[ExI] The world would be so much better if everyone knows everything

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sun Feb 9 11:39:35 UTC 2020

On 09/02/2020 01:21, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 8, 2020 at 12:21 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat 
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
> <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>> wrote:
>     On 08/02/2020 19:29, Brent Allsop wrote:
>>     The world would be so much better if everyone knows everything.
>     Yep, the world would be so much better if the Saudi government
>     knew exactly who had exactly what opinions on religion, if the
>     Iranian people knew for sure who was gay,
> And if the Saudi and Iranian citizens knew who the secret police were 
> *and* how little threat different religions and homosexuality actually 
> posed.
> "Everything" does not merely include the bad parts.

Sure, that goes without saying, but the subject line is probably a bit 
misleading. We're talking about total transparency, not omniscience. 
Total transparency doesn't give you knowledge about how little threat 
homosexuality, for instance, poses, it just gives you knowledge about 
people's behaviour, which allows you to infer whether they're gay or 
not. It doesn't change your prejudices (not immediately, anyway. It 
might in the long run).

Including the 'good' parts doesn't change the fact that total 
transparency would be a recipe for disaster. Human beings just aren't 
capable of dealing with it. The example of homosexuality and religious 
convictions about it is a perfect example, but far from the only one. 
Yes, everyone would know exactly who had lynched the peaceful gay couple 
living in No. 26, but that wouldn't do the dead couple any good. 
Multiply that by millions, add in all the other kinds of behaviour and 
world-views that various people see as obnoxious, sinful etc., and 
worthy of violent 'reprisals', and what kind of a world would it be?

"Everything" does not merely include the bad parts, no, but it's the bad 
parts that would lead to the inevitable suffering and death, not to 
mention plain old social problems, psychological problems, and 

Ben Zaiboc

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