Re: Transparent society

Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 13:16:23 MDT

After I sent this the first time, I was worried I wrote this in too obnoxious a
way, and given the list's latest arguments, I'm glad no one took me to task for
     Anway, to respond... (what Spike wrote should be italicized, and below my

Here is where I say something that a lot of people are probably going to tell me
I'm full of it for, but - I don't necessarily limit this to government;
companies can be just as bad or worse. (Think of data sifting for ways to sell
you crap you don't need). However, for now, it is govt. which has the real
power. I'll say, for this to be honest, I go to at least one place I know is
under heavy surveillance by the owners. I couldn't care less. I'll do what I
want, and not worry about it. The problem I had was the part where Zero said
that only criminals would worry about the surveillance, a variant on the "anyone
not like me must be defective" argument. Why should we have to accept being
watched, or be branded a criminal? It may be inevitable that we have a heavily
watched society (given how people seem to live through their tvs, they may
simply not protest as much as I do. But then, I'm weird) but do we have to like
     The big question I have is this - Do we really think people will watch the
government any more than they do now? I mean, what do people care about C-Span
or Monica Lewinsky? The only reason Clinton was impeached was because his
'crimes' involved sex. Otherwise, no one would care. Do we really think this
'transparent' society (I've GOT to read Brin's book) will get people to pay more
attention? Technology gives out power, I think that's true, but how few people
are willing to use it, no matter how easy it is?

From: Spike Jones <>
     The solution is not necessarily to stop society from become ever more
transparent [which
     is like holding back the tide from coming up the beach] but rather to
     change the way people with power operate. Such as, arranging
     government so that there are fewer people, less power. With
     sufficient surveillance, every act of people with power is open
     to public scrutiny.

Do we really want this? I mean, it's difficult to get good people to run for
office now, what would the incentives have to be to get anyone to be in govt?
Ultimately I'm in favor of anarchy, but we are a long way from being that able
to self-govern. If we make the dis-incentives for being in office this strong,
will we really be able to attract good, honest people into office? Not that I
have an answer, but I think it's a question about which we ought to think.

> Giving people who've shown a fairly consistent record of being
> untrustworthy more power is insane.
Right again Mike! I couldnt agree more. Those who are
untrustworthy with power must come under ever more scrutiny.
Anyone who runs for public office must be watched constantly,
every move, every word, every deed. Cameras dont blink.

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