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Jun 29, 2011



Just lie. Facebook must have thousands of Donald Ducks.


Why use your real name ? I don't even use my a normal avatar name of mine but.. I'm actually not sure like how i butchered it. I think I told someone my last name was white with this email account.

Well I can always start a new one.

I've absolutely told my kids for the sake of their future , they must use an assumed name.. they can use their first name but something else for a last name.

they will certainly say and do things in growing up that won't fit who they are in the future and no sense having that out of context garbage haunting them


Well thanks for replying to my friend request -- better 3 years late than never! :-)


Neither technology nor "opting out" are going to solve these sorts of privacy problems. Most privacy issues have never been resolved by law or technology or anything of the like. They are resolved culturally. Cultural standards of behavior evolve which protect privacy. The sooner people begin to understand this, the sooner they'll begin to alter their behavior because of a sense of propriety, and the sooner we will regain the sense of privacy we've lost.

And that means that those of us who are among the first to become aware of the necessity for such cultural changes should lead the way with our own behavior. Don't poke your nose into stuff that's not your business. You know when you're peeking into someone's private life and it's most likely an intrusion. Don't do it, then.

Some kinds of people will institutionally be intrusive, regardless of notions of privacy. Notably, potential and current employers. Legal protections will be necessary in these sorts of cases just as they have been in the past.

But much of our lives are going to be "easily" available as electronic data one way or another. There absolutely is no avoiding this. Much of what we tend to think of as private right now is available as part of the public record for anyone who knows where to go and what to look for. People such as neighbors and friends and employers and acquaintances generally don't indulge their curiosity partly because it would take effort but mostly because it would be understood as an incredibly rude thing for one to do and there'd be hell to pay, if discovered. We don't read other people's mail/email or rummage in their purses and wallets, even though in many cases it is trivial, not difficult, to do so...it's right there, on the kitchen table. We mostly don't do these things because we've been trained to think that it would be wrong to do these things.

Some people still do, of course. Some people break laws, too. Some people do terrible things. That we can't eliminate all of this doesn't mean we can't eliminate most of it. The real intrusion is when it's a matter-of-course, when it's acceptable for an employer, say, to Google you and hold your Facebook photos and wall against you.


That's a fascinating point. In my local paper today, a writer argued
that we had better learn how to get along. Because, he said "Pretty
soon atomic bombs will be like iPhones, everyone will have one." I
thought, "When that happens, we're all dead." It's the nature of the
species that every group has a small percentage of bad actors.
Getting everyone to act right can never work as a practical policy.
Rather, we have to identify good and bad behavior and draw lines of
privilege, trying to keep the apparently bad people (only
apparently, because thats the best we can do) away from the most
dangerous stuff.

In this case, yes, this thinking leads to prudence, doesn't it? A
sense of propriety - is it making a comeback? Fascinating stuff,


You're being willfully obtuse. I explicitly mentioned an example where legal protections would be necessary.


No way! I'm the most tuse person I know! J

I'm not suggesting that you're advocating that this can all be
solved by cultural regimes of propriety. Yes - we need legal
protections. You are right. I was just interested to see the
cultural angle being expressed. Quite sincerely.

Sorry to offend - didn't mean to.


Well..okay. The whole atom bomb thing seemed to be snark.

Most privacy is and always has been protected by social taboos. I think we've lived through an era which is historically very exceptional--where urbanization and other related things have created practical barriers protecting privacy that we've come to rely upon and believe are normal and necessary. But networked IT are collapsing those barriers and we're thrown back to the historical norm where it's pretty much trivial to know almost everything about the people around us.

And, as has always been the case in the past, and is presently the case still in our culture with regard to the people physically closest to us (and thus where there are few to no practical barriers protecting privacy), we will have to learn to maintain privacy by way of codes of behavior. It's just that right at this moment, hardly anyone is even thinking that maybe it's not appropriate or right or good to Google people we know and read everything that results. Because we're accustomed to the practical barriers, we wrongly intuitively think that the lack of a practical barrier is almost an invitation. But we don't think that way with, say, our roommate's mail on the kitchen table.

The vast majority of these emerging problems will necessarily be solved by adjusting standards of acceptable personal conduct. Some people will violate such standards, just as some people always have. And some powerful people and institutions will violate them, or attempt to, because they are powerful and they will be willing to violate informal standards of behavior because of what they perceive as compelling self-interest in combination with the expectation that they cannot be effectively sanctioned. It is in those cases that legal regimes will be necessary.


In my area I can go to the county courts webpage and search by name. If you've been divorced or sued I'd find out in about 10 seconds. They even provide your address just to make sure I have the right person.

With this address I can go to a different county page and look at the value of your home. I'll find out if you're behind on your taxes and how the house was transfer to you.

All public info and very easy to get. I can get more info I file a few requests and maybe pay a fee.

Facebook isn't really evil. In fact it may be the saving grace of the Internet.

IMO the anonymous nature of the web makes it far too easy to be an ass. Like Herm Edwards said, "Put your name on it."


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