Ambient Privacy

Because our laws frame privacy as an individual right, we don’t have a mechanism for deciding whether we want to live in a surveillance society. Congress has remained silent on the matter, with both parties content to watch Silicon Valley make up its own rules. The large tech companies point to our willing use of their services as proof that people don’t really care about their privacy. But this is like arguing that inmates are happy to be in jail because they use the prison library. Confronted with the reality of a monitored world, people make the rational decision to make the best of it. 

That is not consent.


The expression “openly bisexual”[1] bugs me.

I know we’re still living in a world where coming out is difficult and fraught, and if LGBTQ people want to use that expression, it’s not my busines to stop them. But it sort of annoys me when it’s used in print or by straight people. Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but it always seems to backhandedly presume that some amount of shame is associated with being bisexual, and that this “openly” bi person is therefore being bold or transgressive.

Just because some parts of society will shame bi people doesn’t mean they have anything to be ashamed of. Maybe it’s time to retire “openly” as a modifier for people’s sexual orientation.

  1. See also “openly gay”, etc.  ↩