Re: Capitalism

Bryan Moss (
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 22:19:08 +0100

John K Clark wrote:

> That's the fatal flaw in Brin's idea, he doesn't
> like encryption but he never makes clear exactly
> how he plans to stop people from using it.

Here's the plan:

A student at Temple University buys Brin's book thinking its science fiction; he doesn't discover that it is, in fact, speculative non-fiction until he reaches page 296. (Bare with me here - I'm trying to establish a scenario in which someone would willingly read the entire book.) Stunned by the validity of Brin's claims he decides to print a story on the righteousness of being open in a university journal. The journal reaches an audience of several hundred thousand, who in turn tell others. By August 29th 1999 the
anti-encryption movement has over 14 million members. That day they meet in Washington DC to cast of the shackles of security and burn their private keys. Within a month the movement has grown to some 100 million, and Internet users now freely post their credit card numbers to alt.2600 in an act of rebellion. By 2010, despite the fact that economists had proved Brin's theory false 11 years ago, the Openness Policy has been adopted by the government; and free love has been declared in the white house. Only a small group of backwards thinking people retains their privacy. At first these "Clarktarians" accuse the others of stupidity, but soon they realise their own power and begin building an underground network. In the year 2012 the Clarktarians overthrow the government and establish a brutal capitalist regime.

Next week: Find out how the fearless Clarktarian leader, John K. Clark, changes David Brin's mind armed only with a copy of The Transparent Society. ("Not so transparent now, is it Brin?")