IPv6 cookbook - was RA vs. DHCPv6 discussion

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Wed Jun 9 21:34:24 CEST 2010

On 6/9/2010 11:15 AM, Sam Wilson wrote:
> On 9 Jun 2010, at 18:50, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>> ...The issue isn't that
>> speakers of only a single descendant dialect of proto-human are
>> handicapped.
>> The issue is that scientific and technological advancement works best
>> the more players involved, and the story
>> "Tower of Babel" serves as warning to the scientific and technological
>> community should it NOT standardize on a single language.
> Can you expand on that interpretation of the Tower of Babel story?
> (<http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=gen%2011:1-9&version=NIV>
> non-English readers may find the drop-down menu useful) The usual view
> is that the humans were too likely to achieve their intention because of
> their single language and so were stopped by having their languages
> multiplied. That seems the opposite message to what you intend.

There's actually a number of different interpretations of the Tower
of Babel story.

My personal view is that the story is pure fiction and was included
in the old testament as a way of explaining why the Hebrews kept
encountering different cultures in their travels.  The Hebrews needed
to reassure themselves that when they were busy killing off other
people in the name of "purging uncleanliness" that there were
right to do so - the story is one of many in Genesis that is
used to justify that these "other people" were really supposed to be
following the Hebrew God.  (ie: not just following, but speaking
Hebrew and basically assuming the entire culture) and thus OK to kill.
They had "lost their way"

But of course, that is a secular view of religion, and one guaranteed
to have at least a legion of Bible-thumpers after me with pitchforks.

But setting this aside, the "classical" interpretation of the story is
useful as an example.

The story is that "God" didn't want the tower construction to
continue because He didn't want all the humans in one area, He
wanted them spread out.  But the humans didn't want to spread out
they wanted to stay in one place and work together so they started 
construction of a huge temple on top of a mountain.  God knew once the 
temple was completed that the people probably wouldn't be willing to 
move away from it, so rather than sending down lightning bolts or
whatever to blow it up, he bifurcated the proto-human language
that the people were using into incompatible dialects - apparently in an 
extremely short period of time, like a few minutes.

As "God" deliberately didn't make even some humans working on the tower 
conversant in multiple ones of the new dialects, the construction was
effectively halted.

The general lesson we can draw from this is that if you want to
effectively disrupt any large-scale, cooperative human effort, the
quick and dirty yet effective way to do it is to disrupt communications.

It follows then that smooth, undisrupted communication is (at the least)
a fundamental requirement of any large-scale, cooperative human

And IMHO the global Internet today is probably one of the largest,
most cooperative human effort we got going.

It's very essence is communication, and the fact that virtually all
of the world's cultures have embraced it proves that people do
understand the importance of undisrupted, standardized communication.

I kind of regard languages on the Internet as like different 
applications on the Internet.  You speak HTTP to some devices,
FTP to others, SSH to others.  Just like you speak English to
some people, French to others, Japanese to others.

But, all of the actual devices out there that comprise the Internet
itself, well THOSE only speak ONE language - IP, and the IPv4
version, mostly right now.  This mailing list exists at all because
we are trying to force all those devices to change dialect and
speak a new dialect of IP - IPv6.  We do this because we all
know that the Internet won't work if protocols on it bifurcate,
we do NOT want the Internet to turn into the next Tower of Babel.


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