Wall Nuts

posted Jan 02, 2004

I'm torn between Fisking this essay on how privacy protections are hampering intelligence and programming with the rest of tonight. I can't quite put this essay down but we'll see how little I manage to say about it.

Well, that's enough to satisfy me. But the article is very infuriating; the worst is what isn't said and is simply taken for granted, like slipping in the assumption that the privacy wall really is responsible for the failures, and the hidden assumption that this privacy wall is somehow all cost and no benefit, in flat contradiction to history. A more limited article focused on how a particular privacy protection had a particular effect, and demonstrating what we might do about it other then "Throw it all away!" might have been worth discussing, but this guy just tries to "define the win".

I reject nearly every premise this article is built on. It's a great example of an un-negatable emotional argument ("What, you think 3000 lives are worth some privacy?" "No, I challenge your entire assertion that privacy cost those lives in the first place." "But look, 3000 deaths! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must eliminate the privacy wall!"), but it still just boils down to a call for more power over us all.

 

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