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Some may see smart devices as part of a greater cultural movement, in which corporations entice individuals to trade privacy for convenience

Someone who thinks these things are a gimmick, and a harmful gimmick at that, is right to express an opinion about the value these devices add. The same way I'd encourage a friend to quit chain smoking tobacco cigarettes, and not visit his house with my family if it were full of secondhand smoke.

Relevant xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1807/

So, you’d tell your chain smoking friend to quit smoking every time he lit a cigarette?

At some point, I would think he would say it’s none of your business.

Peer pressure is the main reason I quit smoking. So yes-- if not every time, then at least regularly and consistently. When technology starts to look like a recreational drug, treat it like a recreational drug.

Perhaps you should write your concerns in a blog? Then you can post it every time. And I’ll post mine:


This will create a lot less noise, which drowns out any meaningful discussion.

For instance, saying that I use a piece of technology because it’s like a recreational drug is not very convincing.

Addressing the line between having an always listening smartphone with a gps, would be a great place to start.

Why is this downvoted? Peer pressure is by and large the best way to curb thoughts and actions that are harmful to individuals and society. The current echo chamber on the net filled with alternative/radical theories is the outcome of insufficient peer pressure. Nutbars always existed in real-life too, society was just better at keeping them from doing too much harm.

Those of us who are nutbars hate society for forcing us to conform. Given that a lot of us are more tech-savvy than society, we love that we tend to be able to work around its restrictions.

Also, obligatory http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

I think it's dangerous to conflate freedom of speech with moral relativism. Freedom to speak does not suddenly make morally wrong actions right. Ex: murder, slavery, forcible confinement, poor treatment of women and children, and so on.

I realize we are quibbling the definition of "nutbar", but my line is drawn at the extreme end, not the moderate end. It's one thing to advocate Haskell as the perfect language for building an OS (crazy talk, but I support it) and quite another to advocate violent uprising against minorities in society (a la StormFront). I hope we can agree that there's a distinction at play here.

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