Whenever I got an overly silly, stupid, aggravating, or obnoxious email at work I used to type out a long scathing reply to get rid of the non politic and non helpful ire, and then I would backspace over it all and write out the English ninjitsu version reply that nobody could take umbrage at but which would also move the ball my way. Nowadays I don’t do that anymore, because someone who knows how can pull the corrections out of the meta data on the server. It’s the transparent millenium, where everything said, written, muttered or done will eventually come to light…
There’s something a little sci-fi about the world after the cyberattack on Sony. Hackers brought a multi-national conglomerate to its knees. According to the U.S. government, they were doing the bidding of a country that ranks as one of the world’s poorest and most isolated. Whoever did it succeeded in triggering a kind of self-censorship in Hollywood that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would have envied.
Even the President of the United States weighed in, and now North Korea’s Internet connection has gone dark, in what may be a cyber-counter-attack. About the only thing missing from full-on cyberpunk is word that they sent a slamhound on Kim Jong-un’s trail.
So I called up astrophysicist/futurist/sci-fi novelist David Brin. Brin may be best known in Hollywood as the writer of the book “The Postman,” which was made into a fizzle of a tentpole by Kevin Costner. But Brin’s also wrote “The Transparent Society,” in which he predicts that traditional notions of privacy will wither away in the face of ubiquitous technology — and that the world will be better, on balance, when that happens.
The release of Sony’s emails isn’t exactly what he was writing about, but it does give a glimpse of what that world might be like.
More: David Brin, a.k.a. ‘Mister Transparency’, on Life After the Sony Hack