The Transparent Society

An excerpt from David Brin’s non-fiction The Transparent Society, published in Wired back in December 1996:

In opposing this modern mania for personal secrecy, let me first emphasize that I happen to like privacy. Moreover, as a novelist and public figure, I need it, probably as much or more than the next guy. All my instincts run toward reticence, to protecting my family from invasions of our private space. Going back to the earlier example, I would find it hard to get used to living in either of the cities described in those early paragraphs.

I don’t care to be peered at by hovering cameras.

But a few voices out there — Stewart Brand, Nick Arnett, and Bruce Sterling, for instance — have begun pointing out the obvious: that those cameras on every street corner are coming, as surely as the new millennium. Nothing will stop them.

(Cf. the aforelinked interview with Brin.)

Tuesday, 30 August 2005