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  1. #91
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I think you're missing the nuances of my point. If the people have different preferences, then they are aiming for different goals, and thus are not discussing the same abstract concept when they argue. I agree that if goals are very loosely defined, and if they aren't given much consideration, then there may be different ways to achieve them.
    No, I get your point, I just disagree . I think we're getting caught up in semantics a bit. My point centers on what you're saying are "loosely defined" goals, which I think often is the case. Your example of getting from the 2nd floor to the first floor is a situation that's pretty easily resolved. Most situations that tend to cause problems are fuzzier or not as easily optimized (if they even can be optimized).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I am really having trouble understanding what you mean by this. Are you suggesting that lack of privacy will lead people to lose their individuality?
    Sort of -- but more specifically I'm saying that a lack of privacy in society will *encourage* people to forfeit their individuality by constraining them to fit within "publicly accepted" behaviors or suffer consequences in unrelated parts of their lives -- consequences that they can't afford, be it financially, socially, emotionally, etc. Just look at the explosion of support or niche interest groups that came about with the anonymity of the internet, and the support and outlet that such anonymous options have given people. People are weird and quirky, and that's not bad -- but exposing your personal quirks to people who would take them the wrong way, more to be *forced* to, does work to eliminate individuality.
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  2. #92
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    No, I get your point, I just disagree . I think we're getting caught up in semantics a bit. My point centers on what you're saying are "loosely defined" goals, which I think often is the case. Your example of getting from the 2nd floor to the first floor is a situation that's pretty easily resolved. Most situations that tend to cause problems are fuzzier or not as easily optimized (if they even can be optimized).
    I'm not sure whether there is a disagreement. Aren't we both of the opinion that there exist distinctions between all possible alternatives such that, when one's preferences are very deeply explored, a clear superior alternative becomes apparent. Of course I agree that in practice, the ability for the individual to critically and deeply analyze a situation is limited, and for practical purposes there my not be much perceivable difference between alternatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    Sort of -- but more specifically I'm saying that a lack of privacy in society will *encourage* people to forfeit their individuality by constraining them to fit within "publicly accepted" behaviors or suffer consequences in unrelated parts of their lives -- consequences that they can't afford, be it financially, socially, emotionally, etc. Just look at the explosion of support or niche interest groups that came about with the anonymity of the internet, and the support and outlet that such anonymous options have given people. People are weird and quirky, and that's not bad -- but exposing your personal quirks to people who would take them the wrong way, more to be *forced* to, does work to eliminate individuality.
    Wouldn't the scope of public acceptance necessarily increase with exposure to many varied beliefs and practices? Wouldn't you concede that our exposure to different cultures has allowed our society to accept things which it wouldn't have been able to hundreds of years ago?
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  3. #93
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    Wouldn't the scope of public acceptance necessarily increase with exposure to many varied beliefs and practices? Wouldn't you concede that our exposure to different cultures has allowed our society to accept things which it wouldn't have been able to hundreds of years ago?
    Sure, I'd concede that society accepts things now that it didn't hundreds of years ago. But I'd also say that an increase in acceptance is neither inevitable or complete. More likely a set of behaviors would solidify as "accepted" and people who don't limit themselves to that set would be ostracized. Sure, the "set" would change over time -- but it's not limited to acceptance. Even in the more modern era there have been times when intolerance has flared up (you could probably make the point that intolerance is *always* flaring up, on certain topics in certain subpopulations of our culture). That's part of human nature -- it'll happen again. But if it happens simultaneously with an institutionalized lack of privacy, the result would almost certainly be persecution.
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  4. #94
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    What if intolerance becomes socially unacceptable, as it seems to be becoming? Isn't it interesting that in societies where exposure to varied culture is maximized, that social acceptance becomes a prime virtue?
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  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    What if intolerance becomes socially unacceptable, as it seems to be becoming? Isn't it interesting that in societies where exposure to varied culture is maximized, that social acceptance becomes a prime virtue?
    Lol. Good luck changing human nature.

  6. #96
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Lol. Good luck changing human nature.
    It wouldnt be like its the first time its happened, I take your point but its not like its impossible or hasnt ever happened before.

  7. #97
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post


    Progress towards what? Not only the death of privacy but the death of the individual?

    Thank God not everyone thinks this way!


    Maybe you want to live in a goldfish bowl. It's not something I aspire to. I have less than zero interest in what other people are thinking and doing. I already know waaaay more than I could ever wish to.
    You do realise you are advocating totalitarianism?
    Even if what you propose were possible (and it is not), one still has to protect the privacy (and the innocence) of children and the vulnerable.
    But privacy isn't just about protecting oneself from exploitation. It's about valuing identity.
    I would say that your assessment of the value of the individual is at the least, overemphasized, at at worst, deluded to the point of sanctification of a complex, but still relatively easy-to-explain phenomenon. This passion is a good thing, because it would indicate that you are acting and thinking along the correct lines to ensue your privacy and self-preservation a key component in survival.

    I cannot, however, understand the meaning of the word "innocence" used in this context, but I will assume it has to do with the preservation of ignorance as a protective measure, which is incorrect. Ignorance is a protective barrier, but the party with the greater amount of information has the most to gain from a lapse in information, so you're really only passively subjugating these innocent subjects under the guise of protection. I'm sure you believe that they benefit from this protection, and in some ways they do, but I would say that the party gaining the most from that action would not be the one being kept in the dark.

    On the theoretical hive mind, there is probably some misconception due largely to physiological restrictions in play. No, human minds likely won't merge and form a 900 IQ supervillain, but you could easily plot the sum of the transfer of information over time (between all humans) and see clearly that it is not only accelerating, but accelerating logarithmically. When we actually declare it a hive mind is arbitrary.

  8. #98
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    It doesn't work like that. Cybercriminals and cyberterrorists know what they are doing. They know how to be anonymous. No amount of legislation is going to have any effect on a determined and resourceful criminal.
    What I'm talking about here is legal exploitation.
    Yes. It's called critical thinking.
    Right. This is the age of Information Overload. Meanwhile, it's only a tiny (and frequently unethical) elite that actually understand the technology that makes modern life possible.

    Should we just accept this as a natural state of affairs? 'Survival of the cyberfittest'?
    This is an important point. How responsible is the 'cult of celebrity' for the death of privacy?
    Excellent point, kelric. It's the loss of privacy out of context that is key. It's the commercialization of privacy. The commodification of the individual.

    You get it. But most people don't seem to care.

    Added to that, now, for the first time ever, one is expected to have an online presence. If you don't, people assume you are hiding something, rather than just protecting your privacy. I don't use social networking sites but I used to maintain a profile on Linked In, foolishly believing the benefits in terms of exposure to employment opportunities would outweigh the risks. I've since removed it because of the way unscrupulous agencies mine and exploit that kind of data. So now, if a prospective employer goes looking for me they aren't going to find anything - and I have to wonder how that might damage my chances; as being a private person becomes a further and further departure from 'the norm'.

    Who who would oversee such an operation, even if it were a legal requirement (which it isn't)?
    We have more stringent legislation around the storage and processing of personal data in the EU than you guys do; in the UK, the main piece of legislation is the Data Protection Act, 1988.
    But very few organisations fully comply with its provisions. And it's almost impossible to police. The UK government itself is one of the worst offenders in terms of keeping personal data private. (For example: http://www.computerweekly.com/Articl...on-Britons.htm)

    I'm pretty confident that Haight isn't selling your details to anyone, but yeah, anonymity on the web is largely a fallacy. And you give up the rights to your intellectual property as soon as you publish it anywhere like this. Everything you write, every pic you post, even private comms, belong to someone else, to use as they see fit. I can't get my head around the legitimacy of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    You don't have a verifiable audit trail. Because smart people (like Noir, for example) can exploit the weak security of sites like this. You also have madmin who occasionally delete things to protect their own privacy. But that's by the by.
    I agree with these thing with one exception.

    One thing is the perception that privacy laws are somehow "better" in Europe than the US. On the surface, this may seem to be the case. However, I would argue that the presence of breach notification laws in the states, HHS requirements to report breaches of personal health information, and CPNI requirements for telcos have some advantages that laws in the EU do not have. That is, if a company needs to report a breach of information to an individual, this hits the company directly in their pocketbook in a significant way. It damages their reputation. They lose revenue and incur costs. In Europe, there is more focus on things like data transfer and policies. Therefore, I'm not sure those laws are so much superior to the ones in the US - at least not anymore. Europe is beginning to implement breach notification laws because of these advantages.

    I'm torn on LinkedIn and Facebook but actually think the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages if one is prudent and cautious. They are not without privacy features. It's a reality of life that we are going to have online reputations and to manage those reputations I think.

    The best assumption to make is that any and all electronic communication you have is stored somewhere, logged somewhere, and could potentially be revealed to those who you do not desire. This includes email, private messages, online transactions, text messages, forum posts, sites you access on the Internet, history of all of your purchases through credit and debit cards, etc.

    Bruce Schneier is a pretty smart guy and is right in his comments outlined in the OP.

    Thanks for the heads up on Google Buzz - didn't realize that.

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  9. #99
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    What if intolerance becomes socially unacceptable, as it seems to be becoming? Isn't it interesting that in societies where exposure to varied culture is maximized, that social acceptance becomes a prime virtue?
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Lol. Good luck changing human nature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It wouldnt be like its the first time its happened, I take your point but its not like its impossible or hasnt ever happened before.
    Care to enlighten the class?
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  10. #100
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    Care to enlighten the class?
    Human nature is defined by what humans do and how they think. Because what humans do today differs from what humans did yesterday, human nature has changed and will always change, it is never immutable. A classic example would be the Stanford prison example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison

    Other evidence is much more tangible. Genes, for example, fluctuate in frequency quite often and many of these have clear links to behavior, so any change in the genetic makeup of a human population would correspond to a change in the "typical" human nature for that population.

    The easy way around his argument is just to say "well anything humans do is in human nature, and since humans are always doing something, they're always characteristically human."

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