02-21-2019 02:04:47 PM -0800
02-21-2019 11:01:19 AM -0800
02-20-2019 06:05:04 PM -0800
02-20-2019 04:41:47 PM -0800
02-20-2019 10:44:11 AM -0800
It looks like you've previously blocked notifications. If you'd like to receive them, please update your browser permissions.
Desktop Notifications are  | 
Get instant alerts on your desktop.
Turn on desktop notifications?
Remind me later.
PJ Media encourages you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY.

The utility of privacy

A scientific article recently cited by the New York Times proves it is possible to create a world without males. "Life With No Males? These Termites Show That It’s Possible.  A discovery among termite colonies in Japan suggests that males can be discarded from advanced societies in which they once played an active role."  An expert interviewed by the article confidently declared that for termites at least "the future is female".

The implict theme of the doomed male cannot be escaped in the MeToo era. In case you missed the point white males especially are headed for the boneyard and even science knows it. Can they be serious?  More serious than you think. Friedrich Nietzsche observed that “in individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”  It was the rare individual in 1930s Germany who concluded that the best thing to do for the next decade was conquer the world. The joint probability of millions of individuals independently converging on that plan was surpassingly small.  The odds they would do that as part of a group to which their wills had been subordinated was shockingly high.  Similarly in the age of Kavanaugh individual women are less likely to aspire to a world without males than organized feminism for whom such a goal is not only feasible but desirable.

One of the underrated dangers of Oneness is escaping the binding consensus exemplified by the all-hands meeting at Google after Hillary's election loss.  It was implicitly assumed that everyone in the auditorium was on the same wavelength and shared the goal of undermining Trump.  That assembly shows how easy it is to get trapped in groupthink, especially when everyone knows who you are unlike the early Internet "when no one knew if you were a dog".

Peer pressure can create a sameness which destroys information. In a world of ideological uniformity only conventional wisdom can be safely expressed.  Since information is by definition is surprise  -- what you don't know -- an surprise-less meeting is despite appearances an information poor gathering. The reason why diversity, not cosmetic diversity where people look different but think the same but intellectual diversity where people think differently,  is so important is that it's nature's way of spreading the risk.

Contrary to conventional wisdom human beings will always face risk, whether from runaway technology, unpredictable pandemics or asteroid strikes from outer space.  But they will rarely find the best solution unless all options can be considered.  Preserving freedom maximizes a society's chances of survival.  Freedom as we shall see, is partly a function of privacy.

Observers are often puzzled and perplexed by the power of the idée fixe in ideological movements.  Andrew Sullivan for example is surprised at how a putative concern for female victims of sexual assault could so quickly become a war on privacy.  "To the extent that the hearing went beyond the specifics of Ford’s allegations and sought to humiliate and discredit Kavanaugh for who he was as a teenager nearly four decades ago (a dynamic that was quite pronounced in some Democratic questioning of the nominee), it was deeply concerning. When public life means the ransacking of people’s private lives even when they were in high school, we are circling a deeply illiberal drain." (Italics mine)