The accountability matrix

Phil Windley is reading David Brin's amazing book, The Transparent Society. When I first read it a couple of years ago, I posted Brin's "accountability matrix" to my newsgroup for discussion. Phil had exactly the same reaction:

1. Tools that help me see what others are up to.

2. Tools that prevent others from seeing what I am up to.
3. Tools that help others see what I am up to. 4. Tools that prevent me from seeing what others are up to.

His contention is that people see boxes (1) and (2) and good and boxes (3) and (4) as bad. What what society needs is boxes (1) and (3) since that creates accountability. Further, society should eschew boxes (2) and (4) since that pits citizens against each other in "an arms race of masks, secrets, and indignation. [ Windley's Enterprise Computing Weblog ]

Back in February, Matthew Blair wrote:

There is tremendous power in his [Brin's] fundamental idea of 'freedom through accountability' instead of 'freedom through secrecy'...This is the most important idea I've come across so far this year. [ Throb ]

I think so too. It will be fascinating to see what such a prominent thinker and pragmatic doer as Phil Windley will make of it.

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