Archive for 2010-12


02010-12-31 @ 09:12

On Wednesday my Flickr accounted reverted to the free non-pro version with 200 images. There was barely any life left in it and so I put it out of its misery with a kill-shot. While I was at it I also deleted the Yahoo account I was forced to open to sign into my Flickr account. Does Yahoo really matter anymore? Would anybody care if it disappeared altogether? I don’t think I would even notice.

Came across this quote:

Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die | Magazine
The topsoil has been scraped away, forever, in 2010. In fact, it’s been dug up, thrown into the air, and allowed to rain down and coat everyone in a thin gray-brown mist called the Internet.

I may refer to the internet as gray-brown mist from now on.

Been spending a few hours in the studio every day and “Santa Fe”, formerly known as “The Santa Fe Sessions”, is coming together nicely. When I compare the sound to the old release, these new mixes sound so much nicer. Re-mixing NF for the year 2000 release was a big fail, because the source material just wasn’t recorded very well. We would crank the EQ and nothing would happen… there was nothing hidden, nothing else to be discovered or released. But TSFS was recorded very well, in fact the recording was done at 24/48kHz and so is quite a bit better than CD quality.

Friday Morning. Slept in. Almost 07:30 here, and apparently only 4.9º on the armpit scale. (Fahrenheit – only popular in the USA and Belize)

Looking west the mountains around Los Alamos are lit up in a most beautiful way, but there is no way I am walking outside in my pajamas to snap a photo, and by the time I am dressed for it, the light will be gone. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Is this the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, or was 2010 the beginning of the second decade… I always forget how that works. Is it 0-9 or 1-10?

Upon further reflection I have decided that the decade lasted from 2001 to 2010. It always starts with the first year, not with the year zero. One does not declare that this is the year zero, rather one announces that this is the first year of the new calendar. At least that’s probably what all the old Chinese emperors declared when they started their reign. Therefore a decade is year one through ten, or eleven through twenty, or 2001 through 2010.

And why can’t non-Christians use an absolute number for dating? Is it that writing the year 4,540,000,000 takes too long? Or, even better, 4.54e+9

I also like the ancient Chinese way of starting afresh with every new emperor. Maybe the UN should announce that we are making a fresh start, and tomorrow will be the start of year one. We will take Climate Change serious, we will make changes, we will ride more bicycle, we will be compassionate and so on. On second thought, maybe that list should start with being more compassionate… And if we fail during the first year, we could start over and do year one again, until we get it right. It would get mighty confusing though, because I bet we would be stuck in year one for a long time.

Brian Eno’s Keynote Speech from the Rolex Young Laureates Awards (Vimeo)
Look out for the banana!!!

The Salman Khan academy Eno mentioned in his speech can be found here.

From the Upaya newsletter:

Darkness is only driven out with light, not more darkness.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

From Fripp’s website:

When we act as we like, we may get what we want.
But not what we need.

In other words, eat your kale.

Hm, on Christmas I served a risotto with peas (and parmeggiano and white wine) on a bed of steamed kale… delightful.

Happy New Year to all of you!

The March Euro tour is now threatening to hit a total of nine countries. I am looking forward to performing in new locations and seeing, I hope, something beside the venues (to see more I must sleep less), but I am not looking forward to the necessary travel. We are very excited about the tour and hope it is just the start of a regular journey. Hopefully everything will get nailed down next week and I can let you know the schedule.

Flicker Thoughts

02010-12-30 @ 09:12

Regarding this post:

Incandescent bulbs minimize flicker because of their inefficient design. The filament continues to glow when the current cycles off.

Similarly many audiophiles prefer tube amplifiers and say that they bring digital media to life. Tubes are slower than transistors and may naturally “connect” the individual digital snap-shots.

Perhaps the same is true for the old TV screen. It is slower than a modern LCD screens and therefore minimizes the flicker.

January in Florida

02010-12-29 @ 08:12

Luna Negra Quartet:
OL – Flamenco Guitar
Jon Gagan – Fretless Bass Guitar + Keyboard
Michael Chavez – Drumkit
Houman Orei – Percussion

Jan 20 – Orlando FL – Plaza Thater – website
Jan 21 – Lake Worth FL – Duncan Theater – website
Jan 22 – Clearwater FL – Capitol Theater/Ruth Eckerd – website


02010-12-25 @ 08:12

Screenshot from a cellphone video I received from friends yesterday. The new OL gang sign or mudra. That’s what I want to see at concerts next year! :-)

Fire gif on Marginal Revolution.


02010-12-24 @ 11:12

A minimal christmas tree and a maximal christmas tree.

When my brother and I lived in a loft in Boston in the early Eighties, money was very tight. We would create a christmas tree-shape by nailing together 2×4 scraps we would find on the street. After we put lots of tealight candles on it it was quite pretty.

For the remainder of this year I made all past Journal downloads available to you. You can easily find all of the music posts by clicking on the category “Music” in the sidebar.

Happy Holidays.


02010-12-22 @ 11:12

Wednesday morning:

Larger image plus three others from this morning in the Photoblog. Thanks for the comments regarding my Flickr photos. Even after the Flickr account is gone and after we re-design a bit, you will be able to view photos in my photoblog. I will probably also set up a MobileMe Gallery for you, to which I can very easily upload images from my iPhone. Like this gallery I just created for 2006, to see what it would be like.

Roshi Joan Halifax gave a talk at the TED Women Conference, which will hopefully available soon. In the meantime you could read what she had to say here:

Upaya Newsletter for 12/20/2010
TED Women Conference: Roshi Joan Halifax Talk

And more TED:

Jaron Lanier at TEDxSF (YouTube) – check out what Jaron says about musical improvisation!

Jaron says they are great friends and they profoundly disagree with each other:

Kevin Kelly at TEDxSF (YouTube)

Mr. Kelly seems to project his own emotions onto technology, which can be interesting, but to me it has a magic/mythical bend to it that doesn’t seem useful to me. I mean, the robot wants electricity the way a plant wants light… huh? You may disagree with me, but Lanier seems a lot more down to earth than Kelly, even if at first glance one might think the opposite. What do you think of these two presentations?

Brain is not fully mature until 30s and 40s – link provided without comment…
Thanks SM.

Chinese Ghost Town looks just like American ghost town. (photos)

Momus wrote his last entry into Click Opera a while ago, but then started a new Tumbler blog and posted this the other day:

Mrs Tsk *
Things have come full circle: in the name of respect we’ve made the other invisible — exactly as invisible, in fact, as our lack of respect made it back in the bad old days. Our careful anti-racism has made us just as racist as we ever were. And our anti-socialism has made us prefer to focus on respect and representation rather than social justice.

Photos from Monday night’s lunar eclipse

Current reading:
A real book, How to Raise an Ox – about Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, and two e-books, Darwin’s Bastards, a collection of Canadian short stories (including William Gibson’s first short story in decades) and Schild’s Ladder, which is mostly over my head but fascinating anyway.

Here is another investigation into the health risks of the TSA’s so-called porn-scanners.

CONTACT MIC XMAS – you could play Guess This Noise, but it is harder to guess in this case, because these sounds were recorded with a contact microphone, which does not work with the transfer of air, but direct transfer of vibration.

Found an excellent meditation timer app for the iphone: Zen Timer – Meditation Timer. It is easy to program multiple periods, e.g. zazen followed by kinhin and a second period of zazen. Since the program can be 23 hours and 59 minutes long, it should be easy to program a whole day of a practice period. The timer, once started, plays the sounds even if the phone is turned to silent. A number of different bell sounds and one woodblock are available. I use a bell at the beginning and end, but prefer the woodblock to time the kinhin interval. For each period the volume can be set independently from the volume setting of the phone. Zen Timer costs $1.99 in the iTunes app store.

Another FaceBook and Twitter suicide:

DarkDaze gets to the party disappointingly late – Deleted

Got rid of my facebook and twitter- apparently shit I say is too much. I have a hard enough time trying to get my point across in the real world that I am giving up doing it online. I’ll keep the blog open just cos I like tumblr though. Laterzzz

La Luna Negra & YouTube Covers

02010-12-20 @ 17:12

Tonight we can experience a very rare lunar eclipse (Luna Negra):
RARE LUNAR ECLIPSE: The lunar eclipse of Dec. 21st falls on the same date as the northern winter solstice. Is this rare? It is indeed, according to Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory, who inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. “Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is Dec. 21, 1638,” says Chester. “Fortunately we won’t have to wait 372 years for the next one…that will be on Dec. 21, 2094.”

WHEN TO LOOK: The total eclipse lasts more than an hour from 02:41 am to 03:53 am EST on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st. Any time within that interval is a good time to look. For other time zones, consult Shadow & Substance’s animated eclipse.

And here is an email exchange from this weekend:

On 2010-12-19, at 10:13 , A.S. wrote:


A friend of mine in Lebanon and I are recording a video of Santa Fe – he’ll video himself playing the rhythm part, I’ll record myself playing the solo part and we’ll splice them together. Obviously we’d like to share this; would we have your permission to post it to YouTube?

Since you ask.

You are performing a cover, meaning a composition belonging to another person.

If you were to perform the song in public, at a theater or club, that club would pay a small fee that goes to the composer via BMI.

If you were to record the song, the composer would receive money via album sales and would also receive money every time the song is played on the radio or on TV, also via BMI.

If you upload the song to YouTube, only Google wins. It’s a most awful and unfortunate arrangement. Google does not pay the composers. It’s more free content for them and they get to make money via advertising. In my opinion Google should have to pay something to the composers as Google are the ones who gain from the uploaded content, not the people who record the videos. Yes, I also think that there should be a music file search engine that determines whose files are being shared on sites like Rapidshare and the sharing sites should have to pay something…

Essentially one takes from the composer and gives to Google when recording and uploading a cover version to YouTube. Again, I don’t blame the people who make the videos. The Internet has always been about sharing and about “free”. I blame large corporations like Google and the politicians, who are clearly not smart enough to understand performing rights, copyright and the internet.

But, since I do not have the administration rights for the publishing of that song I literally cannot give you permission anyway. I signed those away when I agreed to a deal with Higher Octave in 1989 – for NF, Borrasca and Poets & Angels.

So, let’s say you did not ask me. I will not notify the publisher, but I will also not help if they should decide to go after people. I am Switzerland.

Holiday Music

02010-12-20 @ 11:12

First O Little Town of Bethlehem/City of Tijuana, the only song I ever used the 2004 version of Guitar-Rig on. I hated Guitar Rig, although newer versions may be capable, and switched to a Line 6 Pod, and the Guitar Rig foot controller has languished unsused in a cupboard in the studio ever since.

Audio MP3

You can download the 256kbps file here.

Now Westcost, also from Winter Rose:

Audio MP3

You can download the 256kbps file here.

I had not listened to this song in years, but pulled out the CD the other day when I thought of TG and wondered whether he had received our snail mail letter. I played Westcoast and wrote him an email. From TG’s November note to me – I mentioned his email in the Journal last month:

Anyway I’m still standing, not to sure for how much longer.
I have also chosen Westcoast amongst others, to be played if things don’t work out.
It reminds me of all the visits to LA sitting in the bar of the Sofitel Hotel chilling out.
It’s like I’m there again when I hear it.

I listened the song and really enjoyed it. TG is right, it channels California very well. I love the groove! The percussion stems from a 2004 live recording of Cave in my Heart, with Robby on Cajon, to which Jon and I added new guitar and bass and keyboard parts. Jon also added bells, because when Snake (Roger Klein), the A&R man who signed me to Epic Records in 1991, asked me to record another Christmas album in the early Nineties, he would say that we didn’t need to record a lot of traditional pieces – just add some bells and everyone will think it’s Christmas music!. That’s why the song is called Westcoast (for Snake).

Winter Cometh

02010-12-17 @ 10:12

Fall weather until yesterday, too warm and too dry. Then the snow came.

A Jaron Lanier quote I came across:

Information can hypnotize you. It can make you think you’re wise, when you aren’t.
– Jaron Lanier

A couple of brief, but good interview segments with Lanier here.

What happens when a disgruntled employee gains access to the xmas lights.

The Daily Patdown
Your daily dose of security theater
(Via Daring Fireball)


Yahoo to Close
The whole Delicious team was fired yesterday, according to a friend who works at Yahoo.

I remember when I had an account… Now I save URLs or archive web pages with Evernote and Yojimbo. Will Flickr be next? Not that it matters to me, because my Pro-account ends on the 28th and I will delete it in the new year. And all the while Yahoo’s CEO made $47,000,000 this year.

I may have linked to this Guardian interview with Jaron Lanier before, but no matter, it’s worth repeating. (YouTube)

Kowloon Walled City documentary (YouTube)

And from the illegal noodle factory in the above video we move to the legal silicone machine – aren’t they similar!!! – in this video by designer Scott Wilson (who, by the way, came to several of our shows in Portland).

And another video. Cute stop-motion Moleskine add (YouTube)

This is great news:

Appeals Court Holds That Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment
(Via Daring Fireball)

Kids and adults cut themselves in India
Teach your children well…

Icebear on the street (photo)
(Via Ektopia)

Let it dough!
Christoph Niemann for the New York Times.

Constant Flicker

02010-12-16 @ 09:12

Everything flickers. The twentieth century became a century of flicker. Electricity flickers. It’s called Alternating Current and has a frequency of sixty cycles per second in the U.S. and fifty cycles in Europe. That means that electric light actually pulses sixty times per second. This is not easily noticed with an old fashioned incandescent bulb, because the filament stays hot and bright enough during the brief moments it is not on. But with LED or fluorescent bulbs I sometimes notice a flickering.

Movies, moving pictures, are actually 24 still frames per second. The silent movies from a century ago were recorded with varying rates from 16 to 23 frames per second and we can easily notice the flicker – although some of that was apparently due to conversion at grossly incorrect frame rates in the 1950s for broadcast television. One could say that two types of flickr are being comined in a DVD. There is the flicker from the framerate of the movie, which combines with the digital sampling snapshots of that analog film.

Digital sound is a series of snapshots. Unlike the constant sound from an analog source, like a turntable or a tape player, digital sound consists of 16 bits sampled many thousands of times per second. Douglas Rushkoff’s quotes a German study in his book “Program or be Programmed” that found that people suffering from depression reacted differently to analog sound and digital sound. Digital sound didn’t have the positive effect that analog sound had. (to John Craig, who asked what I think of “Program or be Programmed”: I like the book. It is not brilliant like Jaron Lanier’s “You Are Not a Gadget”, and for me there is nothing new in Rushkoff’s new book, but it is a concise and fairly complete and easily readable collection of thought regardng the nature of the internet. I bought half a dozen of the hardcovers to give away as xmas gifts.)

When I convinced my friend Terry to stop using paraben in his excellent lotions and potions, I told him that I didn’t think paraben in one product was a problem, but that the cumulative effect of paraben in thousands of products would be (lotions, makeup, even dish detergents and thousands of other products). Well, I think the different types of flicker, none of them much older than a hundred years, might be a similar cumulative problem. Flickering light bulbs and flickering movies, TV and computer screens, and the flicker of digital sound, each may only contribute a little bit, but we are surrounded 24/7 by flicker… via our eyes and our ears. What does that amount of flicker do to a highly evolved nervous system? Might it contribute to the anxiety many people feel? Might it, while not affecting our health, disturb our wellbeing?

Then again, this could just be another crazy notion of mine. I am not a scientist.

I don’t see myself not using digital recording or not watching movies or light bulbs, but I can see myself creating flicker-free times, perhaps eating dinner by candlelight or perhaps occasionally listening to my old turntable (for which I found a new needle at this excellent resource).


02010-12-15 @ 17:12

Here is a version of Greensleeves from the 1999 Dean & the Martinis album:

Audio MP3

You may download that version here.

Here is the version from christmas + santa fe, recorded a year or so later:

Audio MP3

Not retreating

02010-12-15 @ 12:12

I prefer the term practice period over retreat. Because to me it does not feel like a retreat at all, in the sense of moving away from an engagement or disappearing into a hole. Instead of retreating from life, it feels like I am fully engaging life.

This was my schedule for four days last week:
06:00 rise, feed cat, drink tea, wash up, start rice cooker
07:00 zazen
07:30 kinhin
07:40 zazen
08:10 kinhin
08:20 zazen
08:50 kinhin
09:00 108 full bows
09:30 breakfast (rice with pickles – ochazuke style)
10:00 reading
11:00 zazen
11:30 kinhin
11:40 zazen
12:10 kinhin
12:20 zazen
12:50 kinhin
13:00 pilates/exercising
13:30 lunch (rice cooked with lentils plus spinach or kale and green tea)
14:30 reading
15:30 play guitar
16:30 walk up and down stairs
17:00 zazen
17:30 kinhin
17:40 zazen
18:10 kinhin
18:20 zazen
18:50 kinhin
19:00 108 full bows
19:30 dinner (rice cooked with lentils plus spinach or kale)
20:30 reading or hand-writing notes or letters
22:00 lights out

On Friday I added an extra hour of zazen by substituting the bowing at 09:00 and the exercising at 13:00 for additional meditation time.

My phones were turned off and computers were shut down. I did use the calendar function of my iPhone to program the above schedule, so that I could have soft audible alerts guiding me through the day. In a temple or zen center time only exists in terms of announcing the beginning and end of periods. Instead of looking at one’s watch, one sits until the head monk strikes the signal. The reason I used calendar alerts instead of alarms is that a calendar alert only chimes once, but an alarm repeats until it is acknowledged and shut off. The iPhone became my head monk and guided me through the days. I think it worked out very well.

At the conclusion of this practice period I decided to do one or two days of practice every month and a four or five day practice period four times a year.


02010-12-14 @ 08:12

Good Morning. The five winners have been notified and hopefully we can get the CDs shipped out to them this week. For everyone else I will post a song or two from that album here later today or tomorrow.


02010-12-13 @ 16:12

Government at work:
EPA Document Shows It Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees !!!
Somebody is doing a great job looking out for our environment.

Prisoners and Patriots (Vimeo video)

The untold story of the Santa Fe Internment Camp, a Department of Justice-run facility set up to detain Japanese-Americans and Japanese nationals during World War II. Former internees and declassified government documents tell the story of life behind barbed wire in this camp that stayed in operation for several months after the war ended. Video is a 5-minute excerpt of a forthcoming documentary by Neil H. Simon.

It’s about time that this story is told to a larger audience.

From the Dzogchen Center’s weekly words of wisdom:

Life is not a problem to be solved.
It is a mystery to be experienced.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is fiendishly difficult to translate. Wonder what the original quote is.

And here are the questions you need to answer to win one of five 1999 Holiday Metal Box CDs. This is a very very limited edition that was made for a few friends only. I don’t want this to be uploaded to the web in any form, not to YouTube and not to your personal FaceBook page. I also don’t want to find this on E-Bay. If you can’t promise that the CD will NOT end up on the Internet, either in the form of files or to be sold or auctioned off, then please don’t play this game, don’t answer the questions, or at least mention in your answer-comment that you can’t accept the CD because you cannot NOT upload stuff. I am cool with you ripping the CD for your own personal use, e.g. to listen to the music on your computer, iPod or media player, but I am not OK with giving copies of those files to your friends. Think of this CD package as a piece of art – you wouldn’t photocopy an original drawing or print that was gifted to you, in order to hand the copies to your friends, would you? Well, maybe you would, but in that case please let me know in advance, so I can give the CD to another person. This was never a commercial release and is therefore unlike the other albums we have created and sold.

Hey, I am not trying to be precious or difficult, but not everything ought to be shared with the world, and these are the rules for this giveaway.

Question #1:
Which year did OL and LN perform multiple nights at the Greek Theater in L.A. with Santana?

Question #2:
Which wine was consumed by OL and Jon Gagan on the very last night of recording “The Hours Between Night + Day”, resulting in the track “Temple Dawn”?

Question #3:
On which track from “Nouveau Flamenco” can a squeeky chair be clearly heard?

If you have followed the Diary over the years, you might know all of the asnwers… if not, that might be a good place to look. Good luck. The first five correct answers will receive the metal box from me and I’ll pay for shipping.

100% Genuine Naugahyde Holidays

02010-12-12 @ 13:12

In 1999 we made one hundred of these CDs. Jon recorded and produced the album, which he titled: “Dean & the Martinis – 100% Genuine Naugahyde Holidays”. We created a metal box package which we called: “Merry Millenium Dawn and Happy Holidays 99”. It won some kind of packaging award, but I don’t remember where…

Check in tomorrow, answer a couple of questions correcty, and win one of five packages I will give away.


02010-12-06 @ 19:12

This will be the last post before my little retreat, which starts Tuesday Morning. I will maintain radio silence until the weekend.

You pay your singers? (video)
A funny and brilliant little video!
Here is the direct link on YouTube. I hope it get spread far and wide.

The Art of Interruption – by Steve Martin

Here is a pair of viewpoints of current affiars that is, perhaps, a little different from most media outlets:
Not such wicked leaks – by the great Intalian author Umberto Eco
The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange

Machete don’t text (YouTube)

From Canton, in the evening:

It’s from this book: Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. It is not available for Kindle, but I found it for eight bucks on Nook, Barnes & Noble, and started reading it. Highly recommended.

You pay your singers?

02010-12-06 @ 08:12

You pay your singers?
A brilliant little video!


02010-12-05 @ 12:12

I recommend bookmarking this URL: because this coming week the link called Ottmar-Friends in the header will disappear. You will of course be able to access the page directly and sign in as usual if you bookmark the page or remember the URL. also works, but it leads to a different login-page (same password, of course).


02010-12-04 @ 09:12

Great recording session with Robby and Jon at my studio in the Morning. Jon engineered and Robby played cajon and djembe on several tracks for the 2011 re-release of The Santa Fe Sessions. I am shooting for a late Spring release under the simple title Santa Fe.

I noticed that Asiabeat’s album is now available on iTunes: Monsoon – Asiabeat
(See this entry and this one from 2009)

Another album you might want to check out: Mira Que Te Diga – Antonio Ramos “Maca”. Maca played bass on albums by Vicente Amigo and many others. Some of the music on this album is excellent, some of it a bit Marcus Miller derivative. I like the wild mix of tunes, which is all over the place, like Tino di Geraldo’s album “Tino” from a few year ago. It is interesting that a lot of the basic building blocks are very similar to the sound of a certain bass player we know, the Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes and so on. A timeless sound. It might be fun to create a playlist with the songs from Transit 2 and Mira Que Te Diga and then hit shuffle.

Kurzweil’s predictions:

IEEE Spectrum: Ray Kurzweil’s Slippery Futurism
As he said at the TED conference in February 2005:
By 2010 computers will disappear. They’ll be so small, they’ll be embedded in our clothing, in our environment. Images will be written directly to our retina, providing full-immersion virtual reality, augmented real reality. We’ll be interacting with virtual personalities.

Ha! Maybe by 2020? Although I am sure I won’t care one way or another. I am happy to immerse myself in my life instead of VR…

A Google Alert with my name mainly finds URLs of illegal filesharing of my albums, but today I found this:

Sofia Milos entertains to a Latin beat – The Globe and Mail
“Ottmar Liebert’s Spanish Steps/Rome in May is rhythmic guitar, romantic. Sometimes you have slower ballads that could be interpreted as a downer, but this isn’t because it’s rhythmic.”

Close the Washington Monument
Right on the money, and begging for a great t-shirt campaign.

The 92nd Street Y should feel ashamed:

92nd Street Y goes “American Idol” on Steve Martin – Celebrity –
Customers are wrong all the freaking time. If you think paying for a ticket entitles you to call the shots on how something clearly billed as a “lecture and conversation” is supposed to go, if you believe your entertainment should be as crowdsourced as Bristol Palin’s dance career, here’s the scoop: no. And to rudely demand otherwise is beyond wild. That’s downright crazy.


02010-12-02 @ 23:12

Deleted my YouTube account, and then my Vimeo account, followed by ClaimID, BoxBe and anything else that wasn’t necessary.

William Gibson called this video The Turkish turkey Hitler (YouTube)

Keep your identity small
Nice essay. Choice sentence:

If people can’t think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.

The more we identify with, the less we can learn. The cup that is full cannot receive tea.

Something is seriously wrong with today’s Internet, it’s a flaw that Plato was already aware of… anonymity:
Daring Fireball: Anonymity Breeds Contempt

Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges. That mythical ring gave its owner the power of invisibility, and Plato observed that even a habitually just man who possessed such a ring would become a thief, knowing that he couldn’t be caught. Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly. […]

Psychological research has proven again and again that anonymity increases unethical behavior.


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