Jolon, you’re points are WELL taken and you are spot-on that no one in BSV should be promising forever-immutability of data pushed into the BitCoin network (unless making a deal with miners).
Indeed there isn’t a deep focus on data specifically within the early writings; HOWEVER, there’s still a few things to consider here. #1 is that BitCoin doesn’t really work withOUT becoming a computation network (computational transactions and ultimately data) as then it would just be faith-based money, and faith-based money has never worked in human history for longer than a short period of time (typically an economic recession will destroy faith-based monies rather easily). Bernie Madoff was running a ponzi scheme for years (people forget that part) before it finally imploded. The longest-lasting ponzi schemes are typically built up on an early period of earned trust, but whose foundations of trust deteriorated to nothing well before the ponzi-tickets do. (Hint: The US Dollar was trustable currency from 1795–1972 so trust can take a long time to erode. GM stopped making the most trustworthy automobiles in the mid 1970s and yet they’re still around, post-bankruptcy). I used to get paid to analyze fraudulant companies, and trust me when I say that a fraud can continue as long as the operator can continue to bold-face lie to people. BitCoin however has utility as a money backed by exchangeable computation, and thus even tho not focused in the white paper the computation remains a terribly necessary component ALWAYS.
Computation: defined, I mean something similar to Amazon’s AWS services like EC2 (rentable CPUs) and SSS (data storage warehouse). Furthermore, if BitCoin does NOT become competitive with the large cloud service providers, it will most likely fail entirely.
Pruning is definitely discussed in the white paper for sure, but this pruning is best applied to monetary transactional data (even if small). Again, for money records don’t need to be stored forever, and the most important thing is making sure all BitCoin is accounted. The focus of the whitepaper is in proving the BitCoin MONEY will be secure as that would be, especially in 2008/2009, the #1 impediment to adoption. However, BitCoin was ALWAYS envisioned to become a VERY large network just like Bezos knew ultimately that Amazon’s data needs would be very high to sell many SKUs as a superstore. Bezos actually fell into AWS, but by 2008/2009 the Amazon AWS story was well known. What do you do when you have a MASSIVE network to support your business to defray some of that capital cost? Why, you become a data provider for others. In this respect, everything Craig included in the white paper and protocol had to do with scale. 10 minute blocks were considered at scale (in 2008 the block size could’ve been 10 seconds with no technical difficulty, correct?). With 10 minutes he was considering both the size of the earth covered by a worldwide network, but also the size of the eventual blocks. 1mB was only chosen to prevent gaming of the system while it was very young and BitCoin didn’t have a value.
At scale, the ideal cloud contains not just all the data but also all the code. Code is more efficient than data, as it’s just the algorithms which control the data. Even in 2008 it was easy to see that data would be getting more efficient, not less. Why? 2 factors. First factor can be found in Netflix. If Netflix were to monopolize all of professional video, they’d be the keeper of the master copies of all professionally-done video. This is surely more efficient than multiple copies of every video being stored by a distributed network of video providers. Netflix alone as a monopoly would have the ability to distribute those master copies in the most efficient way — much how BitCoin forms a very efficient Mandela-SmallWorld network. Second factor is actually related to pruning. Pruning is an economic decision, always. That which does not make money, is wasteful. If data is making someone money, it is valuable. So pruning would be a VERY necessary component to mention in a white paper about a ginormous network at scale.
Lastly, Craig has been on record for quite awhile talking about Black Net and scale. Perhaps it’s possible he just luckily fell into how great BitCoin will be as a storage network and storer of algorythmic code? But then why the inclusion of a minimalist Script? Script is the type of computing language which can form the basis for much larger and broader software which would support an internet-like data network.