“People have shown they are quite willing to give up privacy for convenience”

This is often said, for example in the clip below. The video itself is by conspiracy theorists, who actually mention chem trails, but most of the discussion is of Elon Musk’s purposed neural lace.

I do not think people have shown a willingness to give up privacy for convenience. I think people care quite a bit about privacy, that is why they undertake the enormous inconvenience of typing with their thumbs when speaking commands into the phone is much more convenient. People have shown a willingness to give up a theoretical intangible sort of privacy for an incredible convenience. That’s what the guy in the video is talking about, as does everyone who repeats this. Google gives you access to the world’s knowledge and email allows you to instantly reach anyone anywhere. We know that theoretically the NSA could read everything we type into a search engine or email, unless we use TOR or PGP which few do. However, this is mostly theoretical and intangible. We don’t get calls from the FBI saying, “You typed that in? You weirdo.” We know that government agencies don’t have time to look at all the data they collect and we don’t expect that they would ever read anything unless we typed something truly terrible which most people have no interest in. And if you did care on principle alone to stop this theoretical intangible privacy invasion you would have to make an enormous sacrifice. One would literally be reduced to sending letters and going to the library to communicate and access the world’s knowledge. One could use PGP and TOR but by the very act of doing so they would shine a light on themselves, likely still lose their privacy and be subject to an invasion of privacy that was no longer theoretical. One final point is that AI will also allow for a non-theoretical invasion of privacy. A machine like IBM’s Watson will one day be able to read all our emails and search queries at human level reading comprehension.

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