What are you Reading?


Navigating Privacy on Public Blockchains

by Wei Dai NOT the creator of b-money*


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Recently I decided to read the Bible. I did not even know that the Bible consists of many parts and it was written by many authors.


$1 at the thrift store, should be interesting

Oh yeah this should be good

I get tbe feeling like not many people read this
“But wait, they didnt, like, really have personal computers in 1977…”


right now i am reading The man who thought different

Here’s that report Personal Privacy in an Information Society (July, 1977)
Much of the report seems to cover suggesting specific changes to the privacy act which might be of more interest to someone studying more specific policies and such but the general rationale seems very explicitly expressed. There are 3 letters to President Carter in the beginning of the book that are not transcribed.
From the introduction


Every member of a modern society acts out the major events and transitions of his life with organizations as attentive partners. Each of his countless transactions with them leaves its mark in the records they maintain about him. The uniqueness of this record-generating pressure cannot be overemphasized. Never before the Twentieth Century have organizations tried or been expected to deal with individuals in such an exacting fashion on such a scale. Never before have so many organizations had the facilities for keeping available the information that makes it possible for them to complete daily a multitude of transactions with a multitude of individuals, and to have the relevant facts on each individual available as a basis for making subsequent decisions about him. Obviously the advent of computing technology has greatly contributed to these changes, but automated record-keeping has grown in concert with many other changes in administrative techniques, and in public attitudes and expectations.

The Commission finds that as records continue to supplant face-to-face encounters in our society, there has been no compensating tendency to give the individual the kind of control over the collection, use, anddisclosure of information about him that his face-to-face encounters normally entail.

What two people divulge about themselves when they meet for the first time depends on how much personal revelation they believe the situation warrants and how much confidence each has that the other will not misinterpret or misuse what is said. If they meet again, and particularly if they develop a relationship, their self-revelation may expand both in scope and detail. All the while, however, each is in a position to correct any misperception that may develop, and to judge whether the other is likely to misuse the personal revelations, or pass them on to others without asking permission. Should either suspect that the other has violated the trust on which the candor of their communication depends, he can sever the relationship altogether, or alter its terms, perhaps by refusing thereafter to discuss certain topics or to reveal certain details about himself. Face-to-face encounters of this type, and the human relationships that result from them, are the threads from which the fabric of society is woven. The situations in which they arise are inherently social, not private, in that the disclosure of information about oneself is expected.

An individual’s relationship with a record-keeping organization has some of the features of his face-to-face relationships with other individuals. It, too, arises in an inherently social context, depends on the individual’s willingness to divulge information about himself or to allow others to do so, and often carries some expectation as to its practical consequences. Beyond that, however, the resemblance quickly fades.

By and large it is the organization’s sole prerogative to decide what information the individual shall divulge for its records or allow others to divulge about him, and the pace at which he must divulge it. If the record keeping organization is a private-sector one, the individual theoretically can take his business elsewhere if he objects to the divulgences required of him. Yet in a society in which time is often at a premium, in which organizations performing similar functions tend to ask similar questions, and in which organizational record-keeping practices and the differences among them are poorly perceived or understood, the individual often has little real opportunity to pick and choose. Moreover, if the record-keeping organization is a public-sector one, the individual may have no alternative but to yield whatever information is demanded of him.

Once an individual establishes a relationship with a record-keeping organization, he has even less practical control over what actually gets into a record about him, and almost none over how the record is subsequently used. In contrast to his face-to-face relationships with other individuals, he can seldom check on the accuracy of the information the organization develops about him, or discover and correct errors and misperceptions, or even find out how the information is used, much less participate in deciding to whom it may be disclosed. Nor, as a practical matter, can he sever or alter the terms of the relationship if he finds its informational demands unacceptable.

A society that increasingly relies on records to mediate relationships between individuals and organizations, and in which an individual’s survival increasingly depends on his ability to maintain a variety of such relation- ships, must concern itself with such a situation. Ours has begun to do so, and the Commission’s inquiry showed that the individual’s ability to protect himself from obvious record-keeping abuses has improved somewhat in recent years. Nevertheless, most record-keeping relationships are still dangerously one-sided and likely to become even more so unless public policy makers create incentives for organizations to modify their record-keeping practices for the individual’s protection, and give individuals rights to participate in record-keeping relationships commensurate with their interest in the records organizations create and keep about them.

Accordingly, the Commission has concluded that an effective privacy protection policy must have three concurrent objectives:

  • to create a proper balance between what an individual is expected to divulge to a record- keeping organization and what he seeks in return (to minimize intrusiveness);
  • to open up record-keeping operations in ways that will minimize the extent to which recorded information about an individual is
  • itself a source of unfairness in any decision about him made on the basis of it (to maximize fairness); and
  • to create and define obligations with respect to the uses and disclosures that will be made of recorded information about an individual (to create legitimate, enforceable expectations of confidentiality).

These three objectives both subsume and conceptually augment the principles of the Privacy Act of 19746 and the five fair information practice principles set forth in the 1973 report of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems.7 The second objective, to maximize fairness, in a sense subsumes all of them, and many of the Commission’s specific recommendations articulate them in detail. The Commission has gone about protecting personal privacy largely by giving an individual access to records that pertain to him. Taken together, however, the three proposed objectives go beyond the openness and fairness concerns by specifically recognizing the occasional need for a priori determinations prohibiting the use, or collection and use, of certain types of information, and by calling for legal definitions of the individual’s interest in controlling the disclosure of certain types of records about him.


I did not even know that the Bible consists of many parts and it was written by many authors...

The AMD K8 Architecture

Taking it easy with only 2 books this month.

The first, Red Carpet, is a review of the US and China’s global media influence over the last almost 100 years. America’s use of Hollywood as a propaganda arm to spread the vision of American values around the globe has changed in light of Chinas cultural revolution and entry into the global entertainment arena. Relevant read for anyone thinking of international projects.


The second has been an amazing overview of the history of human violence and why the world we live in is (on the whole) the most peaceful, safe, and humane time for our species. We often have history myopia and recent trends have more weight in our minds. This book brilliantly looks at trends and statistics from wars, murders, and famines from prehistoric man to today. We live in a truly golden age built on top of so much carnage today most people are repulsed by the thought of armed conflict and perfer commerce, trade, and peace. Relevant read for anyone wanting to understand the humanist movemen from a group psychology point of view


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Very cool! I was reading the same book! (Well, listening) I try to read a new self development book each month, this was my April one.


That link up there to the Report of the Privacy Protection Study Commission contains an incomplete record. Here is the report in its entirety scanned by hand. I considered x-acto knifing the pages out one-by-one and use an actual scanner but I decided that I like the binding and so I used a doc scanner app and did my best. A good doc program could probably extract the text and make it prettier…(edit- turns out archive does that anyways! See fulltext) Download today!

And how is it for you?

Re-reading the Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. Anyone read it?


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The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. Great detective story.