Brin on Privacy

John K Clark (
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 22:48:51 -0800 (PST)


On Thu, 12 Dec 1996 Sean Hastings <> Wrote:

>it seems to me that Brin's ideas on privacy hold some merit.
>Postulating a society in which everyone is capable of tuning
>in to everyone else’s lives on a real time, or archived
>basis, I predict the following: [list of nice things]

Brin's world would be inherently unstable, so discussing its merits is like
talking about if it would be fun to live in a world where gravity was a
repellent force rather than attractive. It isn't going to happen.

If nobody in the world has secrets except me, that means I know all about the
marketing plans and product development of your company but you know nothing
about mine, that gives my company an advantage, it will grow and so will the
privacy meme. The only way Brin's world could work is if everybody was
exactly like Mr. Brin.

On the other hand, if I tell all and have no secrets but everybody else has
secrets, then it is my company will be at a disadvantage and shrink, and so
will the transparency meme. Wonderful though it would be, the world need not
be full of people like me for Crypto Anarchy to work.

>Certainly secret ballot would disappear, but would it be needed?

Not really, but then elections aren't needed either, it's a dumb way to let
your wishes be known.

By the way, I'm not sending Brin a copy of this, he made it crystal clear
that he doesn't want to talk to me again, EVER! That's fine with me.

John K Clark

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