Privacy follows from responsibility

This is an interesting discovery for me, because as I’ve mentioned before I have significant boundary issues, no reciprocity instinct, and a tendency to overshare. Or as Boneflour demured,

So the notion of “privacy” never really made sense. The way I saw it, people either have my best interest at heart or not, and so you share things with the former and hide things from the latter. Lately I’ve had to make a lot of decisions about what information to give two people I get along with, but who don’t get along with each other, based on how I expect them to use that information when interacting with each other. This is a really tricky balancing problem because people can’t work together if they don’t know anything about each other, but we can also reasonably expect whatever knowledge each has may be used as a weapon to undercut the other.

Now I think privacy is a concept human societies developed to even the playing field, so that two people can share a culture (enabling collaboration) but still undercut each other (enabling sexual competition) within the bounds enforced as the “public” sphere. In an advanced society, intruding on someone’s “private” sphere has to be punished because it unbalances the even playing field, and forces a race to the bottom where there is no privacy for anyone (leaving only the friend/enemy distinction I was using). This makes a lot of sense from a Responsible Parent perspective too: a toddler has no privacy and no responsibility other than responding to Pavlovian prompts, a teenager has some social responsibilities and thus some need for privacy, and an adult has great responsibility for the actions of other people and thus a great need for privacy.

Indiscriminate sharing is therefore a failure to adjust to the behavior we intuit will occur in such-and-such person given such-and-such knowledge, i.e. lack of cognitive empathy. I wonder if this is not related to social anxiety as well.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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10 Responses to Privacy follows from responsibility

  1. bicebicebice says:

    Social media turns adults into toddlers, smart homes will turn them into infants, final step being crawling up ones own shithole and hiding there like a fetus. We need to go back!

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I was having dinner with my mom when I read this, and she was looking at me funny by the time I finished laughing

      (She was on the phone with my sister. K may be retarded but my manners are quite good!)

  2. Ø says:

    I’m sitting here watching the State of the Union address with my grandma. The camera briefly cut to Chuck Schumer’s contorted, constipated-looking face, which prompted her to say, “He looks like a snake, doesn’t he?”

    Yes, Granny, he sure does.

  3. Boneflour says:

    Vis a vis recent drama and “even the playing field”:

    “There are many animals which have what are called dominance contests. They rush at each other with horns – trying to knock each other down, not gore each other. They fight with their paws – with claws sheathed. But why with their claws sheathed? Surely, if they used their claws, they would stand a better chance of winning? But then their enemy might unsheathe their claws as well, and instead of resolving the dominance contest with a winner and a loser, both of them might be severely hurt.””

    To put it another way, “Friends don’t slit friends throats, they have a fistfight in the back and then go have a beer.”

  4. Koanic says:

    “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards”

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