Re: Problem of destruction

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 03:14:11 MDT

On Tue, Sep 11, 2001 at 02:55:21PM -0700, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> >
> > True (although M$ and RIAA might disagree). But it is part of the same
> > meme complex: information must be controlled. The originating reasons
> > are of course different, but the basic problem for all the interests
> > behind these systems is that if information is power, then it must be
> > controlled so that they (and those groups they work for, including of
> > course civilian governments) can retain it.
> Actions must be monitored and controlled. But this does not
> automatically mean that information must be. Music and DVDs are
> hardly a munition in any stretch of imagination. :-)

But PGP t-shirts are munitions, and it was possible to stop the sale
of the DeCSS t-shirt. So the line between munitions/highly
controlled items and everyday stuff is seriously blurred. You are
right in that control of information isn't necessary to achieve the
desired control over action, but very many people seriously believe

> > In the end abuse has to be citizen-defined, and it needs to be defined
> > in such a way that the power of definition cannot be taken away from the
> > citizenship. How to achieve that is an important question, I really
> > hope we can rise to the challenge and come up with creative answers that
> > can be implemented.
> Of course the question comes up of where we find these citizens
> wise enough to define this well. It certainly cannot be a
> majority in a world dominated by colossal ignorance.

Using the collective intelligence of many people doesn't have to
mean listening just to the majority. Good systems amplify useful and
clever ideas instead. For example, if everybody proposed ideas and
they were tested, judged and implemented in competition with each
other, then (assuming the system was working somewhat right) good
ideas would eventually prevail. This is the evolutionary epistemic
approach that has worked so well in science, free markets and open

> Crypto could grow out of seeing our computational resources as
> extensions of our own person and therefore as legitimate to
> protect from involuntary search and seizure.

Which in turn requires the strengthening of our rights to
self-determination and our bodies, and the extension of these rights

> > > I could see a more transparent society (in both directions,
> > > public and private) with and only with severe restrictions on
> > > government and corporate meddling with individual rights.
> >
> > It is a feedback loop: in a somewhat transparent society, anybody
> > meddling with your rights is more easily exposed, and meddling doesn't
> > pay as much as before. That helps make the society more transparent. On
> > the other hand, the reverse is also true. That is why we need those
> > antibodies.
> >
> I accented the "in both directions" because of some court
> rulings and legislation in the US prohibiting citizens from
> recording the actions of public officials although the public
> officials claim every right to snoop on and record private
> citizens and transactions. Transparency cannot be a 1-way
> mirror.

Exactly. In this case civil disobedience seems called for.

One thing I noted about yesterdays disaster was the amount of
footage. Just a few years ago, most major disasters and accidents
were shown on the news with the same grainy, shaky footage over and
over again - somebody had been lucky to bring a camera close, and
that single tape would be all the record. Now things are different:
there must have been at least tens of cameras just from the start,
and later on hundreds. The sheer spread of private recording systems
is an important factor in being able to not just record abuses, but
also make it harder to enfoce such one-way court rulings.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:29 MDT