Re: Transparency (Was Re: FreeNet downside)

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 14:11:42 MST

>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
>Its funny that people like you are the ones who say that Mutual Assured
>Destruction is insane, when its the same exact principle. MAD assumes
>neither party can be trusted, and only the external threat of instant
>annihilation is what keeps both parties in check. The MAD strategy
>completely on the idea that both sides had to keep as total a level of
>surveillance on the others activities as possible.

And your point? Mutually assured destruction in a vacuum *is* insane. But
when your avowed enemy has amassed enough weaponry to utterly wipe you out
and the only way to keep him from doing that is to assure him that you've
got the weaponry to do the same to him, then MAD is the only viable
alternative. If he wipes you out then you wipe him out and there is no
winner, only two losers. Obviously the best outcome is a win-win situation.
  But if my enemy is going to cause me to lose, I'd prefer a lose-lose
situation to a win-lose situation.

>An honorable person needs no external consequences. A society that
>only on external consequences has acknowledged that men are nothing but
>savages and have no honor or rights.

Well as I'm sure you realize, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Some
men *are* "nothing but savages." Others behave themselves in ways more
worthy of the title "Citizen." If there were no such thing as criminally
minded people, there would be no need to have this discussion. The plain
fact though, is that that is not the case.

> > But you miss the point, transparency is not about treating people as
> > prisoners. It's about treating people as family (which when you think
> > it is what they are). I know almost everything about my wife. Her
> > finances, her hopes, her fears, her weaknesses, her strengths. I know
> > exactly how she'll react if I kiss the backs of her knees. I know where
> > is almost all the time. Does that make her my prisoner? Especially
> > (1) she knows that I know these things about her and (2) she knows all
> > same things about me?
>You have that relationship and you know those things about each other
>because you both trust each other, not the other way around.

I don't think so. You can't trust someone you don't know anything about. I
don't trust you. That doesn't mean you are a bad person. All it means is
that I don't know enough about you to determine whether or not you are
trustworthy. Sure all people are innocent until proven guilty, I just don't
make it a policy to give unknown people the opportunity to prove their guilt
on me.

>However, a true spousal relationship is based on the mutual trust that
>comes from
>respect for the other, and the desire for respect from the other, such
>that you
>could spend ten years apart from your spouse and they would trust that
>would behave with respect toward them the entire time, even though they
>have no idea what you are actually doing.

Not necessarily. If my wife just disappeared for 10 years without telling
me why and where she was going and when she'd be back, she would have to
come up with a *damn* good explanation when she got back in order to regain
my trust. And to the extent that I would trust her while she was gone, that
trust would be based on the things I was able to learn about her before she
left. In other words, my surveillance of her.

>The thing is, I trust myself more than I trust you, this is a given.
>However I do trust you
> to an extent based on your record and based on the fact that you come
>from a respectable

In other words, you trust me to the extent that you've been able to do
"surveillance" on me. Without the information gained regarding my record
and my respectable background, you'd have no basis for trusting me, right?
Thank you. You have made my point better than I could have.

>The sort of people who beleive that Mutual
>Surveillance is the only option are the sort of people who beleive the
>fascist "People are no damn good and need to be controlled" routine.

No, not at all. I believe in MAS, but I believe that people for the most
part want to be, and are, good. But only an idiot could believe that there
is no such thing as cheaters. MAS offers no threat to honorable people
because they have nothing to hide. On the other hand, MAS encourages
dishonorable people to do the right thing. In other words, we have the
highly sought after but rarely found "win-win" situation.

>sureveillance is the worst sort of tyranny, it does not matter one whit
>its all mutual.

Sticks and stones...

>Its the same thing with the socialist argument with
>I don't trust anybody but myself to responsibly handly property, so
>nobody has a right to property.

Apples and oranges.

>back to the trust issue, we make a contract between us, where we both
>claim we are
>honorable, trust-worthy, and have integrity. Only those that break that
> contract can be judged to have no honor or integrity, and therefore
>have total surveillance. THis is the presumption of innocence. A total
>surveillance society throws out the presumption of innocence, because by
>definition, the idea that all must be surveilled indicates that none
>can be trusted, that none have honor or integrity.

Again, no. MAS has nothing to do with the presumption of innocence. I
presume everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. MAS merely provides
*verification* of innocence, or the lack thereof.

>The only difference
>between a Mutual Surveillance Society, and a Big Brother Fascist Society
>is that in the fascist society some (those in charge) are either
>by themselves or everyone to have honor and/or integrity, and that
>else has any, while the Mutual Surveillance Society declares that no one
>has integrity or honor.

No, again you miss the point. MAS differs from an Orwellian fascist state
in one very important respect. In the latter, only the government has the
power of surveillance over citizens. The government itself is immune from
surveillance. Therefore, all power follows the one-way flow of the government. In my MAS society information flows
equally both to the government *and* to the people. Therefore you know just
as much about the government as it knows about you, even more. No more
fighting tooth and nail to get partial, misleading and redacted FOIA
information. You just get on the web and point your browser to, say,
Clinton's bank records, or the full copies of all FBI, CIA, NSA, KGB, and
IRS records. You can also access the name, address, telephone number and
location of anyone who accessed any of that information about you. See
here's how it works: Zero Powers looks up Michael Lorrey's bank records.
In order to do that I have to reveal my own identity so that, if he wants to
Michael Lorrey can (1) find out that I looked up his records, and (2) if he
wants to, he can do the same to me.

So now what? I can say "Hey Michael I see you just paid another $200 to the
ATF for another machine gun."

And you can say, "Yes, I know that you know that. And you also know that I
know you just paid $200 for another bullet-proof vest, but that wouldn't do
you much good if I decided to use my armor-piercing bullets on you."

And then I could say, "Perhaps, but since I follow you around with the
ubiquitous public surveillance camera network, I would know the minute you
left your house with your machine gun and I could follow you as you got
closer and closer to my house. As soon as you got within 100 feet of my
front door, I'd alert the AI police chief who would be ready to incapacitate
you with the nano-police the second you pointed your gun at me and put your
finger on the trigger."

And then you could say "Yeah, I guess you're right. So I won't kill you
today. Hey wanna go check out a football game?"

And then I could say "Sure, but lets leave the machine guns at home this
time, OK?"

>Trust is based upon respect, not intimate knowledge.

Without at least some knowlege, what could there possibly be to base respect

>No, I would resent that you knew many private and embarrasing things
>about me
>that I would prefer that others did not know. You would know that this
>was a point
>of embarrassment and would use it with your primate hard wired instincts
>for the
>pecking order to humilitate and denigrate me in order to make yourself
>look better.

Um, not quite. See first of all you would not resent *me* because it
wouldn't be *my* fault that your private and embarrasing things are public
knowledge. You might resent society, but that should not cause you to
direct that resentment toward me in particular. More importantly, once you
found out that 95% of the people in your neighborhood had the exact same
private and embarrasing things contained in their public record, your
private and embarrasing things would cease to be either private or
embarrasing. And once we found out that my private and embarrasing things
were even more private and embarrasing than yours, there'd be very little
incentive for my "primate hard wired instincts" to make much of a fuss about
your private and embarrasing things.

>Resentment leads to hate. You do not build trust on a foundation of

Yeah but you won't resent me. See above. Besides, I can be quite charming
when I have to be ;)

>"A society that would trade some freedom for security deserves neither
>freedom nor security."

MAS does not trade off any freedom. MAS will give you *more* freedom than
you ever had before. Imagine being free to go wherever, and do whatever,
you want without having to first get permission (no visas, licenses,
permits, nothing). Imagine having instant access to *all* information all
the time. No searching through remote and dusty archives, no paying a
private investigator. Imagine having whatever your heart desires (a
supercomputer, a near-anything device). All that and more for the small
price of making yourself as transparent as the rest of society. Maybe it
seems like hell to you, but I can't wait. (It is, after all, inevitable you


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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