[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal: IPv4 Recovery Fund / history lesson #1

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Fri Nov 28 15:47:55 EST 2008

Hi Milton,

I assure you that there's nothing personal in my criticisms. Nor are  
they uninformed, as I hope I've demonstrated. In fact I am grateful to  
you in a way, since your recommendations for how service providers and  
the RIRs should adapt to changing addressing circumstances perfectly  
mirrors the universal policy stance that every Cato Institute et al.  
sponsored analyst has ever offered up in any matter related to  
monetary policy or banking regulation -- i.e., abolish the central  
bank's uniform medium of exchange and "monopoly" on monetary policy,  
decentralize the production and administration of currency to private/ 
commercial banks, and liberate financial institutions from any/all  
externally imposed rules governing capitalization, reserve holdings,  
or public disclosure of information [1]. In effect, you have become  
another point of symmetry supporting the isomorphism that I've posited  
between the addressing/routing and monetary/financial systems ;-)

My criticisms are just as principled as are your assertions -- if not  
moreso, since I have no established track record of claiming that  
anything else is like IP addresses, or is subject to the same  
opportunities, risks, and limitations, or should be managed using the  
same kinds of policies. As far as maturity goes, my critical responses  
to you have been limited to tit-for-tat replies to your own. I try to  
make my responses factually based, informative, and relevant to the  
subject at hand, but I suppose that is ultimately for readers to judge.

You are a prominent public intellectual, widely recognized in many  
circles as an authority on matters of Internet governance, and have  
chosen to add IP addressing to the list of issues in which you  
frequently engage in high-profile public advocacy. I happen to believe  
that you are tragically, catastrophically wrong with respect to IP  
addressing, and feel obligated to do what I can to make sure that the  
interested public is aware of an alternate way of framing these  
critically important questions.

Happy Thanksgiving Day,


P.S. Since you have accused me of both mischaracterizing and being  
personally ignorant of the substance of your Cato Institute / Reason  
Foundation / Heritage Foundation et al. writings that I previously  
cited, I'll be publishing a full list of these online, along with the  
full text for all that I can obtain. That way, everyone will be free  
to decide for themselves. Will follow up with a url for these  
materials ASAP. In the mean time this will have to suffice:


[1] See for example:
George Selgin, "Milton Friedman and the Case Against Currency  
Monopoly." Cato Journal (Volume 28 Number 2, Spring 2008).

Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr. and Lee Hoskins, "The Case for Market-Based  
Regulation." Cato Journal (Volume 26 Number 3, Fall 2006).

George Selgin, "Currency Privatization as a Substitute For Currency  
Boards and Dollarization." Cato Journal (Volume 25 Number 1, Winter  

On Nov 25, 2008, at 11:10 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

> Tom,
> It's really sad that someone with your intelligence has chosen to  
> stoop
> to becoming a kind of listserv stalker whose sole object is to  
> target an
> individual person. I don't intend to respond any more.
> A few responses below indicate the kind of games you are playing, but
> basically I don't have time for this and as far as I can tell it's out
> of scope for ARIN PPML and has nothing to do with the specific  
> policies
> we are discussing.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> Here's an example of a clear prediction, albeit one that history has
>> tested and found wanting:
>> Mid-1996 (just before the US Telecom Act of 1996 went into effect):
>> "He (Mueller) said New Zealand's lack of regulation meant issue would
>> be settled by courts.
> This did, in fact happen. The issue went into the courts and the
> incumbent was required to interconnect.
>> Case demonstrated that govt. intervention is
>> needed only at beginning and that competition is viable without equal
>> access." [2]
> You (very dishonestly) present this as a scientific prediction, when  
> in
> fact it is a cryptic journalist's summary of a wide-ranging discussion
> at a panel. A scientific prediction would indicate a _specific kind_  
> of
> government intervention and then attribute specific effects to it.
> "equal access" means something very distinctive in U.S. telecom
> regulation. I would not recommend that any country in the world try to
> replicate us equal access regulations, especially the Computer  
> Inquiry 3
> mess.
> Competition is possible without equal access; whether it is the best
> policy is debatable. It's not a debate we are having here.
>> +++++
>> Here's an example of the selective assertion of mutually  
>> contradictory
>> claims to different audiences:
> On the contrary, these selective quotes only demonstrate your utter
> confusion or complete dishonesty.
> First, you juxtapose statements from me about address space with
> statements about _ICANN_.
> Second, all RIR's are already "privatized" organizationally, aren't
> they? I was referring specifically to legal ownership of address  
> blocks.
> Third, none of these statements are predictions.
> Fourth, some of them were made more than 10 years ago in the heat of
> developments and of course many things were uncertain.
> Please don't bother me or the list with any more of this kind of
> immature behavior.
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