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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
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Comment on this entry

Transparency, Privacy and Surveillance in a new era


David Brin


Contrary Brin

February 09, 2017

Surviving Surveillance: My co-editor of the Chasing Shadows anthology - Stephen W. Potts - has written a “5 books” contribution to the Tor web site, taking you on a tour of (almost) half a dozen great science fictional portrayals of surveillance.


...

Complete entry


COMMENTS



Posted by instamatic  on  02/09  at  05:26 PM

Professional news sources have languished

They go by “if it bleeds, it leads.”
Hiding behind objectivity, they often ignore positive news. So what does much of the public do?: they choose fake news and celebrity fluff. Can you really blame them for wanting to live in a dream-world today? Positive Fake news can be preferable to real-life blood and guts on TV News, in HD color.





Posted by rms  on  02/12  at  02:10 AM

The word “micropayments” is associated with systems that restrict the user in order to collect.  That’s a form of DRM, and it’s inexcusable.

A reasonable payment for downloading an article would not be “micro”; it would be at least a few cents.  At this granularity, there is no need to impose restrictive technology on the user.  It can all be implemented with free (libre) software, and we have done so.

Our payment system is called GNU Taler (see taler.net).  Best of all, it protects the anonymity of the payer.  However, it always identifies the payee (a store or publisher), so that it doesn’t facilitate tax evasion.

Let’s not mix this up with the old idea of “micropayments”.





Posted by rms  on  02/12  at  04:54 AM

The article tries to make cheap shots substitute for real arguments.

For instance, the restaurant example sounds nice, but the argument
fails when other diners deploy long-distance focused microphones, or
tiny lip-reading cameras.  It also fails when the restaurant has
installed a microphone in or near your table for “security”.

The idea of watching the rich back sounds nice, but the fact is your
boss can dismiss you from your job, and you can’t dismiss your boss
from per job.

If we adopt laws to prohibit designing systems to accumulate masses of
personal data, these laws will be substantially effective.  Most
government agencies and reputable businesses won’t dare do it
illegally; they would be caught and punished.  Crooks and the FBI may
do it secretly, but the crooks will be a smaller threat than what we
face now, and the FBI will have far fewer sources than it has now.

Telling people this approach is hopeless is a would-be self-fulfilling
prophecy of defeat.  If it convinces people, it will come true.
Or people can disregard the prophecy and try anyway.  See
https://gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html.





Posted by instamatic  on  02/13  at  08:27 PM

For instance, the restaurant example sounds nice, but the argument
fails when other diners deploy long-distance focused microphones, or
tiny lip-reading cameras.  It also fails when the restaurant has
installed a microphone in or near your table for “security”

Parabolic microphones can “hear a snake fart in Egypt.”

The idea of watching the rich back sounds nice, but the fact is your boss can dismiss you from your job, and you can’t dismiss your boss from per job

Yes. Very true. Also in some cases, a letter arrives from the IRS announcing an audit—or even perhaps one morning the car doesn’t start. Not unprecedented.

You’ve got to remember about Brin: he is quite famous (I see his books everywhere) and these articles are nearly-nothing to him; just a tiny sideline. So he dashes them off without much thought. Such is what I’ve come to dislike re modernity: nearly everything becomes more sophisticated yet also more debased, disposable.






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