Re: Transparent Society

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:35:08 -0800 (PST)

> > Perhaps Brin's and my discomfort with cypherpunks is only that,
> > but I think it is more: as I said, in my experience, those who
> > attach great value to preventing the spread of information about
> > themselves I find strange. It is not a reasoned judgment, only
> > an emotional reaction, but it is a prejudice that serves me.
> I've thought a little bit about this (because at first I found it a
> really weird statement). I myself always was very 'open' with
> information about me, not really paying attention on who might read my
> eMail, for an instance.
> Unfortunately, it turned out that the wrong people DID read SOME of my
> private mail, and got a completely wrong impression. Now I have to say
> that anybody who writes anything not adressed to a public (like in
> mailing-lists) unencrypted is simply naive. The problem is not that much
> revealing something about your personality, but people who only get parts
> of the information and misunderstand it - without you having control over
> that. The greatest 'threat' I see is simply being quoted out of context
> by people with prejudices - and not even getting the opportunity of
> straightening such things out.

Everyone's impression of me is wrong anyway, and always will be.
They make bad judgments even in the face of plain English in
context, so of course they'll do even worse faced with forgeries
or out of context quotes or misattributed statements. That's life.
The question then becomes "Why do you allow yourself to be bothered
by other people's mistaken impressions?"

And the set of "people with prejudices" is mathematically equal to
the set of "people". Prejudice is a universal, useful cognitive
function; it is often mistaken, but that's the tradeoff--speed for
accuracy. Everyone makes those decisions as needed.

I do try to correct impressions when I can, but if someone is
content to think I'm an idiot or a jerk based on eir impressions,
and doesn't want to hear me argue otherwise, that's eir right,
and I just have to live with it.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC