David Brin in Copenhagen

Yesterday Tuesday 23 November 2004 the Danish IT-lawyers Association hosted a small meeting with David Brin – author of The Transparent Society – and here are some notes from David’s speech.

Criticism is the only anti-dote against error

Poverty was not a “problem” in the view of public opinion when the whole world was poor and only a small fraction of the population rich.

The Enlightment from Northern europe stated that nobody can be trusted. Therefore, everybody should be accountable.

David Brin is not paid to be right but to be interesting.

“How can we maintain a civilized society where everybody can hold everybody accountable”?

“We need legal approaches that enables us to adap to the realities of new technologies.”

All effective measures with respect to 9/11 were taken by private individuals not the professional institutions.

Racism and sexism are a waste of human potential. A pragmatic approach fueled by idealism.

The age of amateurs. Amateur networks of pollution detection.

Three years ago mobile phones did not have cameras. Imagine if 9/11 had had such cameras.

Anticipation vs. resilliance.

Devil’s dichotomy. “Nobody tells me that I have to choose between my childrens’ freedom.” We have never been more free or secure than in the modern society.

Robert Heinlein: “The chief effect of most privacy laws is to make bugs smaller.”

Self-preventing prophecies of George Orwell

“The village is coming back. Will it be the good or the bad village?”

Markets, science, courts and democracy should maximize the benefits of human competition while minimizing the negative effects.