[e2e] Time for a new Internet Protocol

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Mon May 21 18:25:49 PDT 2007

I'm now completely confused.   Perhaps those who understand the "tussle" 
principle could tease out these concepts in a way that the rest of us 
can understand?   A small start would be explaining in what way that 
"tussle is inherently recursive"?

Tom Vest wrote:
> Being a big fan and frequent user/abuser of the tussle concept, let me 
> be the first person to observe some obvious problems that follow from 
> using it as a normative principle:
> 1.  Although the concept of tussle is inherently recursive, it's 
> typically only used (e.g., by network architects and systems theory 
> people) to discuss the upper elements of the protocol/service stack. 
> Too often people forget, or maybe fail to notice, that the Internet 
> itself only exists in its "current canonical form" in places when & 
> where a prior/foundational tussle over control of communications 
> facilities/infrastructure inputs resulted in certain sorts of 
> outcomes. In places where all or almost of the interfaces are 
> hidden/controlled by a single monolithic entity (e.g., like 
> hierarchical/horizontal infrastructure segments within a territorial 
> monopoly PSTN), tussle may still exist, but it has approximately zero 
> impact/significance to outsiders.
> 2. As soon as "tusslers" become aware of the idea, they tend to 
> incorporate it, rhetorically if not operationally, into their future 
> actions. Granting that I am no game theory expert (and would love to 
> hear a better informed comparison here), this seems like just another 
> example of an iterative bargaining game, ala the Prisoner's Dilemma. 
> An appeal to the reasonableness of a "tussle-friendly outcome" is just 
> as likely as not to be a gambit to "win" a larger piece of the pie... 
> unless maybe the appeal is coming from someone you already trust for 
> some unrelated reason.
> Bottom line: tussle provides a great descriptive framework for 
> understanding how, when, and why things change (or don't change), and 
> would be a fine architectural guide for a monolithic Supreme Being who 
> has prior knowledge of "what good would be good" to select as the 
> criteria for winning in any particular tussle instance -- but as soon 
> as you have two Semi-Supreme Beings they end up stuck in the same 
> bargaining game described so crudely above...
> Regards all,
> TV
> On May 21, 2007, at 7:10 PM, Bob Briscoe wrote:
>> David,
>> Going back to your opening posting in this thread...
>> At 15:57 15/05/2007, David P. Reed wrote:
>>> I call for others to join me in constructing the next Internet, not 
>>> as an extension of the current Internet, because that Internet is 
>>> corrupted by people who do not value innovation, connectivity, and 
>>> the ability to absorb new ideas from the user community.
>> So, how do we make an Internet that can evolve to meet all sorts of 
>> future social and economic desires, except it mustn't evolve away 
>> from David Reed's original desires for it, and it mustn't evolve 
>> towards the desires of those who invest in it? Tough design brief :)
>> My sarcasm is only intended to prevent you wasting a lot of years of 
>> your life on this project, without questioning whether the problem is 
>> with your aspirations, not with the Internet...
>> Perhaps it would help _not_ to think of suppression of innovation as 
>> a failure. Innovation isn't an end in itself. People don't want 
>> innovation to the exclusion of all else. People want a balance 
>> between innovative new stuff and uninterrupted, cheap, robust, 
>> hassle-free enjoyment of previous innovations.
>> Surely the real requirement is for a distributed computing 
>> internetwork that can be temporarily or locally closed to milk the 
>> fruits of an innovation without having to be permanently and 
>> ubiquitously closed. That is, locally open or locally closed by 
>> policy control. That's a heroic research challenge in its own right - 
>> and not impossible - here's some case studies that have (sometimes 
>> unconsciously) achieved this:
>> <http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/B.Briscoe/present.html#0406pgnet>
>> A desire to embed _only_ openness into the architecture to the 
>> exclusion of thinking how to do closedness is the problem, not the 
>> solution. So, I for one won't be joining you in this venture, even 
>> though my initial reflex action would be (and always was) openness. 
>> I'd ask you to reconsider too.
>> If you disagree with this 'Tussle in Cyberspace' argument, I think 
>> you ought to say why, as I've not heard a good argument against it.
>>> To save argument, I am not arguing that the IP layer could not evolve.
>>> I am arguing that the current research community and industry 
>>> community that support the IP layer *will not* allow it to evolve.
>> You don't need to start out deciding that, whatever the solution, it 
>> won't be an evolution from where we are. That doesn't need to be 
>> decided until you know what the solution might look like.
>>> But that need not matter.   If necessary, we can do this 
>>> inefficiently, creating a new class of routers that sit at the edge 
>>> of the IP network and sit in end user sites.   We can encrypt the 
>>> traffic, so that the IP monopoly (analogous to the ATT monopoly) 
>>> cannot tell what our layer is doing, and we can use protocols that 
>>> are more aggressively defensive since the IP layer has indeed gotten 
>>> very aggressive in blocking traffic and attempting to prevent 
>>> user-to-user connectivity.
>> If this is what you want you don't need a new Internet. You already 
>> have the power to encrypt and the power to be aggressively defensive 
>> with the current Internet (as your TOR and Joost examples demonstrate).
>> You want to use the infrastructure those nasty routerheads have 
>> invested in, presumably to benefit from the network effect their 
>> investments (and your previous inventiveness) helped to create. And 
>> if they try to stop you, are they not justified? What is the 
>> difference then between your traffic and an attack - from /their/ 
>> point of view?
>> Or are you claiming a higher moral right to abuse the policies they 
>> impose on their networks because you have honourable intentions, in 
>> /your/ opinion? Universal connectivity isn't a human right that 
>> trumps their policies. It's just something you (& I) care about a 
>> lot. Isn't this getting close to an analogy with animal rights 
>> activists conspiring to kill vivisectionists.
>> Reversing this, what if someone launches a DoS attack against an 
>> unforeseen vulnerability in your new Internet? Would your 
>> architecture never allow it to be blocked, because that would damage 
>> universal connectivity?
>> I think you need to take a step back and reconsider the aspersions 
>> you're casting on routerheads. They understand the value of universal 
>> connectivity too. But they also understand the higher value of some 
>> connectivities than others. Given the tools they have at their 
>> disposal right now, the best they can do is block some stuff to keep 
>> other stuff going. It's as much the fault of you and me that they 
>> have no other option, as it is their fault for blocking stuff.
>> You are blaming operators for acting in their own self-interest. 
>> Shouldn't you blame the designers of the architecture for not 
>> expecting operators to act in their own interests? Again, what is 
>> your argument against 'Tussle  in Cyberspace'?
>> Bob

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