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[Nettime-bold] Eric Hughes Sings One More Chorus...
R. A. Hettinga on Fri, 14 Sep 2001 02:03:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Eric Hughes Sings One More Chorus...


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CDR: A Call for a Chorus of Voices
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* To: cypherpunks {AT} lne.com
* Subject: CDR: A Call for a Chorus of Voices
* From: Eric Hughes <eh {AT} speakeasy.net>
* Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 13:03:32 -0700
* In-Reply-To: <e07cf53273a0cf574b697e23cba165ea {AT} dizum.com>
* Reply-To: cypherpunks {AT} ssz.com
* Sender: owner-cypherpunks {AT} ssz.com

2001 September 13
A Call for a Chorus of Voices

To All Who Would Defend Liberty and Freedom:

Yesterday I wrote an open letter to all my fellow citizens.  Today I write
to all those who would defend liberty, on-line and everywhere else, from
the looming threat of demagoguery that now hangs over us all.  This morning
I arose from my sleep with two realizations.  First, that I would have
changed the title of my letter had I thought about it.  This has been
pointed out by others.  Second, that yesterday was the ninth anniversary of
the first cypherpunks meeting; I had not realized this in the moment.

When I began to write yesterday's letter, I had in mind to write a
different letter than the one that thence I wrote.  I had first intended a
message to you my comrades, but in the moment I started typing I began to
cry, because I had been struck as if by an external blow with the
realization of whom I wanted to address.  It was difficult for me to touch
the well of my sincerity, because I have been and yet remain deeply cynical
about my country, my government, and the particularly resilient propaganda
of our media in the image of democracy.  I had written only the title
before I was overcome.

For now the next phase of the work has commenced for which cypherpunks was
preparation.  The goal to affix into our society a bodiless ability to hide
has greatly been achieved, yet the nascent robustness of these systems is
as yet fragile.  Our institutions do not yet breathe the ethos of
individual liberty without supplemental air.  The threat is not unique,
however, and the task at hand is wider than our own concerns.  As personal
ability is bound up in technology, the technologies of which my friends and
I have been so fond are but a section a larger movement, the movement to a
democracy more about the "demos" than the "kratein", more about the people
than the ruling.

I shall not enumerate these trends into which cypherpunks so neatly
fits.  We are at a juncture in the road of our culture, whether to pursue
the path of safety by limiting the individual and ignoring their desires or
to pursue the path of safety by strengthening the individual and working
out a new commons of desire.  We cannot choose both; they are mutually
hostile to each other in spirit and in practice.  Our response to this
week's terrorism will mark the proclivities of our future course.

I have been challenged to write a narrow essay on privacy particularly.  I
regret to say that I cannot.  My heart is elsewhere, and I have moved from
privacy alone as a tool for my aspirations.  I could not be as eloquent
about privacy in isolation, because in truth I see no longer the isolation
in which I was previously so comfortable.

And thus I call for a chorus of voices to ring out and to proclaim the
welter of specific consequences of walking down the path of individual
liberty.  My heart has been full in reading the spontaneous upwelling of
sentiment from Perry Metzger, Sean Hastings, Matt Blaze, and Blanc
Weber.  Add to these your own voice, your own words, your own concerns.  I
seek the vision of a harmonious chorus without director, a single message
rising in many throats, the motive wheel without a center.

Speak about whatever you will, but speak true and speak from the
heart.  There are enough whose hearts are privacy and anonymity that I have
nothing but faith that chorus shall contain enough of those voices.  My
heart is with you all, even though I shall not lead the charge.  To touch
one's own true voice may need the passage through ordeal, yet persevere,
for everyone can find it.

May peace arise from you all, and may the power of your souls become
manifest in your deeds.

Eric Hughes

[Please feel free to post this at will.]

* References:

* CDR: Re: An Open Letter on Privacy and Anonymity

* From: Nomen Nescio <nobody {AT} dizum.com>

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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah {AT} ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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