I think the point is serious.
I used to be frank, as they said.
I received only flak in return. Despite the usual Quatsch of moral
philosophy there is no virtue of sincerity.
Given where I am, I
venture boldly into speculation.
The death of candor is an offshoot of the death of language, where
'language' here is understood as
a cluster of vehicular systems with many functions.
One function is to say something true, which may be evaluated as relevant,
useless, funny, stupid, and so forth.
One of the functions of language, here understood as a system of the human
mind, is a spandrel.
People early on notice that birds sing with a syntax, recursion, merge und
so weiter. Interestingly birds have communication and no semantics.
the cretins in academia, the post s-mething, post-office
post modern, now post truth and so on, tagged the ideas with a healthy
distaste for truth. Notice not a specific theory of truth, about which
considerable controversy, the distaste my concern is about is the minimal
adequacy: what Alfred T. dubbed the 'p is true iff p', without bothering
I suggest that people speak like the birds sing, hence the use of
predicates nobody knows what they mean ('cool', 'tremendous', 'fabulous',
hence the terror of offending: sets of truth conditions are not assessing
sentences, so-called emotional responses count in that area (think of what
the notion of 'offense' came to mean: if x feels slighted the utterance of
xx is slighting x)
I was oddly reconfirmed by the invention of 'twitter' made a celebrity by
palma, a paolo shaul םֹשׁ ְרֵגּ
Er selbst bevorzugte undurchdringlich Klarheit
On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 3:23 AM <epostboxx@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
From an article in THE GUARDIAN this morning (the topic addressed has
certainly hampered my ability to participate in forums such as lit-ideas) :
'''Dance like no one is watching', the American journalist Olivia Nuzzi
wrote in 2014. 'Email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.'
"... the death of frank speaking is, speaking frankly, a disaster. A
state, a business, even a household, cannot operate without private
"The death of frankness is one symptom of the wider dearth of ambient
privacy in our daily lives. The cheery Silicon Valley surveillance state
that prevents us from speaking plainly in private is the same one that
requires us to warn our children – or be warned by our parents – not to
post things online that might harm employment prospects, and the same one
that ensures we vet every utterance to make sure that it doesn’t take on
some darker meaning outside of the context in which it was presented.
"... the problem is, the playing field isn’t level. There are two groups
that float on, unconcerned by the death of ambient privacy.
"The first are the angels: those whose innermost thoughts are already
safely expressible, who never need to talk behind someone’s back because
what they want to say is acceptable to deliver to their face, and who
cannot have a throwaway comment come back to bite them because every
comment is perfectly thought-out and expressed first time round.
"Such people do not exist.
"The second group are those who dismiss the very idea of consistency, who
elevate rudeness to a virtue and undermine the entire concept of a shared
reality. If you build your reputation on consistency and honesty, then a
single hypocrisy can be ruining. If you get elected as an MP after you have
already been fired from a newspaper for making up – sorry, 'sandpapering' –
quotes, then, well, you can get away with writing pretty much anything. You
could even put it on the side of a bus, couldn’t you, Boris Johnson?
" ... if, like Nigel Farage, you make a habit of telling your negotiating
partners to their faces that they have 'all the charisma of a damp rag and
the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk', how could a leaked letter
possibly hurt you? You might even suggest yourself as a successor to the
clearly hopelessly biased civil servant. You, of course, are unimpeachable:
your reputation for plain speaking is all the proof anyone needs. And for
even more plain speaking, your fans can hear you on the radio five days a
'The threat is not just to politics. The more we adapt to the absence of
ambient privacy, the more the world will split: the worst of us rising to
the top, their awfulness baked into their reputation and recontextualised
as courage or honesty, the rest of us retreating ever further from the
public sphere, trying to find new spaces where conversations are unarchived
"'The infrastructure of mass surveillance is too complex, and the tech
oligopoly too powerful, to make it meaningful to talk about individual
consent,' Cegłowski concludes. 'I believe [Google’s Sundar] Pichai and
[Facebook’s Mark] Zuckerberg are sincere in their personal commitment to
privacy, just as I am sure that the CEOs of Exxon Mobil and Shell don’t
want their children to live in a world of runaway global warming. But their
core business activities are not compatible with their professed values.'
"'Our discourse around privacy needs to expand to address foundational
questions about the role of automation: to what extent is living in a
surveillance-saturated world compatible with pluralism and democracy? What
are the consequences of raising a generation of children whose every action
feeds into a corporate database? What does it mean to be manipulated from
an early age by machine-learning algorithms that adaptively learn to shape
"Individual action is important, though. It can act as a signal of support
for the wider fight. It can frighten corporations into shifting their
behaviour ever so slightly. And it can help psychologically, by fighting
the creeping feeling of uselessness.
"Download a privacy app such as Jumbo and use it to lock down your
Facebook, sanitise your Google and erase your Twitter. Switch from WhatsApp
to Signal, and from Instagram to Snapchat, and everywhere enable the
ability to erase your messages after they’ve been read. Turn off 'Hey,
Siri' and 'OK, Google', and remove Alexa from your house. Fight for
"But if you do think your email might be read aloud in a deposition, maybe
follow Nuzzi’s advice. Frankness in the wrong place is a mistake you only
get to make once."
Chris (not Frank) Bruce,
in Kiel, Germany
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