Pragmatism (was Re: [ppml] Re: 2005-1:Multi-national Business Enablement)

Edward Lewis Ed.Lewis at
Mon May 9 16:10:21 EDT 2005

At 14:07 -0400 5/9/05, Tom Vest wrote:

>First, the only slightly tongue-in-cheek response: do you think the ITU would
>be (or be perceived to be) doing as well with their number management if 8-9
>new sovereign states were added to the international system every day? That's
>the situation that the RIRs face, because -- at least in some places -- the
>barriers to becoming a network operator are relatively low. In perhaps half of

Well, my question was more about what drove the desires, but you've 
brought up something that does differentiate between the RIR approach 
and the ITU approach.

What's interesting is that the difference here relates to barriers of 
entry, but is much the same as the difference between fundamental 
technical differences between telephony's time (or wave) division 
multiplexing and computer network on-demand (ALOHA-like) methods of 
sharing a medium.  Hmmm.

I was thinking that one difference was the fixed size of address (in 
IP) versus variable (tel nos.).  Because phone numbers aren't fixed 
length, assigning country codes is plausible.  With fixed lengths, it 
isn't so much.

But having to deal with players coming and going - and all the 
associated security, economic, and business state being established 
and dismantled - that the environment is much harder to deal with. 
(If you can count the game's participants, it's much easier to 
predict the outcome.)

>How many new sovereign national entities do you see being created every day
>  -- every century?

One could make a snide remark about "regime change" directives. ;)

>system -- but almost no one's buying. I'll spare you the academic citations,
>but the point is that "national resource alignment" is essentially a
>conservative strategy, not a strategy for growth. Strict national resource
>alignment is not an efficient way of organizing a system that grows in
>response to transnational supply and demand -- like the conventional economy,
>like the Internet. It is, however, a good strategy for perpetuating national

I don't need the citations, I wholeheartedly agree with this.

At one time I was convinced the following was a paraphrased quote of 
Samuel Morse (telegraph dude), but have yet to find a citation - and 
I have tried -

"Innovation is stymied because there comes a time when to deploy it 
fully you need the capitalization owned by the proponents of the 
status quo.  Not until the status quo proponents have figured out how 
to use the innovation to their own benefit will the capital appear." 
The quoted words were much better...

IOW - Nations (or the people in power) will want to see the Interent 
administered (I'm avoiding "governed") in a way that perpetuates 
their power.  I think that's only natural.  The (rhetorical) question 
is how does the Internet grow with or inspite of this, without 
killing the benefit (real or perceived, past or future) of the 

I suppose you could boil down my question to - it's not that the ITU 
is "backwards" for being so nationalistic, it's that the Internet 
Community (TM) needs to figure out how to continue to be innovative 
with the nationalistic reality.

Edward Lewis                                                +1-571-434-5468

If you knew what I was thinking, you'd understand what I was saying.

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list