feel the sting of the lash across your pitiful shoulders.
Yours in anger,
Gus Levy, Pres.
One woman can make you fly like an eagle, another can give you the strength of a lion, but only one in the Cycle Of Life can fill your heart with wonder and the wisdom that you have known a singular joy.
- Tommy 'Hawk' Hill
I'VE FINISHED WORK ON MY NEW GAME, GIRP. IT'S VERY LOOSELY A SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR TO QWOP.
PRESS AND HOLD THE LETTER KEYS TO REACH FOR THE RINGS, AND USE EITHER SHIFT, CONTROL OR THE MOUSE BUTTON TO HAUL YOURSELF UP. YOUR GOAL IS A BIRD'S NEST AT THE TOP OF THE CLIFF, THAT HAS AN AWESOME, AMAZING TREASURE HIDDEN INSIDE. BUT YOU HAVE TO CONTEND WITH A TERRITORIAL BIRD AND THE SLOWLY RISING TIDE. IT'S NOT AS HARD AS QWOP BUT I THINK YOU WILL FIND IT... HARD ENOUGH.
From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing'.
The process of gaining approval from the Administrative Services Agency was anything but a minor formality. The first application was sent to the Administrative Services Agency in 2010. Three applications and one year later, it was accepted.
In our correspondence with the Administrative Services Agency during that year, it appeared that they seemed not to understand our vocabulary that we use to describe our practices. For example, instead of writing about worship, we talked about kopyacting. We wrote the members instead of talking about a wider community. It’s all about semantics. In the end we realized that the only way to get past the eye of the needle was to copy their own texts into the application. After all of these difficulties, Ctrl-c + ctrl-v, finally gained formal recognition.
Our Nova Doctrine to the New Time 2.0 is based on a few basic axioms, which in turn can be traced back to our strong defense of the informational value, the value that all information possesses, in itself regardless of the specific properties of the information. Since information and information value is so sacred to us, Kopimists recognize these few basic axioms:
- Copying of information is ethically right.
- Dissemination of information is ethically right.
- Copymixing is a sacred kind of copying, moreso than the perfect, digital copying, because it expands and enhances the existing wealth of information
- Copying or remixing information communicated by another person is seen as an act of respect and a strong expression of acceptance and Kopimistic faith.
The right to copy is harmonized with natural law, and therefore copying is an essential part of life. The dogmatic copyright doctrine is in conflict with human behavior. Their domination is based on censorship and regulation of knowledge flow, and the imposition of their faith on us, a la Franco.
That the authoritarian copyright doctrine is elevated to a state religion goes against the 1700-century Enlightenment ideals we hold so dear to our hearts. Justice departements have at times sent out small brochures to schools teaching that knowledge is created out of nothing. The least we can ask is that the state remain secular and let each individual decide what is morally right.
Our Nova Doctrine questions “the God-given order” with respect to the perception of knowledge and information. Kopimism teaches that it is morally right to copy and disseminate information. To create is to copy. Copying is creating.
Copyright extremists of knowledge are seen clearly in the discussion of plagiarism in universities. We try to indoctrinate students with the notion that they should come up with something entire novel, though in reality is it only possible to refine existing information. Authorship is one long process of remix and copying.
When millions of people sit on their couches to watch the latest X Country’s Idol or X Country’s Got Talent, it simply consist of copies of the previous sets we’ll see. Copies surround us everywhere and we must end the illusion that something new is created from nothing. What then is unique?
There are voices from Christian quarters that Kopimism is not a true religion. The criticism is that The Church of Kopimism only mimicked the correct language to get the approval of the Administrative Services Agency; that we are only a rip-off.
We see Christianity as a wonderful example of what we want to preserve. There is probably no concept of Christianity itself that has was created from scratch. Everything is a re-interpretation or variation on previously-existing streams of thought. Christianity is an excellent example of remix culture!
It is not only Christianity that remixes, but in all likelihood also Islam and Judaism. Everything in life consists of copies and refinements. We are therefore attempting to live in coexistence with other copies.
The best-known information carrier, the book, was created as part of religious activities. It was in the Church that books were copied by monks. Even then, they understood the importance of disseminating information – of copying. In modern times, the Christian monks had other duties and have thus lost the important social role they once had.
The social work of the missionary Church of Kopimism is very important. It is a vanguard of creating copies of knowledge and culture to other fellows, taking up where the Christian monks stopped. We want to live in a world where all people have access to all information, no one is kept out or back. To become a legitimate religious community in Sweden, we believe that we need to get government grants and obtain a permit to perform marriages.
It is with the Ministry of Health that we may apply for grants as a faith. We have begun to look at the eligibility requirements and procedures for procuring state funds. In the future, we will prepare an application and, we hope, obtain approval. Because we have already been identified by some as controversial, we assume that we will encounter resistance. In the end, it is government that makes decisions about which religious groups to whom the public money.
Administrative Services Agency is the proponents of marriage law. An important and entirely legitimate demands, is that you must have been operating for some time. Kopimistsamfundet was formed in 2010 and has had continuous operation since its formation. If this would not be “business for more” we are extremely surprised.
Like so many other believers, we wish to conduct operations as a legitimate organization and believe in religious freedom wings. Therefore, we strive to become a legitimate religious community in the hope of the modern Inquisition against us Kopimists and believers must cease. Inquisitors want to make an example of us, like what happened when the Catholic Church put heretics in the block in the square. We may not share their faith and beliefs, but we are sure that we must coexist regardless.
The belief about the spirituality and the right of all people to the copy and sharing of all knowledge and information is here to stay. Religion should not be viewed as a steadfast and static. It is changing and constantly adapted to the prevailing social values.
Copy and seed.
World population N (left scale) and world population density n in elements per square mile (right scale) observed (circles), calculated after Eq. 11 (solid line) and projected by different authors (triangles) as a function of historical time t (bottom scale), and of dooms-time T (top scale). The numbers associated with each point are references.
An Animated interpretation of John Cohen's first meeting with Harry Smith, the experimental filmmaker and animator who compiled the Anthology of American Folk Music, the most influential music collection in American history. Done for the American Standard Time blog.