Friday, March 28, 2014

Reconsidering openness

Self-promotion: I will be giving a small presentation at the Personal Wellness Symposium on April 23 at CSUF. My presentation is an introduction to meditation.

Personal Wellness Symposium

An article became popular this week about how the internet has become a massively corrupted personal information and privacy breach, and that we should consider replacing it with a more secure version, one that cannot be penetrated by government surveillance, giant corporation data-mining advertisers, or cyber criminals. I’m not sure I’d agree that those are our only choices. I don’t think there’s much we can do to prevent giant powers from finding out whatever they want to find out about us, but I think there is one thing we can have to make the playing field even: two-way transparency. Us seeing them, and their activities as well as them seeing us. If we can see what is happening on their end, then there is accountability. This has always been a traditional means of holding the powers that be in check. The worst activities of massive, impersonal collectives are always mitigated when subject to media or legal scrutiny. The great accomplishments of the post-enlightenment modern world are founded on reciprocal accountability — science, capitalism, democracy. The basic idea at the core of each of these is that the more information that is freely available, the healthier and stronger the game. This is the core idea of modernity, and has constructed our civilization. When everyone has the information and ability to hold everyone reciprocally accountable, the result is a free, healthy, strong society.

This week’s cartoon!

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty from Darragh O'Connell on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
- Henri Frederick Amiel

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