The Paradox of Privacy

Privacy is a strange concept – paradoxical even.

We tend to keep private what is ephemeral. The shared human experience is never private – it can never be private even if it is solitary.

We seek privacy for our names, our phone numbers, our money (won’t push this one too far) and for spaces where we can be foolish. All things that pass. All things that will leave little mark upon this earth during or after our lifespans.

The deep human experiences we have are all the same – and will find resonance with another even when the stories are not told. The stories, we seek to keep private, thinking that they are ours. But as before – we too shall pass, as will our stories. No biggie. The big emotions – teenage angst, birthing pains, anxious nights, pre-exam nightmares, the mid life crisis, the embarassing failing of one’s wits.. all of these are true for all. The pain of unrequited love – how can that be private. We all have moments like that! The loneliness in a laughing crowd – you are not alone in that, we have all known it.

Why are these private?

This is precisely what we have in common.

This is what makes us human.

In denying this as common, we are denying the connect.

And this is how the tribe dies. When we do not connect in shared emotion, we do not build on our ties with each other. In creating our little private silos, we forget to laugh at ourselves, our foolishness making ourselves a little more linear, a little tougher on ourselves and others.

Is this an argument against privacy? No.

It is but a reflection on the consequences of an obsession with privacy.
And a sharing of my confusion of this paradox of privacy.

We seek privacy for what passes, or for what is common to all.
And what is public is what is not even real.

The public domain includes opinons, data on the material collective and negotiations. None of this is about universality. All of this is about parcels, sharing, lines and boundaries. Ownership, cliques and a tug of war. Moves.

It doesn’t parse.
The paradox.

(P.S. The accountant in me is asking: Does this mean stock variables are private and flow variables public. Go Figure)

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