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The CaveBear Thoughts and Commentary by Karl Auerbach
Locus ab auctoritate .. est infirmissimus.
(The argument from authority is the weakest.)
– Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274).

last update:

Tiny Houses Are A Weak Idea

There is no doubt that many of our communities need safe, clean, accessible, and inexpensive housing.

This note does not dispute that need. Rather, this article, questions whether “Tiny Houses” are among the better answer or whether there are better approaches.

Many communities are under pressure by advocates for increased housing for the homeless to consider adopting policies that encourage tiny homes.

The argument made here is such policies may be a weak answer to the need to provide housing for the homeless.

Domain Names Are Fading From User View


The internet has changed and evolved ever since it’s ancestors first came to life in the late 1960’s. Some technology fades away and is forgotten; other aspects continue but are overlaid, like geological sediments, so that they are now longer visible but are still present under the surface.

The Domain Name System - both the technology of DNS and the deployed naming hierarchy we all use - are among those aspects of the internet that, although they feel solid and immutable, are slowly changing underneath our feet.

PC-Engines APU2 LED/Mode-Switch Driver for FreeBSD

The PC-Engines APU2 is a very nice board when you need a lot more horsepower than a Raspberry Pi but still want low power, small form factor, and no moving parts.

Among the many features of the The APU2 are three LEDs and one mode button/switch.

I needed a device driver so that my code could control the LEDs and read whether the button is pushed.

I wrote one. It is up and available on the InterWorking Labs website: at

Update: (February 2018): This driver no longer works on recent versions of the APU-2 board. However, there is a working alternative now available at

Internet: Quo Vadis (Where are you going?)

ArcadiaArticles, blogs, and meetings about the internet of the future are filled with happy, positive words like “global”, “uniform”, and “open”.

The future internet is described in ways that seem as if taken from a late 1960’s Utopian sci-fi novel: the internet is seen as overcoming petty rivalries between countries, dissolving social rank, equalizing wealth, and bringing universal justice.

If that future is to be believed, the only obstacle standing between us and an Arcadian world of peace and harmony is that the internet does not yet reach everyone, or that network carriers are unfairly giving different treatment to different kinds of traffic, or that evil governments are erecting “Great Walls”, or that IPv6 is not yet everywhere, or that big companies are acquiring top level domains, or that encryption is not ubiquitous … The list goes on and on.

I do not agree.

I do not believe that the future internet will be a Utopia. Nor do I believe that the future internet will be like some beautiful angel, bringing peace, virtue, equality, and justice.

Big BrotherInstead I believe that there are strong, probably irresistible, forces working to lock-down and partition the internet.

I believe that the future internet will be composed of “islands’.

These islands will tend to coincide with countries, cultures, or companies.

There will be barriers between these islands. And to cross those barriers there will be explicit bridges between various islands.

Network traffic that moves over these bridges will be observed, monitored, regulated, limited, and taxed.

The future internet will be used as a tool for power, control, and wealth.

And to a large degree the users of this future internet will not care about this.

This paper describes this future - a future more likely than the halcyon world painted by others.

Why Did I Break A Perfectly Good Website?

I have reworked the old, Joomla based, CaveBear website. It took a lot of work. A lot of URLs got changed, thus breaking external links. And I am sure that a lot of small adjustments remain to be done.

The old one was not broken.

So why did I break a perfectly good website?

Well, I’ll tell you why.

It all begins with the idea that much of the content of today’s world-wide-web will disappear.


As you might guess the material on this website is protected by US copyright.

Don’t let that scare you; you always have “Fair Use” rights.

And I am, of course, willing to consider allowing further use, but you need to ask me first.

Redressing Excess Corporate Power

Proposed Amendment to the United States Constitution To Redress the Increasing Distortion of Elections and Political Speech by Corporations and Other Aggregate Forms

Karl Auerbach ─ October 14, 2011 ─ Version 1.04

Proposed Text:

Corporate and other aggregate forms of organization are neither Persons nor Citizens under this Constitution and shall have neither protections, rights, nor legal standing under this Constitution.

This Amendment shall not be construed to deny or disparage the power of Congress or the Several States to enact legislation that defines rights, powers, limitations, liabilities, and standing of such corporate and other aggregate forms of organization.

The Problem:

The conservative wing of the US Supreme Court has elevated several corporate rights to at least the same degree of Constitutional protection as the rights of natural (living) people.

There is little or no precedent for the creation of these rights in corporations. The idea of the modern corporation did not arise until nearly a century after the writing and adoption of the Constitution. And the 14th Amendment predates the rise of the modern corporation by at least a decade.

In other words, these corporate rights are the product of judicial legislation.


Internet Governance

Bookmarks Description
What I would say to the House Commerce Committee were I invited to testify July 17, 1999
Thoughts on the NTIA Green Paper This is a copy of the NTIA “Green” paper of January 30, 1998 with some of my comments interleaved.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), and The Privacy Act of 1974 This is a collection of pages from 1998 describing the role of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the domain name system.
Suppose ICANN Had An At-Large Membership Drive Humor - Suppose ICANN hired a telemarketeer to try to get you to join. What might that be like? August 22, 1999
Structural Principles For Internet Governance Materials for the Meeting of the UN Internet Governance Forum.
Stakeholderism - The Wrong Road For Internet Governance Submitted to the the Meeting of the UN Internet Governance Forum.
Request for Independent Review After ICANN rejected my Request for Reconsideration of ICANN great giveaway to Network Solutions (now Verisign) as being in violation of ICANN’s procedures, I submitted this Request for Independent Review.
Reconsideration Request Way back in 1999 ICANN began the great giveaway of the crown jewels of the internet to Network Solutions, nee Verisign.
Questioning Authority - Searching For Stability In Internet Governance I spoke on the weakness of ICANN’s legal and technical foundations, and the potential collapse of ICANN as a result, at Signifiers in Cyberspace: Domain Names and Online Trademarks at the Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, November 12-13, 2009.
Protecting the Internet’s Domain Name System The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the few parts of the internet that can be considered a single point of failure.
My testimony before the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. June 12, 2002
My submission to the Communications subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation July 31, 2003
My Senate Testimony on ICANN of February 14, 2001
My presentation on Internet Naming to the US National Research Council The Domain Name System is often touted as a kind of global, uniform name space for the internet. It is not. This note describes various ways in which DNS lacks those properties that people and bodies of internet governance assume that it has. (Powerpoint format), July 2001
My comments to NTIA’s “mid-term review” of its ICANN “JPA” agreement. My comments on NTIA’s “The Continued Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System: Midterm Review of the Joint Project Agreement”
Internet Governance - By Whom? This is a note written not long after ICANN got started - and it reflects on how poor a start it was and how it established the pattern for the ICANN we have today. May 1, 1999
ICANN Mission Statement Generator Are you a prolix pleonast? Do mission statements amuse you?
Fragmentation of the Internet This is a presentation that I gave at the American Bar Association (ABA) National Institute on “Computing and the Law: From Steps to Strides into the New Age”. San Francisco, June 2007.
Evaluation of ICANN As my last act as a director of ICANN and during the course of a public meeting I tendered this report to ICANN’s Board of Directors. ICANN has never acknowledged this document; nor does it appear in any ICANN document collection or website. Adobe Acrobat format, 13 pages. June 2003
Decision Diary During my term on the ICANN board of directors I kept a written, public diary of my decisions. This is that diary. It spans the entire duration of my term, November 2000 through July 2003.
Contracting the Internet: Does ICANN create a barrier to small business? This is a statement made before the Committee on Small Business,
Containing the whole Science of Government This is a chapter from Charles Dickens’ book Little Dorrit (1857) The chapter describes the Circumlocution Office. It may, and should, call to mind a certain existing institution of internet governance.
Campaign Platform - Election for North American Director of ICANN This is my campaign platform for the year 2000 election for the North American seat on the ICANN board of directors. There is a fair amount of material here, much of it is still relevant today. November 10, 2000.
Boston Working Group Submission to NTIA This is the Boston Working Group (BWG) submission to NTIA on NTIA’s plan to form ICANN.  September 29, 1998
A Plan To Reform ICANN: A Functional Approach This is one of several papers that describes a way to structure bodies of internet governance, such as ICANN, into tightly constrained units that are less likely to go astray or suffer from mission bloat. April 2002
A note to NTIA for their review of their “transition” to ICANN. My submission to “The Continued Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet Domain Name and Addressing System

Internet Governance / ITU meeting on IG (Feb 2004)

Materials presented at the ITU meeting on Internet Governance in Geneva, February 2004

Bookmarks Description
Panel presentation and speakers notes
Governing the Internet, A Functional Approach
First Law of the Internet
Deconstructing Internet Governance

Internet Technology

Bookmarks Description
On Entity Associations In A Cloud Network This is a paper I wrote in 2010 about issues that arise when naming things that exist in a cloud network. Most particularly this note deals with issues concerning persistent network relationships between entitites that exist within a cloud-net.
My presentation on Internet Naming to the US National Research Council The Domain Name System is often touted as a kind of global, uniform name space for the internet. It is not. This note describes various ways in which DNS lacks those properties that people and bodies of internet governance assume that it has. (Powerpoint format), July 2001
From Barnstorming to Boeing - Transforming the Internet Into a Lifeline Utility - Speaker’s Notes 8th IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management, Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 26, 2003
From Barnstorming to Boeing - Transforming the Internet Into a Lifeline Utility 8th IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Powerpoint format, March 26, 2003
Fast Path Characterization Protocol (FPCP) What is “proximity” on the internet and how do we measure it?


Bookmarks Description
SENATE REPORT NO. 93-1183 (Privacy Act of 1974) I scanned and OCR’ed a paper version of the Senate Report on what was to become the Privacy Act of 1974.
History of the Privacy Act of 1974 I did not write the main body of this document; I merely resurrected it from paper format.

External Links

Bookmarks Description
My Lawsuit Against ICANN During my term as a Director of ICANN ICANN’s staff (and several members of the board) obstructed me when I tried to perform my duties as a director. It became necessary to obtain a court order to compel ICANN to cease its unlawful behaviour. This link leads to the case file.