Re: A modest proposal

From: L. A. Chu (
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 23:34:09 MST

> > There's also Brin's solution #3: "Who watches the watchers? Everyone."
> Which is a ridiculous statement, since we _already_ have that. (If Brin
> really said this, then he's lost some big points in my rating of him.:) We
> can, in most countries, vote the current elite out of power and whoever we
> elect can clean house at the various police departments. However, this does
> not happen. Why? Because each voter (Brin's "everyone") has little
> incentive to investigate ("watch the watchers") these matters or follow
> through with political (electoral or protest) or legal (filing lawsuits,
> etc.) actions.

I think I see the crux of the problem--you're assuming Brin means what
the saying used to mean in Rome, and now.

No, Brin's not using the term metaphorically, the way it used to be
meant. He means it in the ubiquitous unthwartable surveillance
sense--should we permit that to come to be. One take on that is that
it's now possible to project a government run by whoever is enough of a
busybody to always be watching *something*... Is that so much worse than
Big Brother? The gap you speak of might still exist there, it's true,
but there's a *chance* to do something (including _move_) once your
*really* know who the untrustworthy bastards are. With a camera over
their shoulder *all* the time, because it's *expected*. Pretty far out.

> If you've (and I'm using the "you" here in the plural sense -- not singling
> out Lee Daniel here:) ever been involved in these matters, you would know
> how difficult it is to proceed along these lines. I've been involved in a
> few such actions. They are very costly. If you have to sit in court or
> protest or campaign, it's very high cost. Corrupt or bad police officers do
> not face the same costs. After all, going to court is usually part of their
> job and the court is often, sadly, on their side.
> Daniel Ust
> Read about the latest scientific findings on tar water at:

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