Technology, Thoughts & Trinkets

Touring the digital through type

Tag: genealogy

Privacy: A Quick Lit Review

123466172 A82A1D7522This isn’t a ‘full’ post, in the sense that I’m not actually going to get into any issues. Instead I’m going to put up a list of texts that are particularly helpful in getting into debates surrounding privacy, as well as some texts that deal with privacy as it relates to the process of digitization. I want to do this for two reasons: First, because I am curious to see how I would change this list in a year or two’s time, and second because when I was getting into my Master’s project I couldn’t find anything like the list I’ve prepared.

For the usual purposes of full disclosure/covering my ass, I’ll note that this list should be read as something ‘ongoing’/’in development’. It’s not comprehensive of everything that I’ve ever read and only reflects what I’ve been exposed to up until this point.

Core Books

Philosophical Dimensions of Privacy: An Anthology by Ferdinand D. Schoeman.
Somewhat amusingly, I finally got this book just a month or so after receiving my MA. Why is this the first book on the list? Because it would have saved me a metric buttload of time in going to primary sources to ‘catch up’ on the genealogy of privacy debates. Schoeman has done an exceptional job in collecting major issues and debates in privacy, drawing from prominent philosophical and legal theorists. The downside: it was published in 1984, so it misses the more contemporary discussions in the ongoing debates surrounding privacy. That said, its indispensable if you’re looking for a solid first academic discussion of privacy.

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Genealogy and the ‘Net

genealogyI’ve recently had the pleasure of reading some of Foucault’s Society Must be Defended. Over the course of the book Foucault will be radically changing his early positions, and I hope to note and discuss these changes as I come across them. This said, I’ve recently finished the first lecture and wanted to reflect on the power of genealogies, the fragmented character of the ‘net, and synthesize that with Wu and Goldsmith’s account of the Internet and Foucault’s own thoughts on power as repression. There’s a lot to do, but I think that it might be very profitable to at least toy around with this for a bit.

Genealogy

There is a tendency to try and capture knowledge in unitary architectures. Foucault equates this to trying to develop a unifying concept to explain the behaviour of each droplet of water that explodes from around a sperm whale when it breeches. In the very process of establishing a complex formula to receive this information, the act itself is lost.

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