Even you value privacy

If you have nothing to hide uses some extreme examples to show that everyone values privacy. At least to some extent. If there is anything about you that you would not want publicly known, then you have a desire for privacy.

Scott Adams often writes about what potential worlds with minimal privacy would look like. The benefits sound appealing, but I fear are utopian. The problem seems to be that a privacy-free world is a fragile system. It generally will work pretty well, and everyone will benefit. But it can fail catastrophically when a bad actor is able to leverage it.


Consider a low-privacy world. A diverse set of information about our lives is accessible with little effort by many parties. An adversary only needs to discover an unforeseen malicious use of this data in order to cause damage. In a high-privacy world, such an adversary faces another hurdle. He must go through the trouble of obtaining the data. Ideally with the data stored in a secure, distributed fashion. As an extreme example, only in people’s heads. The high-privacy world is less likely to experience widespread attacks on social infrastructure.

I posit that we are better off as a society if we build anti-fragile institutions and policies. But this is hard to do. It requires sacrificing potential short term, tangible gains in return for long term survival. It is difficult to jump from one equilibrium to the other.

The Logic of Buddhist Philosophy

Beyond true and false provides a high level overview of non-classical logic. With origins from Buddhist philosophy, they hint at something more utilitarian than mathematical constructs. Paradox is fundamental to our model of the world. Many states can exist beyond the simple true and false. Claims can be Both true AND falseNeither true NOR false, or ineffable. Or potentially any combination of the above. It is also fair to assume that we have not identified all possible combinations.


Freeing yourself from a true/false constraint is a powerful advancement in mindset. The hard part about thinking is asking the right questions. We have the idea that properly posing a question can quickly reveal a solution. Consider that depending on how you pose a question, it may not have an answer. Perhaps your time is better spent on a reframe.

The language we use frames our conventional reality (our Lebenswelt, as it is called in the German phenomenological tradition)

As a thought experiment, consider a typically politicized question or topic. Is it answerable? Can one theorize a data set and empirical model which would yield an answer that all sides could agree to? If not, the core issue is likely something else.