Re: privacy/openness

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 19:16:24 MDT

> On Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 07:47:38PM -0400, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > It is a subset of self ownership, the most basic of all rights.

The problem with this is that most people use the word "privacy"
to mean far more than self-ownership; they want to claim ownership
of ideas in OTHER minds as well. If no one agrees with or is
interested in anything else regarding "openness", at the very
least we must clearly recognize the objectively different things
called "privacy", and stop lumping them together as if they were
the same.

Unlike some "transparency" advocates, I totally support the right
to keep secrets. What's in your head is absolutely yours, and you
have every right to do with it as you please, give it away, or
keep it locked up. But I utterly reject any claim you have to
control what _I_ can and can't do with information in _my_ head,
even if that information happens to be about you. As I said in
my talk, I would never sacrifice freedom for security, but telling
someone else what to do with information in his own head sacrifices
HIS freedom for a sense of security that might not even be real.
I cannot demand freedom for myself without granting it to others; I
cannot demand freedom to speak without allowing those with whom I
disagree to spout their own drivel; and I cannot demand the freedom
to use every piece of knowledge I have to better my life without
granting others the same freedom.

You happen to know what I look like, what I've written about,
what part of the country I live in, and many other things. If you
can profit from that knowledge, more power to you. Most such
knowledge won't be of any use to anyone, so protecting it is a
waste of time, but if I didn't want such knowledge to be used, I
would spend my own money to ensure that they didn't get it. Even
further than that, I happen to think doing so is a waste of time
and so I should benefit financially from the fact that I don't
care who knows what about me, while more paranoid persons waste
time and money hiding.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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