[cap-talk] Questions about Zooko's triangle
Karp, Alan H
alan.karp at hp.com
Thu Feb 10 10:14:20 PST 2011
I like to anticipate questions I might get when I'm scheduled to give a talk, as I am next week at RSA. I'll be describing Zooko's triangle, and I've come up with some questions that I don't have a good answer for.
I'm using the version of Zooko's triangle from http://www.skyhunter.com/marcs/petnames/IntroPetNames.html, which has the corners labeled Memorable, Global, and Securely Unique. (Other versions have Decentralized instead of Global, but it's too late for me to change.)
1. What does Global mean? It could mean that the name doesn't depend on the locations of the namer or namee, e.g., the IP address of my laptop isn't Global by this definition. It could also mean that everyone agrees on the name, e.g., Coke means the same thing to everyone (but coke has a somewhat different meaning). Which is it, or is it both? Stiegler's description isn't either of these. I think the word Public fits his description better.
2. A public key is Securely Unique and Global. A Nickname is Global and Memorable. A Petname, even though it sits on a side of the triangle like the other two, is different. A Petname is a one-one mapping between a securely unique name and one that is memorable. Is there a way to describe Petnames so that they fit the pattern of the other two? Alternatively, is there a way to describe the other two the way we describe Petnames?
3. Why doesn't an HTTPS URL, with either a domain name or an IP address, have all three properties? For example, https://hp.com is memorable, global, and securely unique as long as the CAs I trust are actually trustworthy. It's not decentralized, which is why I now wish I'd used the other version :)
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