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Technology is truly augmenting ourselves and this medium "shapes the scale and form of human association and action", as Marshall McLuhan once said.

With that given said, compare a whistleblower, say 20 years ago, with one today. Snowden not only had the world's greatest communication platform at his disposal, to disseminate whatever information he cared about, but now he can still address millions of people, speaking at the world's greatest universities and giving interviews, while being in exile.

Regardless on where you stand on these privacy/spying issues, I think it's hard to deny the fact that he started a dialog, and now the entire world can be part of it.




McLuhan also wrote:

> With the telegraph Western man began a process of putting his nerves outside his body. Previous technologies had been extensions of physical organs: the wheel is a putting-outside-ourselves of the feet; the city wall is a collective outering of the skin. But electronic media are, instead, extensions of the central nervous system, an inclusive and simultaneous field. Since the telegraph we have extended the brains and nerves of man around the globe. As a result, the electronic age endures a total uneasiness, as of a man wearing his skull inside and his brain outside. We have become peculiarly vulnerable. The year of the establishment of the commercial telegraph in America, 1844, was also the year Kierkegaard published "The Concept of Dread."

> [...] When new technologies impose themselves on societies long habituated to older technologies, anxieties of all kinds result. Our electronic world now calls for a unified field of global awareness; the kind of private consciousness appropriate to literate man can be viewed as an unbearable kink in the collective consciousness demanded by electronic information movement.

http://projects.chass.utoronto.ca/mcluhan-studies/v1_iss2/1_...

The sensual intimacy of what Snowden revealed is hard to convey to people who don't live on the internet. They don't understand the violation and the anxiety. Even John Oliver can't change that.


>Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth's atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.

-McLuhan


Funny, I would say that the perception of this as a violation is something only felt by those who don't understand that the whole point of putting your nerves outside your body is to expose them to the world. If you wanted to keep them private, all you had to do was nothing.

Or to boil it down to John Oliver terms since you seem to be a fan, nobody's going to see any pictures of your dick unless you take pictures of your dick.


To put it in terms that match our political realities, no one will see your dick provided you take exceptional care to not expose your dick for even the slightest second, otherwise, there are too many people watching to make a guarantee.


Technology marches ever forwards.


> If you wanted to keep them private, all you had to do was nothing.

You are advocating for the complete repression of any idea that hasn't yet become both known and acceptable to the mainstream.

It's not going to always be pictures of your dick. To name just a few of the most obvious groups with real risks, you're effectively saying that anybody with unpopular political views, anybody LGBT, and anybody with a religious belief that isn't "Christian" shouldn't participate in modern society and the network interactions that participation requires if they want to stay safe?

Blaming the victims for not staying out of sight isn't the solution.


Especially because governments don't go repressive overnight. What's perfectly reasonable today may not be in ten years. (Example, Iran.)


No, I'm not. No clue how you got there.

If you have an unpopular view, speak out. Be oppressed. Fight back against the oppression if you can, and roll over and die if you cannot. If you win, your side is and always was right. If you lose, the opposite.


You are saying that oppression is part of the natural order, and that the winners always have the moral high ground.

I find your Nietzschen worldview abhorrent.


Again, no I'm not. And I find your implication that I believe or care about such a thing as a "natural order" abhorrent.

You're not very good at this reading thing, are you?


Note that I am not the person you were originally discussing with.

How else am I to interpret "If you win, your side is and always was right. If you lose, the opposite."?


As descriptive rather than prescriptive. And certainly not naturalist.


Oh. What's your email account password, please?


I don't have one. Password authentication is SO last decade.


Then maybe you could upload an unredacted archive so we may peruse it. Or are you a hypocrite?


I already have - that's called sending email.

I am of course a hypocrite, as are we all, I'm sure. But I don't see how that's relevant here.


I would love to read more along these lines. Do you have recommendations for a McLuhan book?


Interesting how it highlights the importance of independent countries and legal systems.




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