AGAINST “AGAINST CYBERANARCHY”
quartered, the states where the car and tires were manufactured, and the state where the car was purchased. 56
This may well be true. Digitalbooks.com’s sale of an individual book to a customer in Singapore, in isolation, is no more “complex or challeng- ing” as a matter of international law than Analogbooks’ sale of the same book to the same customer.
To stop the analysis there, however, is to miss the forest for the trees. Scale matters; the biologists and the engineers know this. A rose is a rose is a rose; three roses, or three hundred roses—a garden—is a different, a more “complex and challenging,” phenomenon. Network protocols that can manage one thousand transactions may not be able to handle one mil- lion, or one billion. The tree is one thing; the forest, though it is nothing more than a large number of trees, is another, more “complex and chal- lenging,” phenomenon. The movement of a single clump of dirt down a slope is one thing; an avalanche, though it is nothing more than the move- ment of lots of individual pieces of dirt down a slope, is another, more
“complex and challenging,” event.57
The motion of a single pendulum—
which has been understood with great precision since Galileo’s day—is one thing; connect a number of pendulums together and you have a much more “complex and challenging” phenomenon. 58
You get the idea: the anthill is more “complex and challenging” than the ant. Ignoring the anthill when making rules for the ant—ignoring the ways in which the individual ant’s behavior is embedded within a complex system of large numbers of other individuals—would be odd indeed. 59
Therefore, although Digitalbooks.com and Analogbooks each may be doing the “same” things, the systems within which they operate are not
Id. at 1234 (emphasis added).
For an extensive discussion of the complex ways in which avalanches propagate
through sandpiles, see PER BAK, HOW NATURE WORKS chs. 3-4 (1996); STUART KAUFF- MAN, AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE 235-43 (1995).
58. The chaotic dynamics of coupled pendulums are discussed in BAK, supra note 57, at 39-48; JAMES GLEICK, CHAOS: MAKING A NEW SCIENCE 39-44 (Viking, 1987); David Tritton, Chaos in the Swing of a Pendulum, in EXPLORING CHAOS: A GUIDE TO THE NEW SCIENCE OF DISORDER 22-33 (N. Hall ed., 1991). A more technical treatment can be found in D. D’Humieres et al., Chaotic States and Routes to Chaos in the Forced Pendulum, 26 PHYS. REV. A 3483 (1982).
59. See Stein, supra note 15, at 1191 (“The Internet geometrically multiplies the number of transactions that implicate more than one state. But it is a problem of quantity, not quality.”) (emphasis added); Against Cyberanarchy, supra note 2, at 1237-38 (dis- cussing the “dramatic increase in the number and speed of transactions” in cyberspace in the context of “a nation’s incentives to regulate” and the efficacy of regulation).