what is killing PKI?

Stan Tobias sttob at mailshack.com
Thu Aug 30 14:12:50 CEST 2012

MFPA <expires2012 at rocketmail.com> wrote:

> > What I should have added here, is that it's a symmetric
> > relation, and people normally don't like to exclude
> > others, as well.  Avoiding others is not a trait of
> > _usual_ _social_ behaviour,
> There are innumerable clubs that require membership in order to
> participate. This indicates that avoiding/excluding others *is* a
> well-established usual social behaviour.

We don't have All People Haters' clubs.  :-)

Well, I cannot explain how the whole society works.  But I would like
to add just a few points.

Clubs can be divided into  common interest (inclusive), and elitist
(exclusive), or mix thereof.  The former ones (like ours, gnupg-users)
accept anybody, but may need to defend themselves against trouble makers;
some may require membership, but anyone can have it if he sticks to
the rules.  If someone from outside, or a member, starts attacking other
members, only then he's punished by exclusion.

In the latter case - I can't say too much, I haven't belonged to any,
but I can imagine such a conversation:
  - "Hello Fred, I'm so glad I'm here with you, you're so elite!"
  - "Oh, Barney, you always exaggerate, our club would be nothing 
    without you!"
The point is you cannot be an elite alone, you need a little society
of other elite persons around you, and you need to care for them; 
IOW you need to be social within an otherwise unsocial group.

Last, but not least, I wouldn't call elitism a usual behaviour (like
people normally behave in my village, or in yours), and definitely
not social.  On YT there used to be an interview with R. Feynman in
which he tells how much he hated one "elite" students' club he once
fell into.  Excluding others is considered so anti-social, that it is
plainly illegal in some countries to set up an openly "men-only club",
or "women-only cafe" (they'll fall into anti-discrimination laws).

Regards, Stan.

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