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Re: <nettime> Autonomy and Control in the Era of Post-Privacy
Nick on Fri, 2 Jul 2010 14:16:33 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Autonomy and Control in the Era of Post-Privacy


Thanks alot for forwarding the essay Felix, it was good to think 
about & with.

There were a few bits I'm not sure I understood, which I wanted to 
ask you about if you have time.

When you write about new subjectivities, you point out that the 
meaning of privacy changes, due in part to the reduction in 
differentiation of inner and outer worlds. You then state that 
privacy becomes "more the danger of disconnection from a world in 
which sociability is tenuous and needs to be actively maintained all 
of the time." I don't really understand this. I see that 
disconnection from fragile social networks is an issue, but am 
having trouble connecting this up with privacy.

And second, you mention that new ways of constructing and taking 
part in voluntary networks can increase the "real autonomy of 
people, because it is focused on creating inter-personal worlds in 
which autonomy can be lived on a daily basis." This too I'm 
struggling to mentally connect. I see that a wider range of social 
interactions, and personally tailor one's communication web, is in 
some sense increasing one's autonomy, but to me it doesn't seem all 
that significant. Is there more to this that I'm missing?

In reply to Elloi's first problem with the paper, that it ignores 
ownership of the wire, I somewhat disagree. It is mentioned in the 
last paragraph, talking about the need to "modulat[e] what the
providers of the infrastructure can see of the sociability they 
enable." For some infrastructures this is of course more technically 
feasible than others (e.g. P2P vs web-based).

The second issue, of homogeneity caused by over-availability, is 
really important, though I'm not sure it's essential to the argument 
in the paper. It's an issue I have a really hard time thinking about 
solutions to. More transparency of search engines (as alluded to at 
the end of the essay) helps a little, and an ability to personally 
tweak or reengineer algorithms would help more (ignoring the 
problems of how to implement such a system), but even these don't 
really go a long way in addressing it. Anyone else want to weigh in 
(or suggest places to read more) on the problem?

Thanks,

Nick


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