Re: Brin on privacy

Sean Hastings (whysean@earthlink.net)
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:05:03 -0600


John K Clark wrote:

> There is one thing I said that he especially disliked.
>
> >>David Brin brin@cts.com (d.brin)
> >>Without accountability, freedom will die.
>
> >Clark:
> >Thus I assume you also oppose using a secret ballot in elections.
>
> Mr. Brin told me this was offensive and he was certain it was deliberate,
> because of this gross misconduct on my part he was breaking off further
> commutation with me. ...

I just re-read this thread from the archives, and I hope it wonít die
out just
because Brin bailed on it. I didnít find good evidence in any of the
given
arguments to support any firm conclusions, but it seems to me that
Brinís ideas
on privacy hold some merit. Postulating a society in which everyone is
capable
of tuning in to everyone elseís lives on a real time, or archived basis,
I predict the following:

1.) Society will be able to enforce all of its rules more easily.

2.) Those who will be held most accountable for any rule breaking
actions
will be those who generate the most public interest - politicians, media
stars,
the rich, etcÖ as they will be constantly watched by many.

3.) Since the people mentioned in #2 are those who generally create
(or
strongly influence the creation of) the rules, rules against common
actions
will decrease. (Hypocrisy decreases.)

4.) General acceptance of the differences between people and
understanding of
their similarities becomes hard to avoid with increased exposure, and
this
decreases rules against less common actions. (Tolerance increases.)

Whether this easing of rules combined with tighter enforcement would
balance
out to leave us more/less/or the same individual freedom, I can not say,
but
its a great answer to the question "Who watches the watchmen?"

If you would like to continue this debate, Iíd be happy to argue Brinís
point.

In answer to your question, johnkc:

Certainly secret ballot would disappear, but would it be needed? Any
action
taken against someone based on the way they voted would be public
knowledge,
and a society which would tolerate such when it was exposed, probably
wouldn't
have a voting process anyway.

--Sean H.
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