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  • Privacy

    The national debate in the US over government surveillance raises interesting questions about privacy. I want to start off with some observations about crowding and it's effect and go from there.

    It seems to me there are two opposite poles for when looking at high population density, a teaming slum and a luxury highrise. What makes them very different is privacy. Modern man's desire for privacy is hard to understand in light of our almost certain lack there of for most of human evolution. We seem to go crazy if we are too isolated as illustrated by "Prairie madness" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_madness but crowding seems to have less obvious but significant impact on our mental health Overcrowding in the Home: An Empirical Investigation of Its Possible Pathological Consequences http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094818?...n_tab_contents . As illustrated in the article on overcrowding the significant factor is privacy not population density.

    Our need for privacy demonstrates an interesting lack of correlation between what is "natural" and what is healthy. We desire companionship like we crave sugar but it seems too much of a "good thing" is not advisable.

    I will come back and explore the "need" for privacy on a psychological level and then I hope to explore the "need" for privacy in a broader political connotation.

    Comments and ideas please.
    We hunt the hunters

  • #2
    Violate my home and I'll give you a lead present. How about you respect my land rights and I'll respect your right to life.

    Violate that at your risk. Step off. The little tweety love me, the deer and the fawns play in front of me, 3 meters without fear.

    Try me...
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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    • #3
      But what if he was possessed by a demon? Wouldn't it be a sin to kill him?
      First Counsul Maleketh of Jonov

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      • #4
        Use a phone? the conversation is still logged by the NSA, the number called and time on the called a phone company record for billing purposes.

        Use a wireless device? all data collected by the NSA, the sites accessed and data used logged by the provider for billing purpose. That in addition to the ability for the NSA to track where you are and have been as long as that device is in your possession. In addition, the built in camera and mike can be accessed by hackers or the NSA at any time anyplace including in your bedroom if you are charging it there overnight.

        Drive a newer car? Your driving habits are monitored and periodically uploaded to the manufacturer's computer as it is also logged by the NSA.

        Purchase anything with a check, credit, gift, or debit card? That purchased has been logged by the bank, store, and NSA.

        Use Pay TV? Your viewing habits have been tracked by the provider and NSA.

        Have a smart TV? The NSA or any hacker can use the built in camera to spy on you remotely at any time.

        Use the Internet? All activity is logged by both your provider and the NSA.

        Use a laptop? It's built in camera can be accessed at any time the device is turned on.

        Play with a gaming system that accesses the Internet? Your gaming habits are logged by the Internet provider, the gaming manufacturer, and the NSA.

        Have a Smart Meter for your electric, gas, water use? The NSA knows your energy and water use habits in addition to the provider knowing the same information for their billing purposes.

        All that in addition to satellite surveillance, low flying aircraft and drones, street level surveillance using radar and infrared technology, high resolution cameras in nearly all businesses, street corners, and security systems with remote access.

        Have mailed delivered? As mail is scanned for address so it can be sorted by machinery, what happens to that scanned data? Did the NSA get a copy for data mining purposes?

        Place your trash by the curb for pickup? As It becomes available for detailed analysis by whoever picks it up, that is why you should shred and burn anything that contains personal information that could be used by an ID thief.

        In short, doing anything in private is rapidly becoming more difficult by the second, The NSA can easily compile a database of your everyday lives, and those in power can target you for reprisal should you do anything to question or oppose their political agenda. (IRS audits, pressure employers, banks, and credit agencies, spread slander, etc...)
        “Breaking News,”

        “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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        • #5
          I'd say if you want privacy, you have to go to live in a low tech country, give up all the modern conveniences, and live like a cave man. And even then privacy might be difficult to obtain.
          Homo homini lupus

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jannie View Post
            I'd say if you want privacy, you have to go to live in a low tech country, give up all the modern conveniences, and live like a cave man. And even then privacy might be difficult to obtain.
            Two words: spy satellites

            Ok a third word: Drones

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            • #7
              Privacy is a complex issue whose definition varies with the individual and the group. Many humans literally crave being surrounded by others; some of us loathe the idea. Some of us floriish by ourselves; most of the rest go crazy and die.

              However, I don't think we're talking about "privacy" in that sense, but in the overall societal/governmental sense. SRV paints a chilling picture and all of it absolutely correct, so perhaps the real issue is how much privacy do we want in the sense of freedom to act without being watched?

              I don't have a problem with the the Sheriff's Office checking my neighborhood to insure that nothing harmful is taking place, but I expect that to stay within broad parameters. I do not expect, and will not tolerate, the Sheriff monitoring the activities of everyone to insure that no one is thinking evil thoughts, for example.

              The government has gone far beyond it's self-granted mandate in assuming that we are all criminals and terrorists until proven otherwise, much like the IRS operates on the automatic assumption of guilt. In that sense, as SRV pointed out, we have virtually no privacy whatsoever, and that is wrong on many levels, including fostering an atmosphere of paranoia and distrust of everyone and everything.

              Although Godwin's Law infuriates the less historically literate among us, we are following in the footsteps of a number of highly dictatorial nations who all did similar things in the past "for the public good". Personally, I think that particular phrase, a PC version of "the ends justify the means" - should be banned from the vocabulary entirely.


              Looks like we have an interesting discussion ahead of us. Obviously, I represent the "as much privacy as possible end of spectrum", living in the mountainous boonies as I have for the past twenty five or so years where "privacy" means "do what you want to but don't infringe on anyone else" and "it's none of your business what I'm doing", so I'm looking forward to it. Good choice, wolfhnd.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                The national debate in the US over government surveillance raises interesting questions about privacy. I want to start off with some observations about crowding and it's effect and go from there.

                It seems to me there are two opposite poles for when looking at high population density, a teaming slum and a luxury highrise. What makes them very different is privacy. Modern man's desire for privacy is hard to understand in light of our almost certain lack there of for most of human evolution. We seem to go crazy if we are too isolated as illustrated by "Prairie madness" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_madness but crowding seems to have less obvious but significant impact on our mental health Overcrowding in the Home: An Empirical Investigation of Its Possible Pathological Consequences http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094818?...n_tab_contents . As illustrated in the article on overcrowding the significant factor is privacy not population density.

                Our need for privacy demonstrates an interesting lack of correlation between what is "natural" and what is healthy. We desire companionship like we crave sugar but it seems too much of a "good thing" is not advisable.

                I will come back and explore the "need" for privacy on a psychological level and then I hope to explore the "need" for privacy in a broader political connotation.

                Comments and ideas please.
                You're making some very broad claims which have only modest, if any, support.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SRV Ron View Post
                  In short, doing anything in private is rapidly becoming more difficult by the second, The NSA can easily compile a database of your everyday lives, and those in power can target you for reprisal should you do anything to question or oppose their political agenda. (IRS audits, pressure employers, banks, and credit agencies, spread slander, etc...)
                  Ron, you've done nothing but question and oppose the powers that be for as long as I have been on this forum. Yet you seem remarkably reprisal-free.

                  From this we can deduce one of three reasons:

                  1) you are actually an NSA asset trying to expose those disloyal to the regime.

                  2) you're wrong

                  3) being a white guy in Detroit your life expectancy is so low that the government doesn't feel the need to bother with you.
                  Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                  • #10
                    Meanwhile, you, being from Texas, regard everyone else's views as unworthy of your attention.

                    Lighten up, AJ. If the discussion is beneath you, go somewhere else.
                    We'll suffer through the lose of your exalted presence as best we can.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                      Violate my home and I'll give you a lead present. How about you respect my land rights and I'll respect your right to life.

                      Violate that at your risk. Step off. The little tweety love me, the deer and the fawns play in front of me, 3 meters without fear.

                      Try me...
                      As SRV pointed out, the government and just about everyone else can violate your home at will electronically, without you even being aware of it.

                      Maybe the issue should be "How much surveillance is absolutely necessary to protect and serve the nation"?

                      BTW: "the little tweety probably love you" because you're just like them.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Privacy means different things to different people. Consider the Japanese. That many people in what is virtually an island nation begs a different view of what constitutes 'privacy'. Consequently, the Japanese culture has developed various coping mechanisms, compartmentalization, and just getting used to being closer than what we, in the western world, would consider polite.
                        ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                        IN MARE IN COELO

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                        • #13
                          They also suffer overwhelmingly such things as massive sexual repression and a form of severely paranoid xenophobia, among other things.

                          It's no surprise that their national hero is a giant, destructive lizard that periodically lays waste to their entire country in a fit of blind rage.
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            Meanwhile, you, being from Texas, regard everyone else's views as unworthy of your attention.

                            [...]
                            They are unworthy of our attention...

                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                            • #15
                              ...and those two cute little twins and the giant moth

                              Hey...ya make do with what ya got...
                              ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                              IN MARE IN COELO

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