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The Privacy Illusion 198

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-have-your-very-own-database-entry dept.
LoLobey writes "Scott Adams has an entertaining entry on his Dilbert Blog about the perception of privacy. He writes, 'It has come to my attention that many of my readers in the United States believe they have the right to privacy because of something in the Constitution. That is an unsupportable view. A more accurate view is that the government divides the details of your life into two categories: 1. Stuff they don't care about. 2. Stuff they can find out if they have a reason.' His post is written in response to some reader comments on another entry about privacy guardians and how swell life would be if we voluntarily gave up certain personal info."
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The Privacy Illusion

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  • by neyla (2455118) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:21AM (#41905521)

    This is indeed a blind spot in USA. Many, perhaps even most, see government as fundamentally opposed to their interests, while giving corporations a free pass - despite the fact that government atleast in principle represents the interests of the people while corporations represents the interests of the owners. (which are a tiny fraction of the people)

    Google and Facebook knows more about our private lives than the government does, yet this seems to bother nobody. It's true that you can opt out of those - but it's also true that network-effects make social media a natural monopoly.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @07:16AM (#41906029)

    Sorry , but yes.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    Its a nice often quoted soundbite from Franklin, but it doesn't make him right. And as has been said, we already gave up liberty in certain forms long ago. In fact any social animal does - there has never been any such thing as complete do-as-you-please liberty anywhere anytime except in the minds of deluded anarchists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:54AM (#41906799)

    But Scott Adams is right, nobody has such a right, but it's something that is worth fighting for nonetheless.

    And thus you've basically affirmed the issues that the Federalists had over the Bill of Rights that at some point in the future idiots like you would claim that if it's not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights that the right doesn't exist. You, Scott Adams and the Supreme Court are all wrong on this issue.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @10:12AM (#41907693) Journal
    Someone (or some group) has to pick the candidates at some point before it's possible for everyone else to vote. I have lived all my life under the Westminster system and figure the US electoral college thing is similar to what we would call a "caucus meeting". However I recently caught a 20 second soundbite from an American commentator. She said that while there are mathematical problems relating to the "fairness" of the election method, one of the GoodThings(TM) about it was that it would be near impossible for anyone to become POTUS without pleasing the majority of the states. This ensures that the president must at least have a significant level of approval across the very different sub-cultures that exist in the US. I don't know how much truth there is to that statement but it does ring true to my non-native ear. I'm old enough to realise that what little I was taught in the 60's about the US was about as real as the John Wayne movies (that I still enjoy). They didn't escape religious persecution they brought it with them and due to the lack of a uniting vision continued the practice with a great deal of enthusiasm. What the founding fathers did was pretty much what the Romans did with the Bible, they provided a vague and lofty common purpose and a simple list of agreed "commandments" in a surprisingly long-lived and successful attempt to restrain the worst excesses of human nature that surrounded them.

    One thing I do know is that all geeks should go out of their way to read "science and the founding fathers", science was far more significant to their politics than Ben Franklin's lucky escape from a kite flying incident. ;)

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