Privacy and Obligation Lecture Notes

Well that was fun: this morning was my time to switch sides of the lectern and deliver my Privacy and The Obligation to Explain lecture to my Philosophy 105 class. You can grab a PDF of the slides I used if you’re interested.

I managed to stream the first 18 minutes of the talk to Qik before the battery on my Nokia N95 died:

Thanks to Alan and Chris for helpful comments on my original blog post: I ended up using a snippet of Alan’s comment in my talk.

By far the most interesting part of the proceedings was the 20 minutes of discussion that followed: my fellow students had a lot of good insights. The general consensus: this is all very well and good, but we’re going to have to get rid of capitalism and nationalism first, and everyone is going to have to be pure of heart; in other words there are aspects of my proposition that have a slightly Utopian quality.

I come away with a newfound respect for the life of the academic lecturer: it’s a lot of work, not only in preparation, but also in keeping all the freaky balls in the air.

Wednesday I’ll go back to my seat at the back of the room.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on March 30, 2009 - 16:50

The video dies right before the slide with the Firefox screenshot, where I’m hoping there was a silverorange shout-out (or whatever the kids call it these days).

Also, sexy cardi.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on March 30, 2009 - 16:52

You guys have something to do with Firefox?

oliver's picture
oliver on March 30, 2009 - 19:52

Just going by the slides, it seems to me that a lot of the argument and the evidence you offer against being private isn’t really about being private, but about sharing knowledge and expertise, a whole lot of which we can do through text-based communication under pseudonyms and without our geocoordinates, fingerprints, DNA type etc.

Alan's picture
Alan on March 30, 2009 - 21:51

And here I thought I was just being a crank. Glad I could be of help or just illustrate another point of view. Remember: no one is worthless — they can always serve as a bad example.

But as one start towards your rhetorical final question, I do believe that all personal and corporate income tax filings are public record in Sweden. Adopting that one practice alone would have huge cultural implications in Canada… and a more interesting one that discussing anyone’s bowel movements.

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