Wired Article on Privacy

I find this to be a quite interesting take on privacy, especially this point: “what is at stake when we talk about online privacy is the continued existence of public life.”

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Tom’s get such a bad name, peeping tom, tom catting, uncle tom

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True, but they make good soap. image

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Toms have had a bad reputation for a long time. “Tom-fool” (from whence tomfoolery) dates to the early 17th century, as does “peeping Tom.” “uncle Tom” and tommyrot came in the 19th century and tom-catting in the 20th.

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A Tommy was also an English soldier, hence also Tommy-gun, not sure how far back that goes.

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Tommy as a soldier dates to early 19th c. As it turns out, “tommy gun” is unrelated - it is from the manufacturer of the Thompson machine gun only called a Tommy-gun in the 1920s.

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Lets not forget that a male turkey is a tom. This is a slander against both turkeys and toms.

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That usage (Tom=male animal) was perhaps the earliest - recorded for male kittens in 13th century, tomcat and Tom turkey were 19th century. In the sense of “prototypical male” we got tomboy (originally a boisterous boy, soon after also a boisterous girl) in the 16th century and “every Tom, Dick, and Harry” in the early 18th.

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And luckily we also have the delicious Tompouce, a favourite pastry in the Netherlands and Belgium…

It is not all bad :blush:

Nice article, @jeffz. Yet another take on loss of privacy is the effect of Social Cooling it leads to. A great page to share is:

It was among the highest trending of all times at Hacker News: Social Cooling (2017) | Hacker News

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I was going to share the Social Cooling website too - it’s great.

I’ve always said that I didn’t like the argument “if you’ve got nothing to hide, why do you lock your phone/the bathroom door?” I appreciate Edward Snowden’s argument a lot more: arguing against privacy because you’ve got nothing to hide is like arguing against free speech because you’ve got nothing to say.

Even if you don’t care so much about your individual privacy, you should care about the privacy of lawyers, journalists, whistleblowers, etc.

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