[FoRK] Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users' precise locations

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Jun 21 21:34:58 PDT 2010

--- On Mon, 6/21/10, Jeremy Apthorp <nornagon at nornagon.net> wrote:

Note what Jeremy says about the history of privacy:

> >> > --- On Mon, 6/21/10, Jeremy Apthorp <nornagon at nornagon.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> It's also worth noting that privacy is a relatively new concept. As far as I can tell, it started being important to people around the
> >> >> mid-1700s: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=timeline-a-history-of-privacy

Note what Jeremy specifically asked:

> >> >>
> >> >> Why did privacy not matter to people before then?
> >> >>
> >> >

And Ken asked:

> >> > Why do you think it didn't matter to people before then?
> >>

Jeremy rewrites his own history:

> I guess you missed my point, then, because you seem to be
> hung up on a side note. It doesn't matter how long privacy has been
> around. 

Um, if you look back at your own scribbling (above), you specifically raised the issue. You stated that it has only been around since the mid-1700s *and* went on to ask why it has only been around that long. 

You said that, not me. I'm simply challenging your version of history.

> The question is about whether privacy is necessary, and if so
> then how much.

Please reread the post that prompted your response (quoted here, additional comments below). 

> >
> > I'm really having a problem with this whole assumption
> that privacy as a concept and an issue suddenly sprang,
> full-formed, onto the stage in the 1600s. That just seems
> silly. History is laced with descriptions of secret
> violations of trust in various forms -- sexual assignations,
> sabotaging your financial partner(s), etc. -- going much
> farther back than that. Perhaps even to biblical times or
> earlier. I don't have cites, only imprefect and fuzzy
> memories.
> >
> > In order for there to have been this sort of secret
> activity happening implies privacy existed and there was an
> awareness of it and the consequences of its violation.
> Secrecy requires privacy. Doesn't it?
> >
> > Given the human condition, I'm inclined to believe
> that doing things in secret to screw others (both meanings)
> has a much longer history than back to the 1600s. Which
> would imply that concern for privacy has a similarly long
> history.

In addition to challenging your version of the history, it addresses your revised questions. Yes, it's necessary to the human condition. How much? Exactly as much as is needed whenever you are of a mind to screw your neighbour/business partner and/or their wives/daughters.

As well as secret violations of trust demanding privacy, I'm sure there are pure motives. I only use the prurient because it's so much easier for illustrative purposes.  ;-)


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