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[ih] Internet History Lives on the Internet?

For the timescales we need, we need something that lasts longer than even governments. In some of my other research, I am handling documents that are 400-800 years old. (Some work with even older stuff.) We can?t assume even governments will last that long.


> On Feb 24, 2019, at 15:09, Richard Bennett <richard at bennett.com> wrote:
> It?s probably most reliable to pass a bill appropriating some money to the Lib. of Congress to host something like the Internet Archive database. Volunteer efforts always have a limited lifespan but government is forever.
> RB
>> On Feb 24, 2019, at 12:36 PM, Miles Fidelman <mfidelman at meetinghouse.net <mailto:mfidelman at meetinghouse.net>> wrote:
>> The whole question of persistent storage remains an unsolved problem.
>> There have been models of distributed publication - like oceanstore and 
>> publius (huge, distributed hash tables) - but they tend to fall down if 
>> lots of people don't keep maintaining disk space.
>> I keep thinking of the notion of a federation of storage providers where 
>> one pays once for either a block of replicated storage, or for 
>> publication of a file/document.  These days, a 1TB disk costs $100 
>> (retail) - so 10cents/GB.  Multiply by 5 for replicated copies, and 
>> assume a 2-year disk life, and we're talking 25cents/year for a Gig of 
>> reliable storage (leaving out networking costs).  $25, at 1% interest, 
>> would "endow" a Gig of reliable storage, "forever" (think about how we 
>> pay for perpetual care of a gravesite.
>> What's missing is a legal & accounting mechanism for handling the 
>> money.  Folks pay to self-publish an e-book - it sure would be nice to 
>> be able pay, say $50, once, to make a document available for the life of 
>> the Internet.
>> Miles
>> On 2/24/19 1:39 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
>>> [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.
>>> Dave....?
>>> /Jack Haverty
>>> On 2/24/19 7:42 AM, Dave Taht wrote:
>>>> Joe Touch <touch at strayalpha.com <mailto:touch at strayalpha.com>> writes:
>>>>> On Feb 23, 2019, at 12:42 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org <mailto:jack at 3kitty.org>> wrote:
>>>>>     But "internet-history at postel.org <mailto: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 <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 <mailto:internet-history at postel.org>
>>>>> http://mailman.postel.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history
>>>>> Contact list-owner at postel.org for assistance.
>>> _______
>>> internet-history mailing list
>>> internet-history at postel.org <mailto:internet-history at postel.org>
>>> http://mailman.postel.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history
>>> Contact list-owner at postel.org for assistance.
>> -- 
>> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
>> In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra
>> _______
>> internet-history mailing list
>> internet-history at postel.org <mailto:internet-history at postel.org>
>> http://mailman.postel.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history
>> Contact list-owner at postel.org for assistance.
> ?
> Richard Bennett
> High Tech Forum <http://hightechforum.org/> Founder
> Ethernet & Wi-Fi standards co-creator
> Internet Policy Consultant
> _______
> 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.

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