Friday, January 21, 2011

From Wendy McElroy
  • Happily, a backlash against the medicalization of everyday life is occurring. Alas, it is being fought on the wrong ground. On Big Pharma’s push to pathologise the normal and sell you the ‘cure’. That said of course there are real mental illnesses and brain disorders (not the same thing) about which we now have more understanding and better treatments.
  • The dark side of Google. Perhaps it is predictable for a company whose profits depend upon information-gathering to argue that only ne’er-do-wells need privacy.
  • Facebook has “temporarily disabled” a controversial feature that allowed developers to access the home address and mobile numbers of users. Facebook claims that you need to give consent for app developers to get your personal data; security experts pointed out that it was easy to trick users into giving it. Facebook is suspending the feature for a “few weeks” while it improves the consent process, but it’s clear they intend to go ahead with this. It’s apparent to me that Facebook’s fundamental impulse is to gather and share as much data about you as they possibly can, which is antithetical to privacy. That’s why I do not and will never have a Facebook account, and why I advise those with Facebook accounts to provide only the bare minimum of information. Because Facebook can’t be trusted with it. And if an application demands your phone number and address in order to run, don’t use that application, because it’s up to no good. I use FB for two things, shorter, more mundane posts than the blog (with a little crossover) and IMs. No ‘fun’ apps and no games.
  • The Constitution’s good but...

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