It seems like a ridiculous question. We use our computers all the time, and we don’t ask anyone for permission. Our work devices are a bit different, but let’s forget them and stick with our own computers, phones, and tablets. We own them. We can do whatever we want with them, at least within reason and the law.
Unfortunately, that’s not true any more. Those of us with iPhones and iPads, for example, can only run programs that have been approved by Apple. We can get around this with jailbreaking, but that’s not reasonable for the average user, or even entirely legal.
I’m loving Antichamber so far…except for the parts where you have to build stairs. So finicky, so error prone! Thank God there aren’t many of them. Great game otherwise!
Basically there are two sorts of cultures. In crowded countries such as Japan and Britain we tend to have ‘negative politeness’. This means that people are aware of others’ need for privacy, and their desire not to be intruded upon. In countries where there is more space, like the USA, people are more inclined to practise ‘positive politeness’, where the emphasis is on inclusion and openness. The anthropologist Kate Fox says that what looks like stand-offishness in a negative-politeness culture is really a sort of consideration for people’s privacy.
So you see, for every overarching rule about how to have relationships, there will always be another that contradicts it. You may act in a caring way towards somebody, but if you have not absorbed the rules of that person’s family of origin or culture you can still get it wrong.
Philippa Perry, How To Stay Sane
If you’re reading this, you already know I go a bit overboard on privacy. I recently changed my mailing address, and it took some research, but I’m pretty happy with the result. Most of it was straightforward, but there’s one small trick that’s worth mentioning.
There’s lots of existing knowledge on using PO boxes, ghost addresses, and CMRAs instead of your home address. (Why not your home address? A few thoughts.) Unfortunately, none of them are ideal. Ghost addresses are good for filling out forms, but not so good at receiving actual mail. PO boxes are good for mail, but not packages, and you can’t use them for many purposes.
It’s great to see how far they’ve come. And it’s packed here! Good sign for the future.