Fwd: A Question about Croquet's Philosophy...

dastrs at bellsouth.net dastrs at bellsouth.net
Tue Jan 7 14:39:50 UTC 2003


I wrote the castle analogy. Actually, people can get the equivalent 
of personal cannons today - they are called guns, and have enabled a 
number of revolutions. I think that it is no accident that the second 
amendment ensures the rights of the people to bear arms. I personally 
believe that we have outgrown the need for that particular 
technology, but there is an even greater need as we move forward, and 
that is the right to secure and safe communications.

Especially in these days of increasing interest of governments in 
peoples personal affairs, and on the other side the increasing 
capabilities of the black hats and their desire to do harm, the right 
to communicate safely is essential for the continued evolution of a 
free society.

One of the major goals we have is to directly address the concerns 
that you raise. We believe the solution to this will be a namespace 
architecture that simply disallows access to key parts of the OS, but 
of course we are still developing this. The end goal is that you can 
connect to any other environment without fear of viral-like pollution 
as well as ensure access by others to your spaces is also controlled 
by you.


David (A. Smith)

Date: Mon,  6 Jan 2003 16:03:48 -0800
From: Darius Clarke <darius at inglang.com>
To: Kim.Rose at viewpointsresearch.org
Subject: A Question about Croquet's Philosophy...

Hi Kim,

Last Friday I finally tested Croquet on my notebook.
Such fun! Even my kids (5 yrs. & 3 yrs. old) kept asking me, "Go in another
door Daddy!”

However, I've been ruminating on this Alan Kay statement in the Croquet site &

“The existing operating systems are like the castles that were owned by their
respective Lords in the Middle Ages. They were the centers of power, a way to
control the population and threaten the competition. Sometimes, a particular
Lord would become overpowering, and he would get to declare himself as King.
This was great for the King. And not to bad for the rest of the nobles, but in
the end - technology progressed and people started blowing holes in the sides
of the castles. The castles were abandoned. Technology does this.”

I like the analogy, however, on further thought, let’s extend the analogy to be
a bit more similar to Open Source technology. What would have happened if a
cannon that could blow wholes in castles could be had by anyone for the price
of a loaf of bread? Would the villagers blow their own villages apart over
petty disputes?

Likewise, in an online, collaborative environment, hostel minds (idle teens?)
can cause much damage. In Croquet, parent a black sphere over the head of all
the avatars. Too easy to diagnose from a 3rd person camera? Parent a very small
black sphere over just the avatar camera. Too easy to find the sphere in the
code? How about changing the world’s fog to black with a far distance value of
0 and transparency value of 0. (I tried that last one.) Now make it like a
virus by changing all avatars’ in your current world so that when they go in a
new world, they change all the fog values and that world's avatars there too.

This parallels the current geopolitical trouble that the real world faces with
terrorists having weapons of mass destruction.

How does Viewpoint Research plan to address security for the Croquet villages
once they start attacking castles? :)



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