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[ih] Internet History Lives on the Internet?

[Changed the subject line]

I read the recent messages on the forum just before going to sleep, and
then I had a dream....literally.

There's a whole different perspective on Internet History that might be
very revealing.? Instead of questions like "Who built the Internet?",
perhaps also ask "Who paid for the Internet?"? If historians "followed
the money" like many other investigators, they might find some
interesting insights.? I didn't realize until today that the IETF is
funded by ... Me!?? Through my payments for my .org domain, maybe by now
I've paid for an urn or two of coffee at an IETF meeting.

But my dream was of how to fund some kind of Internet repository of
historical materials, not subject to the management whims or financial
success of an "institution".?? My dream reminded me that such mechanisms
already exist, have been running at scale for years, are self-funded,
and seem essentially impossible to excise even when governments or
industry giants try to do so.

My dream is of a Benevolent BotNet (apologies to my alma mater, BBN).?
Instead of hosting and propagating malware and viruses, or stealing
computer cycle to mine cryptocurrency, the BBN would simply store,
replicate, and distribute historical materials on demand.? No doubt
Richard's comment on Pirate Bay triggered this part of the dream.

Such technology obviously exists, and survives despite serious efforts
to eradicate it.? Where the Internet was coopted for evil, perhaps the
evil could be coopted for good?

Maybe even better would be a mechanism that didn't rely on theft and
subterfuge at all.? Perhaps something akin to the SETI mechanisms, where
people voluntarily donate their computer resources to analyze radio
signals, by simply downloading a piece of code and allowing it to run on
their computers.

So, my dream was that some new software appears, which is freely
downloaded by thousands or millions of people around the world, which
uses a few GB of the disk on their machines, and stores historical
material in a redundant, highly survivable, persistent, distrubuted
historical warehouse.?? One, or many, search engines (go Google!, Bing!,
DuckDuckGo!) would allow people to find material in the warehouse.??
Anyone could contribute material to the historical archive by simply
placing a copy into the disk area of their machine that they've shared,
from where it would be automatically distributed and replicated.

Perhaps this is one or more apps that can be downloaded.? Or perhaps a
plug in or extension to popular browsers.? Or maybe an addition to
existing mechanisms like BitTorrent.? Much of the code already exists,
as evidenced by the millions of computers unwittingly participating in a
Botnet, or willingly running code like SETI.

Dave's offer of disk space is just the start.? I suspect many people
would contribute some unused chunk of their computers and network
capacity.? I have a few Terabytes on my NAS that are empty...you
probably do too.?? With enough participants, the BBN becomes
self-suficient even as people come and go.

All it would seem to take is for someone to sit down and write the
code....in the classic Internet spirit of Rough Consensus and Running Code.


/Jack Haverty

On 2/24/19 7:42 AM, Dave Taht wrote:
> Joe Touch <touch at strayalpha.com> writes:
>> On Feb 23, 2019, at 12:42 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org> wrote:
>>     But "internet-history at postel.org", and others like it, even RFC
>>     repositories, likely exist at the whim of their sponsor. 
>> Indeed - even assuming volunteers run them - they?re?s still the issue
>> of hosting and net access.
>> I have old repositories (end2end-interest, for one) that even the ISOC
>> has declined to host (even though the E2E-RG originated there).
>> Then again, if you want to see the worst of ?free riders?, go attend
>> an IETF. Companies send armies there for free training and free
>> consulting. 
>> PS - speaking as list admin, if anyone wants to offer a place to host
>> this list more reliably and archivally, please do let me know (contact
>> me directly off-list).
> My email list server currently lives on linode in the cloud. The cost is
> $5/month for 25GB of SSD storage. ( https://www.linode.com/pricing
> ). Has IPv6 and IPv4. It's paid for via a patreon donation.
> It's not like I'm using much of that box - or the bandwidth available -
> how big are these archives?
> I wouldn't mind sharing that existing list server, but I long ago
> switched to violating whatever RFC it was that said starttls was a
> "should" - to *mandate* starttls only - which cuts down on spam (and
> sigh, about 13% of my measured potential correspondents, still). The
> biggest administrative cost I'd had was dealing with spam.
> If that's not an acceptable policy for these lists/archives, well, go
> burn the 5 bucks/mo on yer own.
>> Joe
>> _______
>> internet-history mailing list
>> internet-history at postel.org
>> http://mailman.postel.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history
>> Contact list-owner at postel.org for assistance.