Re: Transparency (Was Re: FreeNet downside)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 17:28:36 MST

Zero Powers wrote:

> >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
> >that
> >neither party can be trusted, and only the external threat of instant
> >annihilation is what keeps both parties in check. The MAD strategy
> >relied
> >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
> >relies
> >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 treating everyone by the standard of the lowest common denominator (the
savage) communicates that there is no value, no benefit to behaving as a
citizen. If you expect everyone to act the worste possible way, a lot of people
will fulfill your expectations. And it will be YOUR fault.

> > > But you miss the point, transparency is not about treating people as
> > > prisoners. It's about treating people as family (which when you think
> >about
> > > 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
> >she
> > > is almost all the time. Does that make her my prisoner? Especially
> >when
> > > (1) she knows that I know these things about her and (2) she knows all
> >these
> > > 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 you don't need to know everything about everyone. As work by Robin
Hanson and others with Baysean theory shows, you don't need to know everything.
The only people who insist on knowing everything about everyone are those that
have the lowest possible opinion of their fellow man. Such people should be
considered to sick to be allowed to contribute to the development or
implementation of public policy.

You give untold numbers of people the ability and opportunity to prove their
innocence every day, and they do so in many ways, all the time. That you prefer
to focus on the rare incident and/or minor risk of guilty behavior, while
ignoring the overwhelming weight of innocent behavior as evidence to attest to
the 'reasonableness' of your proposals indicates that you have some issues.

> >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
> >you
> >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.

I didn't say that she would dissapear without telling you why, but even then you
allowed that if she had a damn good reason, then it would be ok. If she told you
she was going to Jupiter on a NASA mission, with 20 men, for ten years, what
would you do then?

Moreover, once you developed a level of trust in her, from her past record, you
acknowledge that it would be ok for her to NOT be under your surveillance for
ten years, so you have just given up your insistence of total surveillance. You
don't spy on your wife at work, do you? Do you feel you have to? Why? Do you
have a mental problem?

> >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
> >background.
> 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.

No I haven't, because I do not base my judgement on 30 years of utter and total
surveillance of your every waking movement, action, and utterance. However,
given your history on this list of tending to prefer solutions proposed and
espoused by paranoid , megalomaniacal fascists, my level of trust in you is low
and would need to be augmented by countering evidence that you are only playing
devils advocate, etc...

> >The sort of people who beleive that Mutual
> >Assured
> >Surveillance is the only option are the sort of people who beleive the
> >whole
> >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.

Treating all as if they are each the worst possible person is not the way to
build trust.

> >Total
> >sureveillance is the worst sort of tyranny, it does not matter one whit
> >if
> >its all mutual.
> Sticks and stones...
> >Its the same thing with the socialist argument with
> >property:
> >I don't trust anybody but myself to responsibly handly property, so
> >therefore
> >nobody has a right to property.
> Apples and oranges.

cortlands and granny smiths.

> >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
> >must
> >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.

Why do you need verification of innocence unless you don't trust anyone to be
innocent? MAS has EVERYTHING to do with the presumption of innocence.

> >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
> >presumed
> >by themselves or everyone to have honor and/or integrity, and that
> >nobody
> >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.

An unimportant 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.

To the common, public, well of information. Haven't you understood the Tragedy
of the Commons?

> Therefore you know just
> as much about the government as it knows about you, even more.

I don't care what the government does, so long as it stays out of my life. If it
treats everyone like I want it to treat me, then there is no need for your
Orwellian anarchy.

> 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.

If you know my bank records, then you know my account information. If you know
my biometrics and my PGP keys, then you can impersonate me and steal my assets.
With total mutual surveillance comes the end of not only privacy, but property,
free speech, free association, and self defense.

With MAS, because everyone will know everything you say, you won't dare say
anything that the majority will dissaprove of.

With MAS, none of your property belongs to you anymore, because everyone knows
where it is, and when you are not there to watch it, and what your security keys
are, etc.

WIth MAS, everyone will know with whome you associate, so you will not associate
with anyone that is not approved of by the majority.

With MAS, everyone will know where you are at any given time. A person with the
wish to kill does not care about the consequences of that action, if they know
where to find you while they are still enraged, they will find you and kill you.
If the majority decides that you are a politically dangerous individual, you
will be found, and dissention will end.

> 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?"

Which merely illustrates the depth to which your paranoia has developed. Since
machine gun technology has been around since the 19th century, and it has been
the least commonly used gun technology in crime, while there are over 200k
private owners. This record indicates that, by definition, a person who owns a
machine gun is not very likely to commit a crime with it, and is therefore
trustworthy. All your surveillance of me does is feed your paranoias to the
point that you and every other paranoiac start screaming to the government that
everyone needs to be locked up in chains to make the world safe for paranoiacs.

> 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
> upon?

That is your primary problem. You don't, in your heart, assume that anyone is
good or innocent. Your insistence that people prove their innocence indicates
you don't beleive in the presumption of innocence. I do beleive in the innate
goodness, innocence, and trustworthyness of the vast majority of people. I do
not prejudge everyone based upon the poor behavior of less than 1% of the
population, and I know that if anyone ever does prove me wrong in their
particular instance, I am prepared to deal with that individual, in that
instance, as they should be dealt with, while I can go on treating everyone else
as normal, honest, honorable human beings.

> >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.

Your problem is paranoia coupled with extreme extroversion, my problem is
introversion. Since when does your problem become more important than mine?

> >Resentment leads to hate. You do not build trust on a foundation of
> >hate.
> Yeah but you won't resent me. See above. Besides, I can be quite charming
> when I have to be ;)

I really hate slick people. I prefer people who are charming as a matter of
course, not because they 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
> know?)

Oh, Brave New World.....

Slavery is Freedom......all hail Slavery.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:06:18 MDT