[arin-ppml] The Library Book Approach to IPv4 Scarcity

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Mon Oct 27 18:59:44 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Grundemann [mailto:cgrundemann at gmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 3:32 PM
> To: Ted Mittelstaedt
> Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] The Library Book Approach to IPv4 Scarcity
> On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 1:57 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt 
> <tedm at ipinc.net> wrote:
> > My concern with this embryonic proposal is as follows:
> >
> > 1) If it worked it would merely add fragmented blocks back into the 
> > IPv4 pool, thus increasing the BGP route entries when those were 
> > reassigned.
> True.
> > 2) You and I both have proposals in process to attempt to 
> get a handle 
> > on the amount of abandonded IPv4 by verifying the POCs.  I would 
> > prefer to allow those to mature and
> > (hopefully) be added to the NRPM first, and I think it is 
> unwise for you,
> > particularly, to
> > get involved in pushing another controversial proposal 
> until the dust has
> > settled on the
> > first.
> I completely agree but decided to post this anyway (after a 
> few days of wrestling with it) because we just have so little 
> time left at this point.  If this proposal were to be adopted 
> or were to spark a better idea in someone else, it has to 
> happen soon; the longer we wait, the less effective any 
> policy change will be.  To borrow an analogy; the Titanic 
> sunk in part because they initiated the turn too late.

I think in this instance the analogy is more along the lines
of when the US Continental Congress wrote the US Constitution.

Many people save constitutional scholars are unaware that the
original Declaration of Independence contained a clause outlawing
slavery, but due to Southern colonies resistance that clause was
dropped, Thomas Jefferson again tried to introduce an anti-slavery
proposal in 1784 but was rejected by South Carolina, Maryland and Virgina,
voting against it.  Benjamin Franklin helped found the Pennsylvania
abolitionists society in 1774.  Yet, the continental congress punted
on this issue - because it was controversal they left it for the

The result, a century later, was civil war.

When ARIN was founded, if they had fought the Legacy battle then,
as well as the battle to make efficient resource use then, a lot
of the grey today on IPv4 probably would not exist.  Proposals
like yours are sparked precisely because the IPv4 runout definition
itself is very grey.

Fundamentally the problem isn't so much that we are running out of
IPv4.  If this was a completely black and white issue - like for
example, a car running out of gasoline, there would be no argument.
Your either out of gas or your not - and the passengers don't then
engage in a debate on whether there's a flask of gasoline in the
glovebox that might get us another mile to the gas station.  IPv4
by contrast, there's enough greyness in whether or not that we are
really "out" that people are arguing over it.


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