what exactly is public, anyway

isn’t #anonymity basically the same topic? yes. yes it is.

sand castle

simply put: privacy is mostly needed to secure lives from violence. indeed, in practice, life is miserable without some amount of privacy!

but that doesn’t mean we should blindly pursue it… what if there’s no way to have both privacy and freedom while living in a public space?

island

picture a lone person living in a completely isolated island. it’s a full 100% private life. and it’s also fully free.

what if we add another person in the same island? it’s easy to picture how now there’s a public space if they share any boundaries. even a single sight or simply making a sound. it’s almost impossible, on a small island without any mountains and dense jungle, to escape the public space.

and as long as there is such a place that’s shared between the two lone islanders, there will not be 100% privacy there. the more privacy each one gets, the less freedom they have.

simple enough, right?

you want privacy for improving security, forfeit freedom.

you want freedom for fear of limitation, forfeit privacy.

you want both, give up on public spaces. get a whole island for yourself only.

let’s call this “only one in the [world] freedom”, just island world for short. in such a world with just one person, we get:

  • full privacy
  • full freedom
  • zero population

continuing…

forget

now… where does the “right to be forgotten” enter in this formula? is it a claim for privacy or freedom?

it’s for privacy.

deleting data, in any format, or simply never releasing it. it’s “my data”, i own it, and i do whatever i want with it. private data. private space.

that means if i want the right to be forgotten, i’ll have to forfeit freedom.

which freedom is more important, in theory? my right to ommit, or my right to know the truth? they’re incompatible and opposites.

the definition of freedom in here is the later.

ultimately, if i have the right to know the truth, to be anywhere, to do anything, as long as it doesn’t affect the right of others, this is a much more free world than the opposite (right to hide anything, block anywhere through ownership, forbid anything from being done).

fair enough, extrapolating “just a tiny bit” it’s easy to picture that giving a bank password away or your home address is an invitation to thieves…

but…

how about giving away “hey, i’m a thief” data? isn’t that the exact same privacy rights being broken?

castle

in the same way, the walls of castles can be seen as being built for preventing access into inside. when built on an island, it’s easy to see how it’s taking away space from the island. for the planet, a single castle may look insignificant, but when there are castles everywhere, then there’s no more freedom.

in a world where everyone can be forgotten (to get their individual full privacy rights), nobody is free because there are walls everywhere!

this is the castle world:

  • full privacy
  • zero freedom
  • full population

but what if we could remember more?

imagine

side note: science only exists because we decided to stop trusting our memory. it’s flacid and it needs to forget: the right to be forgotten is indeed human nature. but it’s also in the opposite direction of science, society, and whatever hive intelligence that may exist in us. forgetting about each other makes our collective intelligence dumber.

if we know who did what at all times, we don’t need to build walls. because then we know who did what, who’s doing what, and even who is planning to do whatever.

arguibly there’s no “individual freedom” anymore (you could still be free to do whatever you want second only to the group’s health), but this brings on the group freedom to its fullest.

however…

how can we produce a piece of cloth to protect a child from the cold that can also be used by an adult? it doesn’t fit! it clearly belongs to the child. so how can there be “no possession”? “no privacy”?

there’s no simple answer to how a zero privacy world in a planet filled with humans would look like, but those worlds have always existed in about every other context.

the cloth that only fits in the child can be used by other children. in a world with only 1 adult and 1 child, the cloth could be used only by the child as a cloth and still be used by the adult for whatever other use if there’s one that makes sense, because nobody takes it as an ownership. because everyone choose to keep it free for the group, rather than the individual.

TK such a world requires a lot of imagination and change from our current one. even dealing with [death] must be different. in such a world, there’s no [trolley paradox]: if you’d have to choose between killing 1 person or 5 by acting and switching the trolley lever, it’s always 1 person. and we’d always switch the lever if there are less people on the other side.

in it we must recognize that one of the major aspects of science is not relying on memory, because the [brain] forgets very easily (to stay healthy). yet, we need to remember as much as possible, using all means within reach, as to “keep the castle walls down”.

we are, actually, slowly moving away from the fragile “sand” castle world.

this is the imagine world:

  • zero privacy
  • full freedom
  • full population

and this is the only world i want to live in.

the key to making it possible within our lifetime, is building layers of privacy in which the last one is fully public…

… TK

anonymity

this is a claim for privacy. no name. no identification.

it’s a rightful requirement in practice for safety and security today, hands down. so much so it should be the last layer of privacy, and a right for every human being who chooses to be anonymous.

but it must still be just a privacy layer.

when all layers are removed, the ideal world must have zero secrets left. accessible truth to anyone willing to dig, to take the green pill (because i never know or care if it’s the red or the blue that means “hidden truth”), and/or to see the spoilers.

the truth, the reality, the trick behind the magic isn’t magical at all. looking at it is what takes away many beautiful illusions. not everyone will want it, the illusions are quite enjoyable after all.

but as much as we can and should hide it in many circumstances, better worlds with less layers already exist precisely because they have less layers and, in the end, just the truth.

the cruel reality in its while splendor is so much more wonderful than the sum of any beautiful illusions. nature over butterflies! 😂

TK