Re: Transparent Society

From: John Calvin (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 10:42:05 MDT

For the record, I am not personally against the idea of a transparent society. Though I am trying to grasp the full array of Pros and Cons.

Anders Wrote:
>I'm reading Brin right now, and it seems like your scenario would not
>be likely in a society with sane laws. "Innocent until proven guilty",

What would the possibility of a Transparent society happening prior to the advent of the sane laws that would protect the innocent individual.

>you know. Also, the responsible agencies would be held accountable for
>their actions by the public, so if they made a false arrest and you
>made a stink about it they would have to explain their actions.

The above ought to be the way it works now, however there do appear to be examples of the State running roughshod over individual rights with no forthcoming explanation or accountability.
>If we
>assume a transparent society where "innocent until proven guilty" does
>not hold or antiterrorism laws are applied with very little factual
>support, then there will likely be enough such cases for a very strong
>public opinion to correct the system.

I agree, and I believe that it might be a long and painful process getting there.

>Brin makes a point about the importance of the feedback from the
>public in maintaining a democratic open society. If everything is
>entrusted into the hands of experts and their AIs, then the society
>will not remain democratic and open for long. Transparency has to act
>both ways.
I agree, it seems that the question would then be, what do we do to make sure that the transparency does in fact go both ways.

On this issue I am somewhat pessimistic, much of the general populace already allows many of their personal decisions to be made by a bias media, and simply claim that they do not have time to do the math and figure things out for themselves.

Leaving out the personal attacks between Mike Lorrey and Zero Powers, Their discussion has provided a great deal of food for thought.

I agree with Mr. Powers that a Transparent society may be inevitable, and that being the case wonder what we can do to make sure that it is in fact a good thing.

I also agree with Mr. Lorrey that given the current state of affairs we must be very concerned with the possibility of a transparent society and keep aware that it might not be a good thing at all, but rather turn us into a very civil but restrained and paranoid semi-hive culture.

John Calvin

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