[arin-ppml] CGN multiplier was: RE: Input on an article by Geoff Huston (potentially/myopically off-topic addendum)

Tom Vest tvest at eyeconomics.com
Tue Sep 13 20:00:01 EDT 2011

On Sep 13, 2011, at 6:43 PM, Michel Py wrote:

>> Tom Vest wrote:
>> Which raises a related question: at what point in time should we
>> now say that the banking sector had reached/exceeded the growth
>> limits dictated by its own foundational resource base -- at the
>> moment of the crash, or perhaps some earlier point in time ...
>> or have they yet to reach it, and everything that has transpired
>> over the last 3-4 years should be regarded as "just business"?
> Just business. This is a decent enough parallel.

Thanks! For the record, I would use terms like "perfect symmetry" or "statistically certain harbinger of things to come" in place of "decent enough parallel," but I'll take whatever I can get ;-) 

> Just as in the banking sector, some have seen the looming crisis (IPv4
> depletion) coming for a long time.

Yes indeed.

> Just as in the banking sector, most of the ones who will profit from it
> are the ones who saw it coming earlier and have acted accordingly, which
> does not mean pleasing you or me, or doing what is right, but does mean
> maximizing their profits. That includes stockpiling IPv4 addresses,
> which makes it doubly worse.

As an expresion of cynical resignation/fatalism, I can certainly understand and (in weak moments) sympathize with your reaction.

As a normative or forward-looking recommendation for how to act in the days ahead, I couldn't disagree more strenuously.

There are all sorts of ways to be profitable that are so notorious and so "repugnant" (in either/both the technical/HBS or the more common, ethical sense of that term) that they hardly require enumeration here. Some were quite common in earlier, uglier times, and to our collective shame some of the worst still persist today. However, a common feature -- and prerequisite -- for both truly repugnant as well as merely "technically repugnant" activities to proliferate is secrecy, which at scale requires the active complicity of many people, and the tacit, silent acquiescence of (at min.) large segments of the rest of the industry involved.To parrot your own rhetorical response: can you imagine a large bank pursuing the kind of recklessly myopic strategies that they embraced (esp. post-1999) while voluntarily and honestly disclosing what they were up to to any/all interested parties (or alternately, while simultaneously being subject to technical or regulatory arrangements that made transparency an unavoidable condition of existence)? Are you/will you be comfortable living in a world in which the price of your own profitability is (but need not be) an ever-escalating probability of the immiseration of large segments of the rest of the national/global economy? 

This is the point at which I'd typically close with some snide remark like "if so, I guess we can only hope that the Internet will be able to pull this off while remaining as blissfully opaque and unaccountable as so much of the financial sector has managed to remain in wake of the global financial catastrophe."

Instead, I'll just say: thanks very much for the thoughtful response.



> Just as in the banking sector, most of these organizations tend do be
> large, established for a long time, and have considerable resources in
> lobbying and either spreading FUD or dampening it, depending on the
> situation.
> Just as in the banking sector, some people out there not only have seen
> it coming but can't wait for it to grow into a larger crisis so they can
> milk more money out of the situation as long as they possibly can if
> they have anything to do with it. If a couple competitors die in the
> process, even better. And yes if this means 1000:1 NAT, so be it.
> Do you think a large bank is there to please you?
> Do you think a large telco is there to please you?
> It's not about pleasing Tom or Michel, it's not about doing what's
> right, it's about money.
> Michel.

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