Fellowship of the Ethereum Magicians
A primer on the Magicians and what we are about.
Second Meeting -- October 10, 1992
The second meeting will be held at the new Cygnus offices. Exact
address and directions to follow.
We do not have an exact agenda yet, but one should be arriving in the next few days. Please mark you calendars now and start telling your friends.
For this meeting and until further announced, we are using a
transitive trust system for invitations. Invite anybody you want and let them invite anybody they want and so on.
The crypto-anarchy game we tried out at the first meeting was as good a success as we could have hoped for from an untested idea. The game seems useful and fun enough to warrant continued play and play testing, so we'll be playing again at this and future meetings.
We observed several interesting emergent behaviors in the first session, including resellers and reputation behaviors. We'll play a two hour session this time and discuss it afterwards.
The cypherpunks list is a forum for discussion about technological defenses for privacy in the digital domain.
Cypherpunks assume privacy is a good thing and wish there were more
of it. Cypherpunks acknowledge that those who want privacy must
create it for themselves and not expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant them privacy out of
beneficence. Cypherpunks know that people have been creating their
own privacy for centuries with whispers, envelopes, closed doors, and couriers. Cypherpunks do not seek to prevent other people from
speaking about their experiences or their opinions.
The most important means to the defense of privacy is encryption. To
encrypt is to indicate the desire for privacy. But to encrypt with
weak cryptography is to indicate not too much desire for privacy.
Cypherpunks hope that all people desiring privacy will learn how best to defend it.
Cypherpunks are therefore devoted to cryptography. Cypherpunks wish
to learn about it, to teach it, to implement it, and to make more of
it. Cypherpunks know that cryptographic protocols make social
structures. Cypherpunks know how to attack a system and how to
defend it. Cypherpunks know just how hard it is to make good
Cypherpunks love to practice. They love to play with public key
cryptography. They love to play with anonymous and pseudonymous mail forwarding and delivery. They love to play with DC-nets. They love to play with secure communications of all kinds.
Cypherpunks write code. They know that someone has to write code to
defend privacy, and since it's their privacy, their going to write
it. Cypherpunks publish their code so that their fellow cypherpunks
may practice and play with it. Cypherpunks realize that security is
not built in a day and are patient with incremental progress.
Cypherpunks don't care if you don't like the software they write.
Cypherpunks know that software can't be destroyed. Cypherpunks know
that a widely dispersed system can't be shut down.
Cypherpunks will make the networks safe for privacy.
Saturday, October 10, 1992
12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m.
Cygnus Support offices
1937 Landings Drive
The second meeting of the cypherpunks will be Saturday at noon. John Gilmore has graciously provided us with a meeting space at the new Cygnus Support offices. These offices are so new, in fact, that
Cygnus will not have moved in yet. This meeting will be
bring-your-own-pillow (or chair), since it will be held in largely
empty space. Directions are at the end of the message.
Attendance is transitive trust, arbitrarily deep. Invite whoever you want, and let them do so also, and so on. Invite them also to join the mailing list. Do not, however, just post the announcement. Time for that will come.
I'd like everyone who plans on attending the meeting to send me,
email@example.com, a message telling me so. I'd like to get a rough head count before Saturday for game planning.
We are starting at noon because of popular demand. Eat beforehand or bring a burrito or something. It will be fine to eat during the first segment; it won't be any more disruptive than the game is.
Bring your PGP public key for in-person key distribution, preferably
on diskette. We'll need a portable PC or three to do key distribution; if you have one you can bring, post to the list and tell people.
We realized after the first meeting that a strict schedule was
nonsense. This meeting has a very informal schedule.
Starting at noon, we're going to play session two of the
crypto-anarchy game, in which players try to conduct business under
the watchful eyes of others. We want to play for two hours and then
have discuss experiences afterward for about an hour. Some of the
improvements over last time will be flatter denominations of money,
wider distribution of commodities, more watchers (governmental and
otherwise), and perhaps some pre-printed forms.
That was one of the first messages sent out to the mailing list forum of the cypherpunks— a hacker activist movement that began in the early 90s in face of violations committed by the US Government against civil liberties and digital rights. The group began as a small group of tech libertarians consisting of academics, engineers and activists. They gathered to discuss concepts of ‘cryptoanarchy’ such as decentralised computing systems, information markets and anonymous communication.
Not long after their first meeting, they would go on to form the world’s first pseudonymous mailing list form where it would unknowingly become the backbone of a decade long skirmish against the US Government over a number of issues around software as free speech and regulations surrounding the distributions of strong cryptography. From the humble beginnings of Eric Hughes’s unfurnished new rental house, he, along with Timothy C. May and John Gilmore would establish the ground zero for a movement that would go on to coordinate public forum responses against the government, challenge legal cases as well as distribute contraband cryptographic material.
By the end of the decade, after the successive legal victories of Karn, Bernstein, and Junger Vs. United States — software along with cryptography was finally considered to be free speech. With their the clipper chipper sunk, DES brute forced and open freedom of cryptography, their 90s mission for digital liberty was finally over. Not only after, the last mailing list server went offline in 2001 and the members of the mailing list moved on.
Today, we are once again faced with a challenge that requires for a new point of coordination — the mission of achieving a decentralised internet.
At the forefront of this mission is the challenge of improving the platforms already in use and development, and most specifically, Ethereum. This is not only directed towards code upgrades, but to also foster the right culture for it to thrive, to enable the right voices to be heard and to maximise the efficiency as a distributed community. At the beginning of this year in March 2018, the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians was founded to solve this very problem of offline and online coordination. An open forum with a focus on improving Ethereum. A fellowship of individuals with a common goal. Out of the initial council came the vision and principals for this group.
Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians Vision
The Goal. To keep Ethereum The Best It Can Technically Be.
The Mission. To Nurture Community Consensus on the technical direction and specification of Ethereum.
The Work. Primarily, high-quality Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), accepted by a consensus of the Community.
Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians Principles
Open Process. Any interested person can participate in the work, know what is being decided, and make his or her voice heard on the issue.
Individual Participation. Membership is not formal. We are a Fellowship of individuals rather than organizations, companies, governments or interest groups.
Technical Responsibility. The Fellowship accepts responsibility for all aspects of the Ethereum protocol specification. The Fellowship may take responsibility for related specifications proposed to it in the future.
Technical Competence. The Fellowship seeks consensus on proposals where we have the necessary competence. The Fellowship is willing to listen to technically competent input from any source.
“Rough Consensus and Running Code.” Consensus is not unanimity or majority vote. Rather, it is based on the combined technical judgement of our participants and our real-world experience in implementing and deploying our specifications.
Who are we?
The Ethereum Magicians are a fellowship of INDIVIDUALS. We participate as individuals and interact on a peer to peer basis. Anyone is and can be a Fellow of the Ethereum Magicians. Participation is 100% open. How we decide to participate is up to ourselves.
It is not an front to be united behind but rather an open audience and platform to be heard from. How we decide to organise and structure ourselves are to be decided amongst each other and with each other.
The fellowship is simply a crowd with a common goal of improving Ethereum. You will find that the INDIVIDUALS of the Fellowship will share as well as disagree with each other on many views. Some may believe in the need for a decentralised internet, some may not. This is fine. The Ethereum Magicians does not champion any specific political ideologies and movements. Instead, the we aim to facilitate the coordination of any around that may wish to exist to further the development of Ethereum.
There is a long road ahead and we are just at the beginning. I am personally grateful for how I am surrounded by such smart, hardworking people and could imagine no better community to contribute back to. Just like the mailing list, I expect amazing things to come out of this community.
If this is your first time learning about us, I would personally like to welcome and invite you into our Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians.
// Thanks to MP for reviewing this.