ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "vulnerable" square in my 1-31-18 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest.

"The House Falls"

The right to privacy is
the foundation of civilization,
the gentle veil that allows us
to tolerate each other's flaws.

Without it, we are stripped bare,
vulnerable without the reciprocity
that makes intimacy possible to bear.

Like a lion in a barren cage,
captive citizens pace and
bite the bars, each other,
and eventually themselves.

In order to maintain social order,
people must retain the power to decide
who may know what about them.

Without that, they turn inward
and stop saying anything at all,
or fling themselves open to violation.

Why speak if it will be used against you?
Why fight if you'll be forced anyway?

The right to privacy is vital,
because once you pull that brick out,
and another and another, then
pretty soon the house falls,

leaving everyone exposed.

* * *


"Right to privacy is really important. You pull that brick out and another and pretty soon the house falls."
-- Tim Cook

Privacy is a universal human need. It matters a great deal, especially in the digital age. The rise of data breaches and other violations of privacy has ruinous effects on people. Take some steps to protect your privacy.

Privacy is a universal need of other organisms as well. In bad zoos, animals have no shelter from prying eyes, which destroys their sense of security and thus their health. Lack of privacy can literally kill them. Good zoos provide enclosures which mimic each animal's natural habitat, including places to escape and hide. The best wolf exhibit I've seen was a green parklet with a constructed den complete with lookout spot on top, very similar to a real territory in miniature. As long as the wolves had that retreat available, they actually spent most of their time lounging on top of it or trotting around their perimeter, much as wild wolves do.

Lack of privacy and agency tend to wreck people's rationality. It is most dramatic in survivors of sexual abuse, who rarely show moderation in sexual activity, but instead tend to split into promiscuity or avoidance. Either they quit trying to protect themselves because they just get fucked anyway, or they refuse to have anything to do with sex and maybe even other people because they don't want to get fucked. You see the same pattern of privacy impact in data handling, where people may avoid medical care because they know it's not private. All the government ever has to do is ask to get anything that's been written down about you. That kills medical confidentiality, so many people don't go, or don't mention things. Conversely, many young people make little or no effort to protect their data. They see no point; they know people will spy on them no matter what, so why waste the effort? When I was growing up, I was taught never to give out my phone number except to people I wanted to talk with on the phone. This was very prudent. Now, total strangers demand it every time I make a purchase, even if I'm paying cash. It's not just offensive, it's dangerous, but they don't see that. And then they wonder why young people are data-promiscuous: because society denies them privacy.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-03-06 10:08 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
*applause!* Very well said! Thank you.

Edit: I really like the structure in this one, too. Noodling about /why/.
Edited ( ) Date: 2018-03-06 10:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2018-03-06 10:51 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Now I see it! But in the right margin. Have to re-read with that in mind.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2018-03-06 10:56 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
>>It has a rise-and-fall wave structure.<<

I think that's it. It feels mathematical. especially in the first four stanzas, where you have:

4 lines/positive example
3 lines/negative example
4 lines/negative example
3 lines/positive example

Poetry and privacy

Date: 2018-03-06 10:42 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I love the advance and retreat word structure, which coaxes the reader deeper into the poem as a form of intimacy, emphasizing the whole crux of the need for privacy.

Re: Poetry and privacy

Date: 2018-03-06 10:54 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
It's a clear structure to me. And, like standing in the last inches of waves on the beach, the reader can choose how far to venture into the water. For this one, the reader can be surprisingly far into the 'waves' before the implications of lack of privacy start to creep in.

Trust me, that's a bitter, bitter mouthful of salt water.

Re: Poetry and privacy

Date: 2018-03-06 11:31 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The TSA is just the obvious conclusion to the same attitude!

Re: Poetry and privacy

Date: 2018-03-07 02:54 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
That's one thing that's very apparently different between the USA and the UK... so far, in every incident, ordinary citizens have fought back.

Ditto, when they try to take away our privacy, we fight back. Maybe not so effectively, but it is our own government we're fighting.

But then they're both trying to use terror to control us.. so maybe that's not so surprising. The Germans tried it and failed, and we haven't entirely lost the habit of resistance and stoic bloody-minded refusal to be cowed, yet.

See also...

Date: 2018-03-07 06:56 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Ran across an interesting, highly relevant, article this morning.
The House That Spied on Me
" Thanks to the Internet of Things, I could live in my very own tech-mediated Downton
Abbey. That’s the appeal of smart homes for most people, and why they are supposed
to be a $27 billion market by 2021. But that wasn’t my primary motivation. The
reason I smartened up my house was to find out whether it would betray me. "
" Ultimately, I’m not going to warn you against making everything in your home smart
because of the privacy risks, although there are quite a few. I’m going to warn you
against a smart home because living in it is annoying as hell. "

Re: See also...

Date: 2018-03-08 12:58 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Especially if you put it, as far too many seem to do, in your rear pocket so you can poke yourself in the arse when you sit down, or butt-dial.

I've still got a flip-phone. I'm very careful about who gets the number, and unless I'm actually mobile and need the mobility feature, it's turned off.

No, you can't talk to me whenever you want to. You may talk with me whenever I am OK with it.

Re: See also...

Date: 2018-03-08 02:24 pm (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
And then they worry about you if you don't get back to them within 48-72 hours...

Which, OK, some of that I get, but there are some days where we're just busy, K?

The problem with us, is that we need our phone for a lot of different things related to our disability, so it's hard to put it down. Most times we just hit the lock button twice I we don't want to talk to the person/people, or we don't answer them on messenger.

Or if we do, we'll say that we can't talk right now, and to pleas get back to us later.


Re: See also...

Date: 2018-03-08 09:09 pm (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
I would need an iPad for that purpose; most of the apps used to not have android or google-ready versions. Though the iPad doesn't necessarily need to be a phone...


Re: See also...

Date: 2018-03-09 12:28 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
It does, but it would still mean giving our my location in some cases-which is almost worse.

I mean, I do it with lyft and Uber because I have to or I won't get anywhere, but with other things...well, I can't use Blindsquare to get from point A to point B if they don't know where point A is...

And even with te iPad, I'd have to do that, though it still has the benefit of not being a phone, and I can still choose when to talk to people...



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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