Showing posts from November 6, 2011

What do you hear when someone says "Anything goes"?

This post concerns a theme that has been threading through my various social circles and fields-of-activity, and it comes down to this question:

What do you hear when someone says "Anything goes"?

Many conflicts I've come across in several areas - such as privacy and civil rights activism, or the advent of citizen biotech and its biosafety issues - can be framed as a conflict between parties who perceive "Anything goes" as a threat, and those who perceive it as a promise. Note that neither of these answers is universally right or wrong - but which answer a person chooses will tell you something about how they see the world and which side they're likely to be on in the above mentioned conflicts.

Example? The discussion between old-school privacy activists and their post-privacy counterparts. Let me give a polemic summarization of the rationale that underpins the arguments each side tends to put forward:

Old-school privacy activists: "Oh my god, there are so…