Message Integrity - Next Chapter for Communication Ethics

The next chapter of my Communication Ethics essay has been posted, Message Integrity.

This is the second-most important chapter, behind only the final conclusion chapter, because it addresses the most insidious attack on our freedoms to date. Message integrity has proven very difficult to understand or identify and many otherwise well-meaning people have gone to bat to defend attacks on message integrity as a result.

As a historical note, in some sense this entire essay started with this chapter. "The Ethics of Modern Communication" started out as a sequel to my original Third Voice paper, and was intended to handle the issues raised by that essay in a more rigorous framework. At the time, I had thought some tweaks and clarifications to current law would suffice; the more I got into it, the more I realized that the current infrastructure can not survive, and the larger the essay grew. (I intend to revise the introduction to better reflect my surprise at what it has taken to bring coherence to this area of ethics/the law.)

What remains now is the final tying together chapter, which is still being written, a "Misc." chapter which will be published in a deliberately unfinished state, and some appendices which I think are of interest, but are not in the main track of the essay. This will all be published in one final lump, since everything but the final chapter is written (and much of it has been writter for a long time). After that, the essay will be done, and the request-to-not-link restriction (unless you have a substantial comment) will be lifted.


Blame Game
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Aug 17, 2003

When you build a chain out of straw and expect it to hold up a heavy load, does it really matter which was the weakest link?

Trying to figure out who to "blame" for the power outage is pointless. The blame lies 100% with the shoddy quality of the infrastructure in the first place. And I mean that '100%' literally.

I was on the edge of the outage; Lansing was out, but Haslett (a suburb of Lansing) was only out for 40 minutes or so. I'd have posted this sooner but I was at a reunion this weekend.


Toodles, Poindexter
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Aug 13, 2003

John Poindexter, the Igor Karkaroff of DARPA, has quit his job out of frustration with his inability to launch the Total Information Awareness and the terror market. America is a bit safer now that this convicted felon is out of the Department of Defense.

[RatcliffeBlog: Business, Technology & Investing]

Normally I'm above this, but... [* dances on Poindexter's political grave*]


Addendum to privacy chapter

Here's something from Slashdot I ought to work into my Privacy chapter to further drive home the point that privacy invasions, no matter how harmless they seem, can cause real economic damage to you:

Privacy appears to be declining largely in order to facilitate differential pricing... The thesis of this paper is that what really motivates commercial organizations... is the growing incentive to price discriminate, coupled with the increasing ability to price discriminate.... Privacy intrusions serve to provide the information that allows sellers to determine buyers' willingness to pay....

There is no easy solution to the conflict between sellers' incentives to price discriminate and buyers' resistence to such measures.

(Mistakes mine, as I had to type that out by hand.) Privacy intrusions are rapidly ceasing to be abstract.


Chapter 8 - Privacy

Chapter 8 - Privacy has been posted. Privacy is found to be primarily a communication issue, and thus amenable to treatment in this framework.

The next couple of chapters will be delayed (*cough* *cough*, oh yeah, I've really stuck to weekly here); I had an insight into the next chapter that will really clean it up, and for the chapter after that I just figured out how to write it this week, so there's a lot of work to do on it. After that, it's pretty much done. Finally.

You've probably noticed by now all my blogging time is going into this, so expect the thin postings you've been seeing the past couple of months. (This is a lot of work ;-) )


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