John Sequeira


Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Accelerating Change

My friend Gregor is the only person I've ever met who managed to bring up David Brin's Transparent Society in conversation before I did. We're both big fans of Brin, whose book discusses what the world will look like when everyone and everything is tracked like Fedex packages are right now. The book considers the classic Big Brother scenario where efforts to prevent the rollback of surveillance technology ultimately lead to it being invisible and unaccountable, and an alternate scenario where tracking technologies are introduced under a general understanding that the benefits are worth the cost and the watchmen need to be watched. The book and Brin himself have been accused of being too optimistic, but honestly it's so easy to be pessimistic about a fully instrumented future that it's worth playing devils advocate.

I strongly recommend you read this book. What Bruce Schneier calls wholesale surveillance is a reality today, and it's a shame that there's no dialog on how to equitably implement such systems. The current dialog really only involves go or no-go options, instead of more creative big-picture solutions like the one Bruce ( and I :-) ) advocates - lessening of criminal penalties.

Anyway, back to Gregor. For those similarly interested in the collision between science fiction and current events, Gregor is at the Accelerating Change 2004 conference, hanging out with Larry Page and David and Sergei Brin, loving it, and blogging like a fiend.
9:55:59 AM      comment []  trackback []

© Copyright 2004 John Sequeira.
November 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
Oct   Dec

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
Yahoo: johnseq2
MSN: [email protected]
AIM: amped02139
Skype: johnjulian