Re: Transparent Society

Damien R. Sullivan (
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 23:48:08 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 5, 7:13pm, Wei Dai wrote:

} There is a difference between a surveillance society and a
} transparent society. In a surveillance society only the government can spy


} I'm not sure that the world would be a better place if it turns into
} Brin's transparent society, because in it you can still hide
} information--it's just more costly. It's not clear if the total amount of

Brin's push of the transparent society is not, mostly, about making all
information available and avoiding waste. It is about making
information about _what people do_ available so as to hold them
accountable for their actions.

} I don't know how David Brin proposes to achieve his transparent society.
} It does not seem like a future that is reachable from the present. I think

Actually, Brin posits that it will simply happen, driven by technology.
Cheap, small, mobile cameras; quantum computers; advances in cryptanalysis.
For city streets the cameras are already here. I think some place may
have put recorders on its police cars, as well.

Brin does not say that the transparent society must happen; the
technology could drive things different ways. And part of it depends on
democratic demands to hold the gov't to account... but that does seem to
be happening. Geez, no one cared about fundraising from your office in
the Nixon days.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)

"Have you heard of Sublimers before?"
"Oh, yes. You believe everybody should just sort of disappear up their
own arses, don't you?"
"Oh, no! What we believe in takes one completely _away_ from such bodily
concerns..." -- _Excession_