Re: Transparent Society

Chris Thompson (
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 09:33:39 -0500

Lee Daniel Crocker writes:
> <generalization>
> I'm not sure Brin is "distrustful" of encryption as such, so much
> as he is disdainful of the cypherpunk community in particular, and
> frankly I tend to agree. As much as I admire encryption technology
> itself, and welcome its consequences such as electronic trade and
> elimination of copyrights, the community of cypherpunks itself has
> always struck me as a bit juvenile and paranoid. I don't have that
> big a hard-on for privacy, and most of the people I've met who do
> just aren't as interesting as people who are less concerned.
> </generalization>
> It is also worth noting that the technologies of strong encryption
> are just as useful at ensuring openness as privacy.

I've always felt with the Cypherpunks that while they are on the
fringe, they are pulling us in the right direction. Sometimes you have
to go to far in one direction to bring the rest with you, even if

I seem to remember an article in Wired Mag about the Extropians, and
the disdainful letters in the letters column the next month. The
general feeling was "It's a shame the extropians couldnt use their
powers for good and not spend their time with their heads in the
clouds." and painted Max and crew as juvenile daydreamers, not unlike
your juvenile paranoids in the Cypherpunks.