Re: poly: Re: freedom? Or mere survival.

From: Damien R. Sullivan <>
Date: Thu May 28 1998 - 19:12:32 PDT

Yay! Something not about superintelligences!

On May 28, 6:36pm, Hal Finney wrote:

> > My approach stops
> > nazis cold, before they even get near power.

> I have strong doubts that your approach would succeed in generating a
> free society. A universal surveillance system accessible to everyone
> would be an extremely powerful tool for social control.
> I see it as an amplifier of social power. Whatever group has the
Descriptions of tribal societies or villages and small towns come to mind.
Everyone knows a lot about everyone else; majority hypocrisy either doesn't
matter somehow, or doesn't exist because the majority keeps to its morality
while retaining the license to enforce its bigotry. Actually I'm guessing as
to how it works, but social control through lack of secrecy is exactly what I
have seen associated with Nowheresville, USA[1].

OTOH, the Nazis _did_ use secrecy and euphemisms, even among themselves. I
think it's too simple to say transparency will lead to tyranny or total
freedom. It should lead to enforcement of supermajority norms. IIRC, Brin
says some linear combination of: transparency will lead to an evolution of
those norms toward tolerance and freedom, that it may not but the expected
value is better than the alternatives, and that technology will make it happen
regardless of what we want, and we shouldn't try stopping it.

[1] Frivolous aside: this makes me wonder how Buffy manages to secretly slay
vampires and other Things in Sunnydale, pop. 30,000.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)
Received on Fri May 29 02:14:16 1998

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