Rebooting UUCP to redecentralize the net


Originally published at:


Decentralize America Again.


I really like this. Great design, and after watching the video: clearly, it is for humans, not those obscene corporate entities gobbling up the (online) world in the name of profit. Wish I hadn’t missed that one when you posted it a couple years ago!


Wouldn’t that be rather divergent from the original implementation? Doesn’t encryption still require some kind of centralized signing authority?

Reckon we can’t have nice things anymore without them being swiftly overcome by ne’er-do-wells seeking to crack everything open, steal everyone’s secrets, and hijack the resources for nefarious activities.


I see libraries becoming a thing, again.


It’s an admirable thing they’re doing but I think we’ll need to build more systems like this and maybe even push legislation to remove the anti-‘server’ clauses from consumer ISP contracts.


Is not a nice thing? Shouldn’t we try?

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One gets the impression that some regard nice things and centralized authorities as mutually exclusive.

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! paths for the win.


All we really need is FTP, Archie and Gopher. This HTTP thing is just a fad.


Not at all. Why would it?


The Internet does have a real name: It’s the Internet.

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I’m not completely opposed to centralized authorities, because I’m not completely opposed to institutions, in general, and any institution will have some authority, which will necessarily be centralized at least to the extent of having members vs. nonmembers, for example.

Your reply was pretty brief, though. So what is it that you were getting at? I guess you mean that you would prefer regulated + centralized. I’m thinking more on the basis of I want normal community members running the thing, whether it’s decentralized or not. But did I misunderstand your point?

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Maybe not so much encryption in general, but I’m thinking of things like this:

Eh, no particular point. I merely observe that some ideologies are opposed to centralized authorities, and some things that are unregulated tend to fare poorly in the long run.


UUCP … now that’s a protocol I’ve not heard in a long time … a very long time.


That’s a good example of why centralized signing authorities cannot be trusted.

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Am I the only one with bad memories of having to manually come up with paths to reach other machines? “Ted@foo|bar|zap” in Usenet signatures as my email address?


Those aren’t bad memories for me.

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I used to use it on my BBS to get Coherent updates and the occasional newsfeed. A 386DX-25 with 4M ram, 200M hard drive, 14.4k modem. Kick ass!

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Ah, yes, good old bang paths, generally specified relative to one or more “well-known” hosts, like: …ihnp4!foo!bar!baz with no @ signs in the address (baz would be the user on the machine named bar).

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