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 103: The Dark (Dark) Side of Logic

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 102 (which covers the Argumentum ad Baculum, Argumentum ad Hominem, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, and Argumentum ad Misericordium) here.

Actual Article Begins Now:

All right, Logic fans, it is time for the next exciting episode in our cutting edge expose’ of the sneaky little fallacies which try to undermine the very foundation of dialogue as we know it. Last session, we talked about four of the most common fallacies at large in the world today: the Argumentum ad Baculum (where you threaten folks with evil things if they don’t agree with you), the Argumentum ad Hominem (where you call someone else evil in order to undermine their credibility), the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (where you say something’s true because it hasn’t been proven untrue), and the lousy, low-down Argumentum ad Misericordium (where you say someone should agree with you because you are so pathetic). We also covered a bit about how to get goth girls to talk to you, because that seemed to be very relevant. Speaking of relevance, all these fallacies were revealed to be “fallacies of relevance”, because they address situations where the premises you are using to prove your conclusion are irrelevant to the actual argument.

Everyone clear? All right. We are ready for our next foray into the treacherous waters of logical argument:
The Dark (Dark) Side of Logic. Continue reading