Sean Wieland on Fri, 29 Jun 2001 06:20:33 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Echelon, privacy and property

the following is a criticism of a part of a whole, so take it with a
grain of salt accordingly:

Sean Cubitt wrote:
> Who wants to retain privacy?. Mainly wife-beaters, child-abusers and
> tax-evaders. Most of us have nothing to lose but our privacy -- the
> compulsory hoarding of data in the form of private property and private
> thoughts. But a private thought is no thought at all, like a poem left
> in a drawer is no poem.

does this feel to anyone else like part of the "enlightenment" O'Brien
puts upon Winston Smith towards the end of Orwell's '1984'?  the idea
that the will of the party ("ignorance is strength", also not unlike
some arguments made by Terry Gilliam in the film '12 Monkies' about
sanity), can overcome reality in a (IMHO) perverse way.

    The  law  of  gravity  was  nonsense. 'If I wished,' O'Brien had
    said, 'I could float off this  floor like a soap bubble.'
    Winston worked it out. 'If he thinks he floats off the floor, and
    if I simultaneously think I see him do  it, then the thing happens.'
        -- George Orwell's '1984', Chapter 3, Section 4

for an individual, "freedom is slavery" does not hold true.  just as
winston's journal held meaning for him ("Freedom is the freedom to say
2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows."), a poem left in a drawer
is still a poem -- to the poet.

I agree that most data should be globalized, in the sense that known
facts and truth about the universe and human invention and insight
should be free (as in speech), but (speaking of nihilism) referencing
Nietzsche's 'The Anti-Christ', personal privacy must be defended by the
individual (the uber-mench?) to prevent humanity from being "ground to
dust" -- not unlike the dystopia presented in '1984' ("a boot stamping
on a human face -- forever").

Finally, keep in mind that the definition of "private" differs from
"secret".  What you do in the bathroom isn't secret, but it's private. 
Per the film 'Sneakers', "No more secrets."; but I'll defend my privacy
with everything in my power.

that's my $0.02 for the moment.


 +-----=[export-a-crypto-system-sig RSA-3-lines-perl]=-----+
 |#!/bin/perl -sp0777i<X+d*lMLa^*lN%0]dsXx++lMlN/dsM0<j]dsj|
 |$/=unpack('H*',$_);$_=`echo 16dio\U$k"SK$/SM$n\EsN0p[lN*1|
 |lK[d2%Sa2/d0$^Ixp"|dc`;s/\W//g;$_=pack('H*',/((..)*)$/)  |
"Most people would rather die than think, and most people do." 
                                       -- Bertrand Russell

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