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Comment Re:Rude != Troll (Score 1) 298

I understand that religion is detrimental for modern humans,

False, most assuredly. Detrimental? I'm unconvinced.

Sure, if the alternative was for everyone to read CSICOP and become skeptical scientifically minded individuals then sure religion would be harmful to society. However, that's not the alternative. You undermine religiosity and people remain just as `spiritual' and seek out more harmful, less stable forms of mystical thought, e.g., homeopathy, belief in spirits, medium etc...

The failure of any major world culture to exist without substantial religious, spiritual or otherwise mystical beliefs (even a semi-mystical view of the benefits of great literature or the wisdom to be found in meditation) casts doubt on your claim that religion itself is detrimental. Perhaps the harm done by religion is balanced by the comfort it gives to many people who can't or won't find the truth comforting. Perhaps religion is merely the least bad outcome of underlying psychological tendencies we all share pushing us to interpret the world as `speaking' to us and to inject emotion into our evaluation of claims. In the long run with appropriate genetic engineering it might be desirable to phase our religion but for the moment it may be better than things like homeopathy, talk about Chakras and other spiritual interests that aren't religion.

that teaching religion to children is a form of abuse, and therefore indoctrinating anyone under 18 should be illegal.

This is a very very different claim. Sure, in the long run weaning humans off of religion may be desirable but now the question is what will that child be best served by?

As much as I feel that religious indoctrination before adulthood is brainwashing people into holding certain extremely implausible beliefs in most cases it is probably beneficial for the child. Most of America is highly religious and if you deny them that cultural belonging religion provides in these area you hurt them far worse than the harm done from carrying around comforting but incorrect beliefs for their lives. Just make sure there are ample opportunities for them to consider the question later and reach a more informed decision when they are capable.

What is most important is to make sure atheist views, socialization etc... become widely distributed so it's viewed as just another kind of belief. Furthermore, tackling the very hard problem of providing community unity and socialization without any masses is important..

Atheists visibly taking roles in community service programs would be much more useful than viewing religious indoctrination (as are most lessons from parents) would be much more useful.

Comment Re:Freedom? Safety? Privacy? Where? (Score 1) 307

And people inferring what you do from your public behaviors is slavery how?

This only seems so awful because we imagine continuing to apply the same social standards in place now to a new world of massive transparency and data mining. These technologies will shift our social norms so it's considered impolite to condemn others for personal choices and we'll view it as rude to use data about someone's personal life to affect the hiring process or how you treat them professionally.

Comment Re:Let me see... (Score 1) 307

And if google doesn't do this what do you forsee happening in the future?

High res cameras not only will get cheap but by the miracles of integrated circuit fabrication (and the high cost of running multiple processes/designs) eventually it will be cheaper to buy the standard high-res camera rather than the uncommon low-res camera. It's only a matter of time before all security and ATM cameras are high-res and the price of storage falls so low that they keep all that data in digital form online.

Now is every storeowner, photographer and bank going to use their own security camera management system? Save the images all themselves? Of course not, they will pick some company to manage it for them and that will centralize a great deal of this video information.

There is an inescapable collusion in the works between our expectations of anonymity and our write to free speech. Even if no one goes out and creates a central repository all it takes is many internet accessible public sites hosting this information and anyone with sufficient computer hardware can data mine your life.

Comment Re:FUCK two-way "transparency". (Score 1) 307

Most professional cameramen (including artists who want to capture scenes of city life) have their cameras set to take pictures at quite a high rate. What number of FPS is too much? 1? 5? 30? When does taking lots of photos become taking video? I don't think that is a line you can reasonably draw.

Hell, the better data mining gets the easier it is to infer actions in between photos so even if you insist that photography be capped at once every minute or 15seconds eventually the same info will get out.

Comment Re:Irrationally berserk: Seattle's 'Creepy Cameram (Score 1) 307

I doubt it.

There is every difference between respecting the usual social norms of looking away from private business, not staring at people etc... and recording what you see and sticking a camera in everyone's face and deliberately invading conversations, behavior and interactions obviously not meant to include you. The content captured may not be much different but the social reaction will be.

The reaction to google glass will be "Cool what's that thing" as long as those wearing it don't bring it into sensitive areas (lockerrooms) and don't shove it into other's buisness.

Comment Re:Public Privacy?! (Score 1) 307

It is that the users will be granting privileged access to pervasive surveillance to a small number of corporations and a large number of government agencies, that most who will be doing it do not understand the consequences, and that they have not given most of their subjects the opportunity of informed consent.

Knowing that your picture might get taken is not a cause for concern any more than is getting bumped into on the sidewalk. Getting elbowed repeatedly everywhere you go, or having pervasive surveillance footage of you uploaded to a privately owned and government accessible database, is.

And that is different than now how? Right now ATM photo footage and security cam footage are probably accessible by a few large banks and security firms who have a cozy relationship with the government.

I'd much rather have an internet company with explicit privacy policy and public acknowledgement of any data shared with the government than the shady system that now governs the cameras that watch us in public.

Comment Re:Public Privacy?! (Score 1) 307

Umm, so given that facial recognition is out of the bottle what is your preference. That everyone sees the big database or the government maintains it in secret using it's greater ability to make deals to amalgamate many small sources of info and tendency never to let any info go once it has it?

Even if they weren't uploaded to a big online database as long as people can post the photos they take of their own neighborhood somewhere better search technology will inevitably mean that is no different than one big online database.

Comment Re:Typical (Score 1) 307

>"The author points out, rightly, that surveillance cameras are already everywhere"

Typical "justification". So because there are already cameras in many places, there is nothing wrong with having them everywhere, all the time, possibly recording and sharing everything, including audio.... even at your restaurant table.

No, the argument is that when you walk down the street you are already being recorded and you've already lost any privacy you might have in that situation so there is no reason to get upset about individual citizens recording you in addition to the stores and banks

Presumably, the author's point is entirely compatible with believing that private establishments may want to bar all cameras to keep what occurs on their premises private.

>"that sticks in people's craws and makes them go irrationally berserk."

Typical again. So anyone that could possibly have a problem could only react by being "irrational" about it?

No, point is that either you should have a problem with all the forms of camera that monitor us wherever we walk or not have a problem with google glass. Maybe you have a compelling argument that distinguishes the two. If so present it. He is making an argument, you respond by giving a counterargument not being upset that someone disagrees with you.

>"However, he also seems happy to trade privacy for security,"

Could it get even more typical? Seems all the rage for a long time now to not give a damn about privacy or freedom. The vast majority of people are quick to trade privacy and freedom for convenience and the illusion of safety.

Alright? So? That is a sociological fact you have to accept. Give an alternative that is compatible with preserving our rights to free speech and to take photos in public without demanding that society reorganize in a psychologically implausible fashion.

Difficult times are coming. Technology is never bad/evil, but what people DO with it can be. I hope people who are eager to strap on something like Google Glass think about how it might affect others around them. There are a lot of unanswered questions about moving into a world where everyone (and every company/government) knows everything about everyone at all times.

I disagree. Look to societies, like that of Holland, where people have been pushed together into very small spaces for hundreds of years. They develop ways to deal with the leakage of information that results. Society remains healthy and fine despite the fact that your neighbor probably hears everything from you taking a dump to your affair with a coworker. Such societies tend to develop a deep tolerance for individual differences and the behaviors they engage in on their own time,

I look forward to a time not far in the future where everyone has stupid pics of their college years up on the internet. Where no one gets fired for that topless pic on spring break because their boss has something equally embarrassing online. Where everyone is trashed in old online archives by their ex-lovers so we all know not to take such talk (offered in the heat of passion) too seriously. Where there is a video of the president doing drugs so the hypocrisy of the drug war is plane for all to see.

Comment Re:HIV is "already everywhere" (Score 1) 307

The difference is HIV can be reduced/prevented/cured without undermining central constitutional rights. Slavery can be eliminated without undermining any desirable rights. The only way you can guarantee anonymity on the street is to make it illegal for people to report on what they saw in public, make it illegal for you to post any vacation picture taken that includes a stranger or work of art showing city life. If I have a write to photograph and republish things I see in public then it is inevitable that data mining will make our location, habits, sexual preference and virtually everything else available to those who can run such programs. Our only question is whether that should be everyone or some special limited few.

The alternative is a police state that tells you what you can and can't photograph, what you can and can't say and the like.

Comment Re:Fat Chance (Score 1) 307

So what? That doesn't mean it isn't desirable to make the playing field more even.

Just like it's desirable to eliminate the laws that bar us from videotaping the police but allow them to have videocameras in their cars it is desirable to make things more even in terms of access to video taken in public.

Comment Re:balancing the scales (Score 1) 307

Well, may be so, however, I still won't tolerate you coming to my home, to my gym, to my office, to my restaurant, to my pub, etc. wearing a camera. You can choose to loose your privacy somewhere else.

That is exactly the right way to look at it. You maintain privacy by keeping certain areas of your life private, i.e., you don't share that information with the public. Things you do on a public street aren't private no matter how difficult it may have been to identify you before. Things you do in private can be kept private by insisting that people don't record and replay information.

Comment Re:For a Safe and Secure Society (Score 1) 307

If you look at the context he is clearing saying "If you have something you don't want people to know about you shouldn't be posting it publicly on the internet in the first place." That seems like reasonable sound advice to me.

And what is the alternative. Do you make it illegal for shopowners and ATM providers to have cameras? Do you ban hi-res cameras? If not then all that information is out there and available to someone (the government) all this does is also make it available to the average citizen.

Comment Re:On balancing the scales (Score 1) 307

Ahh, but products like google glass level the playing field in exactly the way you are worried about. By making whatever anyone sees in public be publicly available by default you undermine all the anti-filming laws that protect the police over the average citizen. If grandma is going to accidentally upload the video of the police beating she walked past simply by default there is little that government agents can do to discourage citizens from sharing information that increases accountability.

As the article notes the only other option is to leave the government with all the surveillance data without any increased privacy. Between ATM cameras, security cameras, high-res drones and the like (all of which is available to government agents) there isn't any information left for you to hide. The only question is whether citizens should have similar access.

Comment Inevitable and Unproblematic (Score 1) 333

It's not just the internet that is a surveillance state. It is everything, or at least soon will be.

Despite what people think the problem is not tracking, cookies and the like. They just make the loss of your `privacy' easier but it was inevitable. The real problem is intelligent algorithms that are able to mine data and reach conclusions about you. Even if every single tracking product online was eliminated companies would easily find a way to correlate your activity. Measure the time between mouseclicks or your typing patterns and note the IP it is from. Now take that information and correlate it with information from other companies.

The existence of gait-tracking algorithms is a perfect example of what is going on. It's not that we are losing privacy, i.e., information that we literally kept private. Rather, it is that information we unworriedly disclose in public (be it our gait or the time at which we type in various characters to a website) turns out to provide far more information to a sufficiently intelligent algorithm than we ever expected. Soon enough our walks and choices in the physical world will be tracked just as thoroughly.

The genie can't be put back in the bottle. Are choices are to either eliminate free speech and regulate the ability of individuals to freely share information they observe in public or on their websites, pretend the problem doesn't exist by banning anyone from revealing the results of their intelligent data mining relegating this information to powerful corporations and governments or accepting the facts and modifying society to live with this problem. Societies with limited space have done this for hundreds of years and they grow to be tolerant of the little idiosyncrasies they inevitably see in their neighbor's lives.

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