THE CYPHERNOMICON: Cypherpunks FAQ and More, Version 0.666,
1994-09-10, Copyright Timothy C. May. All rights reserved.
See the detailed disclaimer. Use short sections under "fair
use" provisions, with appropriate credit, but don't put your
name on my words.
20.2 - README--BRIEF VERSION
20.2.1. Copyright Timothy C. May. All rights reserved. For what it's
20.2.2. Apologies in advance for the mix of styles (outline, bullet,
text, essays), for fragments and incomplete sections. This
FAQ is already much too long and detailed, and writing
suitable connective material, introductions, summaries, etc.
is not in the cards anytime soon. Go with the flow, use your
text searching tools, and deal with it.
20.2.3. Substantive corrections welcome, quibbles less welcome, and
ideological debate even less welcome. Corrections to outdated
information, especially on pointers to information, will be
20.3 - Copyright Comments
20.3.1. It may seem illogical for a Cypherpunk to assert some kind of
copyright. Perhaps. But my main concern is the ease with
which people can relabel documents as their own, sometimes
after only adding a few words here and there.
20.3.2. Yes, I used the words of others in places, to make points
better than I felt my own words would, to save time, and to
give readers a different voice speaking on issues. I have
credited quotes with a "[Joe Foobar, place, date]
attribution, usually at the end of the quote. If a place is
not listed, it is the Cypherpunks list itself. The author and
date should be sufficient to (someday) retrieve the source
text. By the way, I used quotes as they seemed appropriate,
and make no claims that the quoted points are necessarily
original to the author--who may have remembered them from
somewhere else--or that the date listed is the origination
date for the point. I have something like 80 megabytes of
Cypherpunks posts, so I couldn't do an archaeological dig for
the earliest mention of an idea.
20.3.3. People can quote this FAQ under the "fair use" provisions,
e.g., a paragraph or two, with credits. Anything more than a
few paragraphs constitutes copyright infringement, as I
20.3.4. Should I give up the maintaining of this FAQ and/or should
others get involved, then the normal co-authorship and
inheritance arrangements will be possible.
20.3.5. The Web. WWW and Mosaic offer amazing new opportunities for
on-line documents. It is in fact likely that this FAQ will be
available as a Web document. My concern, however, is that the
integrity and authorship be maintained. Thus, splitting the
document in a hundred or more little pieces, with no
authorship attached, would not be cool. Also, I intend to
maintain this document with my powerful outlining tools
(Symantec's "MORE," on a Macintosh) and thus anyone who
"freezes" the document and uses it as a base for links,
pointers, etc., will be left behind as mods are made.
20.4 - A Few Words on the Style
20.4.1. Some sections are in outline form
- like this
- with fragments of ideas and points
- with incomplete sentences
- and with lists of points that are obviously only starting
points for more complete analyses
20.4.2. Other sections are written in more complete essay form, as
reasonably self-contained analyses of some point or topic.
Like this. Some of these essays were taken directly out of
posts I did for the list, or for sci.crypt, and no
attribution H (since I wrote the stuff...quotes from others
20.4.3. The styles may clash, but I just don't have the hundreds of
hours to go through and "regularize" everything to a
consistent style. The outline style allows additional points,
wrinkles, rebuttals, and elaborations to be grafted on easily
(if not always elegantly). I hope most readers can understand
this and learn to deal with it.
20.4.4. Of course, there are places where the points made are just
too fragmentary, too outlinish, for people to make sense of.
I've tried to clean these up as much as I can, but there will
always be some places where an idea seemed clear to me at the
time (maybe not) but which is not presented clearly to
others. I'll keep trying to iron these kinks out in future
20.4.5. Comment on style
- In many cases I merged two or more chunks of ideas into one
section, resulting in many cases in mismatching writing
styles, tenses, etc. I apologize, but I just don't have the
many dozens of hours it might take to go through and
"regularize" things, to write more graceful transition
paragraphs, etc. I felt it was more important to get the
ideas and idea fragments out than to polish the writing.
(Essays written from scratch, and in order, are generally
more graceful than are concatenations of ideas, facts,
pointers, and the like.)
- Readers should also not assume that a "fleshed-out"
section, made up of relatively complete paragraphs, is any
more important than a section that is still mostly made up
of short one-liners.
- References to Crypto Journals, Books. Nearly every section
in this document _could have_ one or more references to
articles and papers in the Crypto Proceedings, in
Schneier's book, or whatever. Sorry, but I can't do this.
Maybe someday--when true hypertext arrives and is readily
usable (don't send me e-mail about HTML, or Xanadu, etc.)
this kind of cross-referencing will be done. Footnotes
would work today, but are distracting in on-line documents.
And too much work, given that this is not meant to be a
- I also have resisted the impulse to included quotes or
sections from other FAQs, notably the sci.crypt and rsadsi
FAQs. No point in copying their stuff, even with
appropriate credit. Readers should already have these docs,
- Any time you say something to 500-700 people, expect to
have a bunch of quibbles. People will take issue with
phrasings, with choices of definitions, with facts, etc.
Correctness is important, but sometimes the quibbling sets
off a chain reaction of corrections, countercorrections,
rebuttals, and "I would have put it differently"s. It's all
a bit overwhelming at times. My hope for this FAQ is that
serious errors are (of course) corrected, but that the List
not get bogged down in endless quibbling about such minor
issues as style and phrasing.
20.5 - How to Find Information
20.5.1. This FAQ is very long, which makes finding specific questions
problematic. Such is life--shorter FAQ are of course easier
to navigate, but may not address important issues.
20.5.2. A full version of this FAQ is available, as well as chapter-
by-chapter versions (to reduce the downloading efforts for
some people). Search tools within text editors are one way to
find topics. Future versions of this FAQ may be paginated and
then indexed (but maybe not).
20.5.3. I advise using search tools in editors and word processors to
find sections of interest. This is likely faster anyway than
consulting an index generated by me (which I haven't
generated, and probably never will).
20.6 - My Views
20.6.1. This FAQ, or whatever one calls it, is more than just a
simple listing of frequently asked questions and the lowest-
common-denominator answers. This should be clear just by the
size alone. I make no apologies for writing the document I
wanted to write. Others are free to write the FAQ they would
prefer to read. You're getting what you paid for.
20.6.2. My views are rather strong in some areas. I've tried to
present some dissenting arguments in cases where I think
Cypherpunks are really somewhat divided, such as in remailer
strategies and the like. In cases where I think there's no
credible dissent, such as in the wisdom of Clipper, I've made
no attempt to be fair. My libertarian, even anarchist, views
surely come through. Either deal with it, or don't read the
document. I have to be honest about this.
20.7 - More detailed disclaimer
20.7.1. This detailed disclaimer is probably not good in most courts
in the U.S., contracts having been thrown out if favor of
nominalism, but here it is anyway. At least nobody can claim
they were misled into thinking I was giving them warranteed,
20.7.2. Timothy C. May hereby disclaims all warranties relating to
this document, whether express or implied, including without
limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose. Tim May will not be liable
for any special, incidental, consequential, indirect or
similar damages due to loss of business, indictment for any
crime, imprisonment, torture, or any other reason, even if
Tim May or an agent of his has been advised of the
possibility of such damages. In no event shall Tim May be
liable for any damages, regardless of the form of the claim.
The person reading or using the document bears all risk as to
the quality and suitability of the document. Legality of
reading or possessing this document in a jurisdiction is not
the responsibility of Tim May.
20.7.3. The points expressed may or may not represent the views of
Tim May, and certainly may not represent the views of other
Cypherpunks. Certain ideas are explored which, if
implemented, would be illegal to various extents in most
countries in the world. Think of these explorations of ideas
as just that.
20.8 - I've decided to release this before the RSA patents run out...
20.8. I've decided to release this before the RSA patents run out...