A Question of Privacy

Privacy is a much-touted concept, an intangible property we all feel we have a right to own. But is it really that important? How much privacy can we really expect, in a world where more and more of our lives take place online? How much do we really care?

Right now, I know that an ex-boyfriend has two pit bulls, a gun collection, and a baby boy on the way. I haven’t talked to him in over ten years. Another ex- is now a professional skateboarder, living in Paris. My husband, being a tech geek, is literally everywhere in the online world — a Google search on his favourite username turns up more results than I have the patience to visit, leaving me thanking my lucky stars that I am not one of those people who feel compelled to check up on the activities of my spouse.

We all like to think we have an inherent right to privacy, we fight for it, we obsess about it. When we venture into online communities, we may assume false names, even false images to represent ourselves…but do they grant us the assurance of anonymity that we believe they do?

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Logic 102


In response to requests from my logically-sound readers, you can now find links to Logic 101 (which covers the basic structure of logical arguments) and Logic 103 (which covers the Argumentum ad Populum , Argumentum ad Verecundiam, Petitio Principii, Complex Question, The Ignoratio Elenchi, Fallacies of Ambiguity, The Fallacy of Composition , and Fallacy of Division) here.

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In the first article in this series, Logic 101, we looked at the basic structure of a logical argument. We went over what a logical ARGUMENT is (as differentiated from where you are screaming epithets at your spouse and the neighbors start banging on the floor), what a PROPOSITION is (hint: this is not the same thing as the pick up line you offer to the pretty goth girl in the corner, though in my experience it may get you farther), what PREMISES and CONCLUSIONS are. We also went over the two basic kinds of logical arguments: DEDUCTIVE and INDUCTIVE, how they work, and (in the comment thread) why some folks think inductive reasoning sucks.

Now, as promised, I present to you part two: The Attack of the Evil Fallacies

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