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A Point of View: The guilty thrill of reading other people's mail - BBC News
"Just waiting in the presence of what we want is a civilising process. In order to have private lives to share in the long run, we need to have private lives kept private in the short run. If we did not have diaries and letters to read then history would be dull indeed. But if we make every diary public and publish every letter now, then life will become dull very quickly. All conversations would be whispered in secret, as they are in totalitarian states. In this sense, the destruction of privacy and the rise of tyranny are part of the same package.
That a secret comes to us over time - and so brings its time with it - is one of the things that separate mere gossip from true confession. Old letters ripen into permanent poetry. Waiting for what we want is one of the things we have to teach our children. Learning to want what we wait for is one way we civilise ourselves."
letters  email  privacy  transparency  hacking  ClintonHilary  PascalAmy  Sony  leaks  biography  history 
july 2015 by petej
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