Re: Privacy

Twirlip of Greymist (
Sun, 8 Dec 1996 13:46:49 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 8, 9:49pm, "J. de Lyser" wrote:

} >My basic point here is to question the rationality of anyone valuing privacy.
} IMO, privacy serves the individuality of people. Your idea is very noble,
} memory of actions of other individuals ? Being able to selectively choose,
} is also part of what makes us an individual...

Ah! Thank you! I thought it quite likely that there would be some good
analogy between physical integrity and privacy -- intellectual integrity
-- but I couldn't quite pin it down. Yes, overall productivity could go
up if all ideas were globally shared. If it was accomplished through
some 'telepathic' way, we would become a group mind, possibly with
little nodes of ourselves still left, possibly not. I don't want that.
Why? Because I'm selfish. Why? Because being selfish maintains
myself. Why do I want that? Because I'm selfish. A universal property
of all life. Amoeba are selfish in working to maintain a chemistry
distinct from their environment; a global group mind would also be
selfish, at least if it wanted to stay a coherent mind. But I was here
first. No group mind.

What is actually practicable is not nearly so extreme -- just a sharing
of all information at an external level, with thought still private.
(Until the real-time EEGs get cranking.) And at least as important and
functional as privacy in this respect is the ability to keep information
and influence _out_, rather than in, which would not even be threatened
by the EEGs.

But as partially stated before, my inductive instinct says that I'm
more likely to run across a good justification for privacy sometime
rather than a solid argument for giving it up. And risk sense seems
to tell me that the weighted cost of being wrong having given up privacy
is rather greater than the cost of not giving up privacy 'early enough'.
So Brin et al. will have a strong barrier to overcome.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Mr. Knightley seemed to be trying not to smile; and succeeded without
difficulty, upon Mrs. Elton beginning to talk to him.
-- Jane Austen, _Emma_