Book: The Transparent Society

What I love about David Brin is his optimism. He reminds us that, although things are far from perfect, they are much better now than in the past, thanks in large part to democracy and pragmatic empiricism.

In this book, Brin takes on the ‘cypherpunk’ credo that privacy and anonymity, as provided by the modern tools of encryption, are the keys to our freedom. Brin question not only the feasibility of obtaining true anonymity, but also whether we should want it at all. His main argument is that democracy has thrived to date largely because of transparency, not privacy, and that true freedom will come from reciprocal transparency when anyone who wants to watch us gets watched in return.