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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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The End of Privacy Means the End of Taboos

We are testing what it is like to lose privacy now because if the species survives, we’ll develop a capability to not be embarrassed anymore. 

Privacy is an artifact of a precommunicative culture.  You’re not gonna have any.  The good thing about that is, a lot of behaviors that we’re embarrassed about or ashamed of, that could be used to control us, will no longer be able to control us because we’ll find out that everybody masturbates or everybody has this kind of sex with their spouse or eats this kind of food or picks their nose, or does whatever. 


They’ll be no privacy so all of a sudden, a lot of taboo won’t be taboo anymore and than which is truly taboo will kind of rise to the surface in a way and we’ll say, well we all can kind of agree that we don’t want to do this.  And we’ll know who’s doing that.  

But I find myself kind of unable to shake my childhood belief that the loss of privacy inherent in these technologies is a precursor to an almost biological or extrasensory loss of privacy that will come as the species evolves.  That we are testing what it is like to lose privacy now because if the species survives, we’ll develop a capability to not be embarrassed by that stuff anymore. 

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Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
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