[ExI] 23andme again

spike spike at rainier66.com
Wed Jun 26 17:55:25 UTC 2013

>... On Behalf Of Mirco Romanato
Subject: Re: [ExI] 23andme again

Il 26/06/2013 01:09, spike ha scritto:

>>... Ethical dilemma: do I tell her?

>...Some guidance from the Bible?

> ... 2There is nothing concealed that will 
> not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What you 
> have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have 
> whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the 
> roofs...  {Luke chapter 12}

>...If the infos the young lady is looking for are available freely (as in
beer and speech) you do nothing wrong revealing them to her.
No more than someone reading a phone book at the request of someone
unaccustomed to reading them to find an address and a name...What the young
lady must understand is the truth can enable her to make informed decisions
and could satisfy her curiosity, but there is no guarantee it will make her
life better...Mirco

Thanks Mirco and all others who posted on this topic.  So here's what I did,
and why:

Yesterday I had an offline discussion on the topic with one of ours who I
respect greatly, and a long phone discussion on the topic with my former
college roommate and proto-extropian, a guy who was one of the early
computer science majors starting in 1979, and who is a monster brain.  We
used to do online Mensa stuff together in the early 1990s, back when it was
Use groups, before the web.

At first he was greatly annoyed, more so than he has ever been, at ME!  But
as we discussed the matter, he pretty much came to all the same conclusions
I did, and got over his wrath.  His surrender comment:  SHEESH what a world
we have made!  A man cannot even casually sleep with a woman now without the
risk of adverse consequences!

...ummmm, ayah...  That is how it works, pal.

I gave the lady in question the info, not in a neat package with a bow, but
rather the links to the relevant Ancestry dot com pages and a temporary
username and password for Spokeo.  With that, she will find all the stuff I
found, along with the verification by match to others in her DNA relatives
list from 23andMe with the same name.

With that being done, I step out of the loop and wish her the best of luck,
and a feeling that I personally did my own best approximation of the right
thing in this morally ambiguous situation.  

So who "outed" my cousin's father?  Did I do it?  Or was it 23andMe?  If
both, would that be 23andMe and me?  Or was it grandma, who went through the
old family bible and recorded it all into a software family tree such as
Ancestral Quest, then submitted the file to Ancestry dot com?  Or was it
Facebook, who gave me the place and date of my cousin's birth, something she
didn't offer to me personally, but published it to the whole world?  Or was
it Spokeo, which is really little more than the modern analog of a phonebook
except with a loooot more information in it?

In any case, my former college roommate and I agreed we are witnessing what
Mike Dougherty aptly called the great digital resurrection, and what a
dramatic resurrection it is, this GDR.  We can easily extrapolate into the
future, as we are known to do here.  23andMe is growing quickly.  As more
and more people go in for this, and more and more people put searchable
family trees on Ancestry dot com, the internet accumulates knowledge that is
never forgotten.  Errors and intentional misinformation is discovered and
eliminated.  Secrets are revealed.  It is easy enough to extrapolate and
foresee that in a decade you will be able to send in a hundred dollar spit
sample, a few weeks later get a password to a website that has a big red
button that is capable of doing all the searching I did yesterday, finding
all your DNA relatives all the way back to the discovery of fire.

Would you hit that button?

I would.

Does it bother you that all your unintentional crypto-descendants can do the
same, and find you?

It doesn't bother me, I was a geek even back then.  Geeks calculate, jocks



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