November 20, 2006  ·  Lessig

There are few moments that crystallize as well just how the 21st Century could be different: Watch (if you have the stomach for it) Michael Richards, aka “Kramer” from “Seinfeld” lose it in a career-destroying way. It’s time to re-read David Brin’s fantastic book, The Transparent Society, for it has a salience today that would have been missed when it was published.

  • Perry E. Metzger

    The problem, of course, is that although this will get some genuinely unpleasant people, who among us has never said or done anything embarrassing? In our new world, once recorded such events will never be forgotten — and many people who might otherwise have made valuable contributions to society will be permanently ruined.

    Of course this also means that many people who very much should be caught, like police officers with the habit of beating suspects, will also be found out.

    It is unclear whether the benefits are on balance going to be more important than the problems.

  • asitis

    And how 21-st century (in a sad way) that watching the video requires a proprietary, windows-only browser plug-in…

  • http://lucychili.blogspot.com lucychili
  • http://www.jessemerriman.com/ Jesse Merriman
  • http://n8o.r30.net/ Nato Welch

    Stomach, indeed. The video player they use only supports activeX.

  • Chris McKay

    No problems at all on a Mac with Firefox. No Active X, no Windows plug-in.

  • http://lucychili.blogspot.com jh

    doctorow’s book ‘down and out in the magic kingdom’ also has whuffie in a transparent culture.
    http://www.craphound.com/down/
    its published using a CC license and has been the parent of a range of funky projects. Including a whuffie tracker
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitchun

  • http://www.webdirections.org/ Maxine Sherrin

    For those unable to access Google Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3RjiVcIlhY