A Pool for Reflecting

A lot of people have written about privacy, security, trust, and the modern world.

Steven Iveson writes convincingly that we’re doing it wrong.

I think that to an extent what he is describing is a classic tragedy of the commons applied to the value chain, and saying that this is having a corrosive effect on trust as well. Certainly the behaviors of the players involved are not ones which lend themselves toward feelings of goodwill. The interesting thing is that we all seem inclined to sell our privacy birthright for a mess o’pottage in the form of a frequent shopper card at the supermarket – to say nothing of the tracking devices that we all wear 24×7 (or 24×6 for the other sabbath-observant folks out there).

So now where does society go from here? Perhaps countermeasures à la XKCD? Civil disobedience, Little Brother style? or do we just say “I, for one, welcome our new data-gathering overlords”?

I have no idea what the next stage is: it’s both concerning and fascinating to me that we’ve walked here with effectively no discussion and no reflection. Perhaps we should spend a few minutes on this.