Re: Transparency is impossible

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 22:16:34 MDT

Zero Powers <> Wrote:

>>And do you really think there is a snowball's chance in hell of Congress
>>ever passing a law requiring universal surveillance unless they included
>>an exception for themselves and the President?

>Short answer: yes.

You know, I have some swamp land I'd really like to sell you, I think it has
oil on it.

>those politicians will have to at least appear to favor legislation demanded by
>the people

Yes, and I have no doubt they will continue to appear to do so,

>Think term limits

Which hasn't happened.

>and campaign finance reform.

Which hasn't happened.

>For the criminally inclined, there are always clever ways to commit crimes.

I believe you are correct.

> That does not mean that society will not criminalize acts which are
> difficult to observe

And I'm happy to say they will be just as effective as current laws that
outlaw prostitution and pornography.

>or that law-abiding citizens will adopt criminal methods

Transparency is not a evolutionary stable strategy, it is inherently unstable,
so discussing its merits is like talking about if it would be fun to live in a world
where the second law of thermodynamics worked backward. It's not 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. 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.

>If you don't mind living as a criminal I don't mind letting you do it. But you
>will get no sympathy from me when you are caught and punished.

It's ironic, you're telling everybody about the evils of privacy but I'll bet it
doesn't say Mr. Zero Powers on your drivers license. As for me, I see
nothing wrong with anonymity but I've given you my real name anyway.

                   John K Clark

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