Category Archives: privacy

are MUDs and MOOs dead?

I thought MUDs and MOOs were dead… or at least only used by the same folks who have been using them since the 80s or the new folks that have to play with them for some academic enterprise. The only folks that i know who use MUDs and MOOs are academics – the folks who have been studying them. Sometimes, i wonder if they are studying each other engage in what MUDs and MOOs are supposed to be about.

Anyhow, does anyone have a good status report on MUDs and MOOs?

Balancing Data Needs And Privacy

Balancing Data Needs And Privacy… Somehow, folks never come up with a balancing act that makes me feel safe and secure. Of course, it’s not terrorists that i’m worried about, but the rabid intolerant, xenophobic American culture. And perhaps my government. But, perhaps they could be called terrorists. Hmmm… perhaps we need data about our government.

identity theft

Over the holidays, “thieves nabbed personal information of 500,000 members of military and families.” Scarily enough, this data was nabbed because all medical records of the military members have been systematized and therefore are aggegatable. I wonder who will have to experience identity theft before the practice of collecting data is questioned. Often data is collected for a very different purpose than it is used. What happens when someone else believes that they have a right to this data? Or when data is sold (liquidization of a business) or when it is outright stolen? I really do hope someone tries to steal John Poindexter’s identity… i think that would be a hoot.

Persistence of Data

I sat in on a conversation about data persistence in relation to archiving issues today. As i’m often anti-archiving (because of the problems with persistence of data for individual data management), this conversation was quite intriguing to me. In particular, to hear from librarian/archivists who believe in recording history for good purposes. It was interesting to think about recording history but not making it accessible to the public (research-only, genuinely, kinda like the records that aren’t openable until everyone is dead). Ease of access (as well as the collapse of spatial & temporal contexts) are huge reasons why archiving online data is so much different than archiving elsewhere. Yet, i could totally understand why the folks i spoke with were so adament that archives occur, and with really good valid reasons. Anyhow, good new approach to an old topic in my head..

implantable chips

Ack! The FDA just approved implantable ID chips for humans! Can we say privacy?

Frankly, it’s just a very weird world. I cannot honestly follow the logic that underlies these (and many other) government decisions. The decisions that seem to evolve in our society follow corporate and power monger’s temporary needs, without contemplating the long term effects on society. And of course, as we’re allowing for scary chips to be implanted into people, we’re taking away the right for people to put what they want into their systems (the latest: Salvia Divinorum).

Certainly, i have a thing about the War on Drugs and how problematic it is economically, socially and culturally. Rather than letting people live & let live, we create arbitrary rules about what we determine to be drugs and what we determine to be economic powerhouses and therefore get separate classifications (tobacco, alcohol, caffeine). But even beyond the War on Drugs, what’s up with our housing policies where we spend far more money to put people in shelters than to provide low income housing because we don’t want to put that in the budget? Or the death penalty which costs 10x more than life in prison and doesn’t provide any other useful social service?

As a youth, i was confused… As an adult, i’m truly lost.