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There are also a non negligible number of people using an alias on facebook because they have good reason.

Apparently when a woman uses a pseudonym on facebook, it is not unlikely that it is because of a nasty/stalkerish ex that she would rather get away from.

I am actually in favor of a transparent society (a la david brin) , but we have to grown up a lot and handle such cases before the advantages that come with it can even be contemplated.

> in favor of a transparent society

I suggest you read The Transparent Society by Byung-Chul Han. It’s a brutal 50-page indictment of the hypercult of transparency and its effects on the human soul, on the political discourse, and on traditional values like truth and beauty. Might change your view on the costs of transparency.

The Hypercult of Transparency[nice choice of words!] exists because people keep falling for the Transparency=Accountability meme. And until the rather recent advent of homeomorphic encryption, that meme did have some rather humongous amounts of truth to it. However, given the existence of homeomorphic encryption, this no longer rings true.

Speaking of homeomorphic encryption and Facebook:


Whats the connection between discussions about "the cult of transparency" and homeomorphic encryption?

Presumably that accountability could be achieved despite secrecy, through code. Also see Zero-knowledge proofs


The three body problem book part 2 also explores a fully transparent society; It's really interesting with all the sides effects (They can't lie, etc.). I recommend anyone to read it !

I read the first and while the ideas explored were interesting, I found the writing itself to be completely off-putting:

- first of all, Three Body seems like the most boring videogame ever developed, not sure how people could actually be believably playing that.

- the characters are pretty much caricatures of stereotypes (the cop), or just plain uninteresting.

- the massive exposure/infodump chapters killed the immersion from me, especially the ones written from the point of view of the other side of the conflict: it really felt like the author was getting towards the end and wanted to Explain All The Things, but couldn't find a subtle way to do so within the narrative, therefore decided to just vomit it all in a single spurt.

I was really looking forward to it but found it disappointing, won't read any more from this author.

Agreed, it's some of the worst prose I've ever read. Since I don't read Mandarin, I can't know how much of it can be blamed on the author and how much on the translator. There are some really interesting ideas in the novel but also some patently absurd ones, not to mention the terrible dialogue and characters.

I felt the same. I wonder if some of these issues stem from the fact that the book was originally written in Chinese (iirc)... maybe some of the infodump sections seem more natural in the original tongue?

Isn't the premise of that book that privacy is a deep human need, and that its erosion goes against our intent?

I would argue that the next generation coming up will have little to no _need_ for privacy. When you grow up with nanny cams in your bedroom, privacy per se isn't even valued, let alone met with an expectation.

Nanny cams won’t change the fundamental nature of human beings. If privacy was a deep human need a generation ago, it will continue to be for foreseeable generations. Technology has created an illusion of progress and transcendance of our own nature but in truth we’re still merely advanced primates.

There is a thoughtful counterargument to Han here:


IMO it doesn't sufficiently deal with the problems of the "full transparancy" ideal that Han points out though.

> Apparently when a woman uses a pseudonym on facebook, it is not unlikely that it is because of a nasty/stalkerish ex that she would rather get away from.

Also men do this...

>Also men do this...

True story. A stalker found my blog via my Instagram account and commented some far-out there shit on it, inferring a conversation that we never even had, "Told you that you weren't dead." WTF!?

Now, it's pseudonyms, pseudonyms everywhere; except, of course, where it serves a necessity to have your actual name being used, such as on LinkedIn, but even those will be discarded, as soon as it's no longer necessary. (Necessity, here, meaning seeking gainful employment.)

see also: Any employee in the education sector would have good reason.

I wonder how long it takes until the whole teaching profession just collectively decides to adopt professional pseudonyms. Would make "child at same school"-situations even more awkward I guess.

My mother was my french teacher at school three times. At home she was "mom" and in class she was "madame". It was not complicated.

That being said I did once call my male first grade teacher "mom" so maybe I'm not a good example

The issue would be safeguarding.

There's no problem what name the school has you on the books for. There's no reason what they have on file/police checks is the same name presented on office doors, emails and to parents.

We do this all the time for students that can't/won't use their legal names in school for a number of reasons.

I guess it is just a matter of getting the right systems in place to manage the administrative overhead.

There are quite a few lines of work where this might not be a bad idea. E.g. also Police and government employees in general.

While I appreciate the premise and good intent, the transparent society sounds like an idealized Girardian nightmare to me.

We had a million years to grow up, I don't think we'll ever get there (without drastic measures a la 1984, if you wish)

We haven’t started doing any serious genetic engineering (or maybe, depending on timeline, the equivalent for minds uploaded into computers) yet. Once we do, we could do a lot of “growing up” very quickly.

It isn't physical "growing up" that we, as a species, need to do. This is the way the whole society act. If you look at politics and corporate world, it feels like a bunch of pre schooler throwing tantrum. As a society we are not acting responsibly. You could argue that the worse are countries that still argue to go to war with their neighbors on the pretends the later are different, but the rest allowing to destroy the planet while keeping the rest of the society under control, preventing us, as a species, to achieve goals that are dreamed by the most creative of us. And it is depressingly easy to keep the status quo.

The "Growing up" reminded me of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ja-mHeYAKM

The point I wanted to make here is mostly this: https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/10/society-is-fixed-biolo...

IMHO, it doesn’t make sense to blame “society” for being pre schoolers, any more than it makes sense to blame individual humans for becoming mentally ill. Both are just failure modes of our mental hardware (our tribal-status instincts in the societal case.) The only solution to either that would “stick”—what I would interpret “growing up” to mean—is to remake ourselves without those failure modes.

Anything less might help individual humans who get some sort of maintenance treatment for their failure modes; but our society as a whole will still be a function of interactions between both people who have treated those failure modes in themselves, and those who have not yet (because e.g. they aren’t aware yet that they have a problem; or don’t see it as a problem; etc.)

Thank you for the link. I agree with what the author is saying, mostly. :)

Mind that when I mentioned society as a whole, this is inclusive to its individual parts: There is no society without individuals and as such any judgment on a society is a judgement on its parts. That being said, I know it is a naive view, as no one can condemn a society completely.

As for the bio engineering to try and weed out the "bad wiring", I am not even sure we are close to identify them clearly, as seems to indicate the science articles about the brain and other nervous system in recent years.

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