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cryptogen קְפִיצַת הַדֶּרֶךְ

—it reaches out it reaches out it reaches out it reaches out—one hundred and thirteen times a second, nothing answers and it reaches out. — cibola burn

temporal oscillations expecting each other at repeating intervals. using memory to ask the right question at the right time. passing notes in-between classes.

specbbnetuniversal basic internet

goals / challenge

design principles

trivial technology

a network stack is going to be fairly complex, but it should be easy to understand. simple components that work together in a way that is easy to reason about.


point-to-point  local  many-to-many
IP/WAN         MAC/LAN          DAN

a Data Access Network (DAN) is primarily concerned with logical, semi-structured information in the form of "data packets" or "files". in contrast to IP networks, which are primarily concerned with creating virtual communication channels. IP and DAN networks are forced into a similar shape, like any distributed system hard forks are expensive.

named data networking secure scuttlebutt
ndn narrow waist ssb narrow waist
this diagram shows how ip and named data networking organize their various layers around a simple common layer. this is the common protocol that ties the network together, any changes at this layer get more expensive as the network grows AND always require a hard fork. one interesting shared detail about NDN and SecSB is that the file format of the logs are actually the common piece that connects the high level applications of the network to the actual dissemination and storage protocols.

one important consequence of information-centric networking is that data replication is not coupled to the gossip network or any other replication strategy. the narrow waist must address some important concerns for all participants on the network:

plain-text formats

in addition to the software design, the file formats we choose and/or design should be plain text and easy to parse. not only for the sake of writing software, but to enable humans to participate in the network.

long-term thinking

how do we roll out an independent network without creating a lot of waste?

how much of the existing hardware can be reused and modified to support information centric networking? how low can we make the minimum required specs? encryption has to be optional, but without signatures we can only work with self-certifying, static data. perhaps a simplified scheme can be devied that is suitable for transmitting short messages over human-mediated links without the overhead of cryptography.

walkaway net traffic can be tunnled over arbitrary transports including fully DIY wireless transport using homebrew SDR or your everyday sneakernet. the idea is to make anything that can hold or transmit information into a condiut for the network. this does require making some trades when it comes to worst-case latency.


there is some evidence that information-centric networks can make anonymous routing cheaper. these types of networks are potentially more private than IP to start with as well.