Re: Transparency (Was Re: FreeNet downside)

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 19:25:01 MST

>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>

>>If there were no such thing as criminally
> > minded people, there would be no need to have this discussion. The
> > 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
>will fulfill your expectations. And it will be YOUR fault.

That's a bit of a cop-out from free will buff like yourself, don't you
think? If I assume that you are a crook are you going to become a crook?
And if you do is that really *my* fault? Puh-lease.

> > 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
> > 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
>The only people who insist on knowing everything about everyone are those
>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.

Again you get me wrong. I recognize that I don't have the capacity to know
everything. Moreover I have no desire to know everything. Right now I
could exercize my rights under the FOIA to search through mountains of
government documents. I have no desire to, so I don't. My point is not to
give Zero Powers omniscience. It is to do away with the hoarding of data.
Information wants to be free (yes even your bank records) and I merely want
information to reach its goal.

>You give untold numbers of people the ability and opportunity to prove
>innocence every day, and they do so in many ways, all the time. That you
>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
>the 'reasonableness' of your proposals indicates that you have some issues.

Like you I want to treat everyone the same. You want everyone, criminals
and innocent alike, to be able to hide their data and themselves. I want
everyone, criminals and innocent alike to step out of the shadows. I'm not
focusing on crime. I'm focusing on efficiency. Yes, I do have issues. My
main issue in this discussion is that the hoarding of data is inefficient,
counter productive and sooner or later will be downright dangerous.

>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.

Of course it would, based upon the data about her I had access to before she
left. Why is it so hard for you to grasp that point?

>If she told you
>she was going to Jupiter on a NASA mission, with 20 men, for ten years,
>would you do then?

Ridiculous hypothetical. My wife would not do that for all the tea in
China, so I can't give any response.

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

Once again, simply because the means of ubiquitous surveillance exists does
not mean that I would necessarily make use of them at all. And even if I
did it certainly would not occupy the bulk of my day. Just knowing that
universal surveillance was possible would have the desired effect.

And, no as far as I am aware I have no mental problems. But your
frustration at the difficulty you are having with this argument is once
again leading you down the path of hyperbole and name-calling. If you
simply can't cut that out, I will have to once again drop another debate
with you.

> > 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
> > and my respectable background, you'd have no basis for trusting me,
> > 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
>surveillance of your every waking movement, action, and utterance.

You are now talking about a matter of *degree*. No you haven't surveilled
me for 30 years, and your surveillance has not been very thorough or
detailed. But still to the extent that you trust me (which admittedly is
not very much) it is based upon what you *know* about me. That, Michael, is
called intelligence, data gathering, knowledge, in a word...surveillance.
Get it??

>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
>and would need to be augmented by countering evidence that you are only
>devils advocate, etc...

More name calling. Come on, do a little better than that.

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

One more time, with feeling. MAS does not treat people as if they were good
or bad. MAS merely assures that people's actions, whether good or bad, will
be recorded. Virtually every conversation that the U.S. President has is
recorded. Why do you think that is? Is it because we as a nation have
decided that our Presidents are all to be treated as if they are the worst
possible person? Or is it because the actions of our President can have
drastic and far-reaching effects and, as a result, it is important to have
an accurate record?

Stop, think, take a deep breath. Now reply.

> > Again, no. MAS has nothing to do with the presumption of innocence. I
> > presume everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. MAS merely
> > *verification* of innocence, or the lack thereof.
>Why do you need verification of innocence unless you don't trust anyone to
>innocent? MAS has EVERYTHING to do with the presumption of innocence.

I've said it as many times as I can say it in as many different ways as I
can. If you don't get it by now I have to give up.

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

And how, exactly, does that have anything at all to do with the discussion
at hand?

>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.

More big and improbable "ifs." The government does not treat you the way
you want to be treated. Virtually every aspect of your life is documented.
Everytime you get a driver's license, everytime you purchase a firearm,
every time you file a tax return, every time you buy anything other than
with cash or a cashier's check, every time you register a vehicle, every
time you apply for a loan or credit of any kind, and on and on and
is *documented.*

MAS will not change the fact that your life is documented. What it will do
though is allow you to know exactly to what extent your life is and has been
documented (which you do not know now) and what is contained in that

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

Not quite. See, one more time, the key to MAS is *mutuality*. Whenever I
access your bank records, you will know it. You will know exactly what I
found out, when I found it out, and what I did with it. I could not
impersonate you because whatever I did to impersonate you would *also* be
recorded. You could then follow my trail and watch as I put on my Michael
Lorrey mask, and counterfeited my Michael Lorrey fingerprints. In a truly
open society there would be no way for me to get away with usurping your
personality, therefore there would be no incentive for me to try, therefore
you would have no cause to be so scared about me perusing your dossier.

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

That's hogwash. Are you saying that you don't express yourself now unless
what you have to say is politically correct or you are incognito? Seems to
me you've got more intestinal fortitude than that. My opinions regarding
transparency are not approved by the majority, but I have absolutely no
qualms about expressing them (or couldn't you tell?)

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

Dealt with this above.

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

Only if you are a *real* coward would you let society dictate who you
associate with.

>With MAS, everyone will know where you are at any given time. A person with
>wish to kill does not care about the consequences of that action, if they
>where to find you while they are still enraged, they will find you and kill

That applies now. There's nothing you can do about that. Chances are
though that anyone who wishes to kill you can already figure out where to
find you. Its not often that a stranger who has never met you has the
uncontrollable desire to find you and kill you. The only difference that
MAS will make in this situation is the assurance that the would-be murderer
will not get away with his crime. Will that discourage *everyone*? No.
Will it discourage the great majority of sane people with homicidal
tendencies? Unquestionably.

>If the majority decides that you are a politically dangerous individual,
>will be found, and dissention will end.

You are assuming that surveillance equals totalitarianism. MAS in a free
society does not make it any more likely than now that dissent will end just
because you can be found.

> > So now what? I can say "Hey Michael I see you just paid another $200 to
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > you with the nano-police the second you pointed your gun at me and put
> > 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.

You're about 3 straws away from the last one.

>machine gun technology has been around since the 19th century, and it has
>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
>everyone needs to be locked up in chains to make the world safe for

2 straws to go.

> > Without at least some knowlege, what could there possibly be to base
> > upon?
>That is your primary problem. You don't, in your heart, assume that anyone
>good or innocent.

Well maybe you are different (and apparently you are) but with me trust and
respect have to be *earned*. That doesn't mean that I assume every stranger
is untrustworthy or unworthy of respect. It just means they are a blank
slate. In my mind you are neither trustworthy nor untrustworthy until you
demonstrate yourself as such.

>Your insistence that people prove their innocence indicates
>you don't beleive in the presumption of innocence. I do beleive in the
>goodness, innocence, and trustworthyness of the vast majority of people.

I'm not insisting that anyone prove anything. I merely maintain that we'll
all be better off when we stop hoarding data.

>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
>as normal, honest, honorable human beings.

Great. Me too. That has nothing to do with transparency.

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

1 straw left. I am neither paranoid nor extroverted. But to you point
(such as it is), MAS will not interfere one iota with your introversion. If
you want to stay huddled in your house surrounded by nothing but your
arsenal, MAS will not force you to do otherwise. Just because I can find
out where you live does not mean I'll be able to drop by without your

>I really hate slick people. I prefer people who are charming as a matter of
>course, not because they have to be...

You only like people who are charming 24 hours a day? Where (other than
yourself of course) have you ever met such a person?

>Oh, Brave New World.....
>Slavery is Freedom......all hail Slavery.

Yeah well whatever. Hey look at that! You *still* have 1 straw left! Let's
see how long it lasts.


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

Get Your Private, Free Email at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:06:19 MDT