[extropy-chat] Wireheading

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Oct 5 17:05:14 UTC 2006

On Oct 5, 2006, at 4:42 AM, BillK wrote:

> On 10/5/06, Samantha Atkins wrote:
>> On Oct 2, 2006, at 3:16 AM, BillK wrote:
>>> You do realise that anything significant that you post on extropy- 
>>> chat
>>> (or anywhere on the internet) is likely to immediately update your
>>> Homeland Security Profile?
>> The day I live in fear of these meat heads and their silly profiles  
>> is
>> the day I disappear completely.
> That is an admirable political posture to take, but back in the real
> world a higher level of caution is more advisable.

I don't think so.

> You don't seem to appreciate the power of surveillance and information
> gathering available to the authorities now or in the very near future.

I appreciate it quite fully but I refuse to be cowed by it.  If I am  
doing something actually illegal I will take countermeasures  but not  
for mere opinion posts.  At least not yet.

> Advances in DNA analysis are now expected to solve tens of thousands
> of crimes from many years ago and many more future crimes.

What does that have to do with what I write online?

> <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/5404402.stm>
> Advances in data-mining accumulate people's online incriminating
> history so that it is available at the press of a key.


> In the 'war on terror' environment, self-censorship seems just common
> sense to avoid attracting unnecessary attention from officialdom. You
> certainly don't want to get on the list for special attention by
> airport security.

I will not live in that much fear of my own government without more  
provocation that to date.  YMMV.  With sufficient provocation I would  
be more cautious.   Screw TAS.  I don't need to fly enough to censor  

> Obviously the authorities cannot send the hit squads after every
> member of the population. Posting on the web won't get your door
> kicked in at 4 am by police in riot gear. Not unless you are *very*
> criminal in your postings.
> But just in case the police ever call me in for an 'interview', or I
> am caught dropping litter someday, I would prefer that their computer
> file on me didn't display lots of stuff about x, y or z.

So you are already accepting lost freedom.  What are you getting in  

> For some activities, running a computer security check is now
> standard. Working with children is a hot button issue at present in
> the UK.  As security checks become easier and more detailed, getting
> the job you want will get more difficult. Like getting a political
> appointment, or on a School Board, or a local  government post, or
> helping with kids holidays or school trips, etc. They don't have to
> tell you why you don't get the job, either. You will just find more
> doors being closed to you.

Again I refuse to live in fear of nameless strangers.

> I think a lot of the kids on MySpace are going to have some growing-up
> pains when all the personal stuff they dump there comes back to haunt
> them. Government security people are not the only ones who can run web
> searches. Employers, lawyers, press, finance companies, banks, you
> name it. Searching someone's history will soon become standard
> procedure. Google knows (nearly) everything. And Echelon (or whatever
> they call it now) has access to much more than Google.

As surveillance becomes deeper and more pervasive we must pass laws to  
severely restrain how the growing information pool may be used against  
us.  We also must repeal a lot of laws whose effects would be  
extremely pernicious if more widely enforced as improved surveillance  
makes possible.  Without that we are in deep danger.  But self- 
censorship is not a viable solution.

- samantha

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