Class "B" forsale (fwd)

Michael Shields shields at
Mon Mar 10 11:46:04 UTC 1997

> So, since I paid money for my car registration & license plates, I should 
> be able to sell my plates to someone else to put on their car?

I believe that people with spiffy vanity plates have sold them.  Why not?

But discussion about the Internet is always plagued with analogies.
IP address allocation is not really like the allocation of land, or
phone numbers, or pollution credits, or milk quotas, or typing paper,
or license plates, or routing table slots, or cocaine.  It's sort of
like all of these things, but not completely like any of them.  And
the nature of an analogy is that it pretends two things are similar in
all ways.

The best way to think about this is not: "IP addresses should be
allocated in X way because Y is allocated that way," "But IP addresses
are not like Y," "Are so!", but instead: "What is the current policy
on IP address allocation?  What are the implications?  What would be
the implications of this other policy?"

Analogies are a good tool when things really are the same, but nothing
hurts you like using the wrong tool.  Since IP addresses are not like
other things, there is not much to compare them to.
Shields, CrossLink.

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