Peer Groups vs. Individual Peers

@ On Mon, 29 Apr 1996, John Scoggin wrote:
@ Just remember the plain English meaning of the word "peer". It refers to
@ an individual who is at the same level as you. Same level of power (CEO
@ vs. engineer), same level of skill (PhD vs undergrad) and so on.
@ Michael Dillon Voice: +1-604-546-8022

It should come as no surprise to anyone that large companies mostly like
to work with other large companies and small companies and individuals
are not taken seriously unless they are members of a group that begins
to take on some significance.

As I have suggested before, I feel that individuals and small companies
should use the Legacy Internet to "reinvent the net". The large companies
will never do this because it is not in their best interest and they move very
slowly. This type of innovation must come from individuals and small companies.

Individuals and small companies can take advantage of the facilities
provided by the large providers without directly involving the large providers
in this new OuterInternet. Any time wasted trying to work with the large
companies is just that...time wasted.

In order to build the new OuterInternet, I suggest that small "trusteeships"
of 8 people or companies form to work together as a unit. I suggest that
the resources (TLDs, IP numbers, etc.) of the OuterInternet be delegated to
these trusteeships which can act as natural peer groups. In some cases,
a second tier of 8 trusteeships would yield clusters of 64 people/companies
which will also provide peer group support.

If such trusteeships are formed and advertised, then large companies might
begin to take note of the opinions and developments produced by these
groups. In some cases, a collection of trusteeships could represent a
formidle force when dealing with large companies.

Just as the Internet was formed from small collections of individuals and
companies experimenting with ideas and implementations, this new
OuterInternet can be built using the same model but much more quickly
because of the infrastructure provided by the Legacy Internet.

In my opion, all of the individuals, small companies and groups that are
interested in building the OuterInternet should join a trusteeship and start
making a positive contribution to the new system. Maybe the sum total
of these trusteeships will someday get the attention of the large carriers
but in the meantime that does not need to be the objective. Instead, there
are brave new worlds and frontiers to discover and pioneer just like the
early Internet explorers.

The number 8 has been chosen as an arbitrary size. It is not very large and
it is not small. It is smaller than the number of people required to have a
baseball team. It is greater than the number of people required in a basketball
team. Besides being a power of two, it has the interesting feature that 2 of
the people can play primary and secondary roles and each of those 2 can
have 2 and those 2 can have 2. This provides for some continuity and the
development of people without requiring that everyone be a peer from the

Trusteeships could easily be formed by 1 or 2 individuals developing a
web page that advertises for 6 additional players. Resumes could be
submitted and the trusteeship would develop a mission and organization
to suit the members. A trusteeship name could be chosen and the group
could work together to help develop opinions, policies, specifications,
software, etc. that are posted as the output of the trusteeship.

In the trusteeship systems that I propose, I suggest that the trusteeships
be considered to be "peers" and not individuals. The Internet seems to
be populated with individuals that only want to peer with other individuals
that they feel are worthy. This lack of cooperation and lack of development
of "new blood", causes the progress of the Internet to be slow and plays
into the hands of large companies.

I always find it interesting that people on the Internet with tons of experience
only want to talk to people with more experience than them. In some cases,
that is a very small number of people. In the trusteeship system, this same
sort of social engineering may take place, but there is more of a chance
that new people will find a group to join and will not be berated that they
are too new to contribute.

Anyone that is interested in the trusteeship approach to "peer" groups
as opposed to individual peers, feel free to drop me a line. For those people
that want to continue to search for someone worthy to be their peer, I
wish you luck. Keep in mind, it is lonely at the top.