Re: A connection-based Internet?

Greg Minshall <minshall@ipsilon.com> Thu, 19 December 1996 18:25 UTC

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To: Noel Chiappa <jnc@ginger.lcs.mit.edu>
Cc: huitema@bellcore.com, mo@uu.net, big-internet@munnari.oz.au, flows@research.ftp.com, jkr@netstar.com, tagswitch@cisco.com
Subject: Re: A connection-based Internet?
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 18 Dec 1996 12:12:03 EST." <9612181712.AA15345@ginger.lcs.mit.edu>
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Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 09:58:29 -0800
From: Greg Minshall <minshall@ipsilon.com>
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Noel,

> I find, over and
> over again in the IETF (and it was very obvious with the past debate on
> variable length addresses), that many minds are already made up, and no real
> objective, open-minded, thoroughgoing, from-scratch analysis of the
> engineering good and bad points of new approaches are made. Instead, they are
> dismissed with an immediate, simplistic, and unstudied "two-legs-bad" kind of
> reaction that's all to apparent, after you've been on the receiving end enough
> times.

You have to be a bit careful here.

There are twin dangers in designing:  one, as you point out, is "different is 
bad"; the other is what i term "the tyranny of analytic thinking", which is to 
say "if i can *prove* something thru some logical process to be true, that 
means it is, in fact, true".

The problem with the latter is that there are many things that have been 
"proven" over the years, but don't, in fact, work (or, in the math space, 
'theorems' that have been 'proved' but aren't, in fact, true).

Thus, basing things on what we currently know is by no means a stupid thing to 
do.  On the other hand, trying something new, and getting experience with it, 
is also a very good idea; it's just that you shouldn't expect people to 
"salute" because of a closed form proof -- working code is much more 
persuasive!

Greg