What's the location in Charles Stross's works where it says we need a state only for non-repudiable identity, a shared basis for time, and "something I forgot"?

Is it somewhere in Glasshouse? I've read roughly up to chapter three. This could take a while.

I'd like to have a specific page in order to use the quote in my work, writing about data management.

Can fandom answer this? Am I better off to write to the publisher, or something?

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    Ask Charlie: antipope.org/charlie/who_am_i/foo.cgi – Martin Schröder Oct 24 '14 at 15:34
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    In short he said more-or-less what Richard says, below. I'll note further: a. A page number isn't meaningful without an ISBN or equivalent. b. I'm glad to learn that Glasshouse is far from his last word, shall we say. He's fairly prolific, taking on a variety of material. I'm enjoying reading another book of his now. As yet I don't know the breadth of his work, but I can see that he has the ability to present varying perspectives when that is his wish. – ajm475du Nov 28 '14 at 17:00

This is from Chapter 13 of Glasshouse (albeit heavily abridged by poster nbraud on reddit)

What she means is, the Republic of Is provided the most important common services a post-Acceleration civilization needs: time and authentication. Without time, you can’t be sure that the same financial instrument isn’t being executed in two different places at once. And without authentication, you can’t be certain that the person in Body A is the owner of Identity A, rather than an interloper who has stolen a copy of Body A...

...But since the Acceleration, the prevention of identity theft has become one of the core functions of government, any government. It’s not just a matter of preventing the most serious of crimes against the person; without time and authentication little things like money and law enforcement stop working.

Note please that while this may be an dig by the author at the role of the state in the non-fictional world, in the book he is talking about a science-fictional universe where identity cannot be easily confirmed due to the existence of perfect mimetic duplication and where time is somewhat flexible due to the use and abuse of FTL technology.

  • OK, when I quote from this I'll mention that it's in the narrator's voice in this work of science fiction. That should make clear that it's left to the reader to draw the connection to real life. Personally I think it's quite valid that "without time and authentication little things like money and law enforcement stop working." – ajm475du Nov 28 '14 at 16:43
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    @ajm475du - I agree, but over in the (boring) real world there are also more important things like "commonly agreed statutes" and "rule of law" without which time and authentication are pretty meaningless. – Valorum Nov 28 '14 at 16:49
  • I think the point is valuable yet arguable - isn't identity important in a Machiavellian principality? But this discussion will belong in some other forum. Thanks for the notion! – ajm475du Nov 29 '14 at 17:21

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