Re: An Argument Against Privacy was: Openness.

Anders Sandberg (
20 Nov 1998 00:38:29 +0100

Hal Finney <> writes:

> I see two broad choices for the question of privacy. One is to let
> the question be answered by how the technology works out. There would
> be a technological competition between the spies and the spied-upon,
> and one side wins in the end. We let the chips fall where they may,
> and at the end maybe we will have privacy, or maybe we won't.

However, it might be a good idea to make sure these technologies are freely available. If gnatbots or strong encryption are limited to a small group the consequences might be bad, as they seek to keep their advantage. They might not win in the long run, but it can be nasty in the short run. Hence it is a good idea to make sure the playing field is level.

[different societies with different approaches]
> This is an attractive solution, particularly if society is diverse enough
> that different approaches can be tried locally, with competition among
> the various groups so that the best method wins. However, it may be
> unstable in that there would be pressure to try to cheat, and the laws of
> physics would be on the side of the cheaters (assuming that the outcome
> is the opposite of what would have happened in the first case).

You can usually limit cheating by setting up a system so that cheating does not pay; when you design your deliberately closed or open society you can build in certain defenses. Just make sure your dominant startegy is evolutionarily stable, and cheaters will likely remain a minor problem.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y