Re: Gingrich, Moynihan step down

Scott Badger (
Wed, 11 Nov 1998 23:34:09 -0600

Paul Hughes <> wrote:

>It may not be a part of everyone's nature - but is certainly a part of
those who
>are mutating or evolving beyond the norms of their particular tribes
>tunnel. As practicing transhumanist we can certainly fall into this
>America was founded largely by people who felt threatened to believe and
>practice their religion as they wanted to. Their need for privacy finally
>became so strong that the only way they could get to their satisfaction was
>give up everything in attempt to cross the Atlantic and form a new

First of all, this conversation is pretty tangential to the original thread. And
I should note that I personally treasure my privacy and would fight tooth and
nail to defend it.

Nevertheless, I will say that I suspect your definition of human nature must differ from my own. Secondly, you're suddenly talking about a "community" of people seeking freedom from oppression (a very good thing), and calling that a need for privacy. Group splinterings are conceptually different from
individual privacy in my mind. Besides, I suspect that Puritans (and any other
group with a strict and inflexible set of mores) were highly vigilant and became
quite suspicious when any of their members sought an unusual amount of privacy. (He's probably consorting with satan!)

>This scenario is nothing new. If it wasn't for people ability to establish
>privacy they wouldn't have been able to evolve as they wanted to for fear
>being burnt at the stake or sacrificed to the local god. I'd say privacy
>definitely hard-wired into peoples brains, especially those of us whose
>ancestors had to overcome great pressures of social conformity.

Wouldn't it follow from this argument that those who sought to establish privacy had a greater risk of being killed than those who did not? And wouldn't that suggest that those with a strong need for individual privacy were less likely to pass their genes on?

I still think that a population's need for individual privacy is primarily a function of cultural factors and things like population density. As for genetic predispositions, I suspect that we're "wired" to socialize more so than we are to be alone, but I also like Ardrey's notion (. . . that enmity and
amity are innate and result in [effective] human cooperative systems). I can see the need for balance early in our development.

So here's a question:

Throughout history, have there been no cultures where no real value is attributed individual privacy?

Scott Badger