Friday, February 23, 2007

The transparent society comes of age

Virginia Postrel has a really interesting post on the "transparent society," in which everyone can watch everyone else. She points out that younger technology users have generally accepted the implications, but problems come largely via adult policing.

One point I found interesting is that she acknowledges the problems of a transparent society, especially for those of us who have grown up expecting privacy:

Aside from the old-fashioned notion that some parts of life don't belong in public, I don't want to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business, and I wouldn't want my teenage persona following me around forever.

Sound familiar? Hiere's Michel Serres:

When everyone knows everything right now about everybody and lives by this knowledge, you have antiquity's notion of freedom and the ideal city, and also the ideal of modern philosophers since Rousseau, the ideal of the media and social science, of the police and bureaucracy: poll, clarify, inform, make known, expose, report. A terrifying nightmare, one that if you've lived in small villages or large tribes, you'll want to avoid all your life, for it is the height of enslavement. (Serres 1995, p.68)

Dynamist Blog: The Transparent Society and Its Clueless Adult Enemies

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