|Danny Hillis (photo from Wikipedia)
Want some thought-provoking reading? Try Edge (http://www.edge.org
.) You’ll find lots of questions and many different takes on possible answers. The latest group of essays deal with the issue of privacy, a current topic of interest in light of Wikileaks.
First a little background:The Edge Organization is a science and technology think tank of intellectuals…some of the most interesting minds in the world. According to its Web site, its purpose is “to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.” It was established as a nonprofit foundation in 1988.
A part of this foundation is “The Third Culture” which consists of thinkers who address the meaning of life and how we define ourselves.
Among the brilliant minds in this group is Danny Hillis, born in Baltimore, who used to work in imagineering at Disney. He also founded the Long Now Foundation
which proposes a project to build a clock designed to function for millennia.
Danny Hillis has recently asked a question that many of us have been thinking about lately:..the issue of privacy. “The question of secrecy in the information age is clearly a deep social (and mathematical) problem, and well worth paying attention to. When does my right to privacy trump your need for security? Should a democratic government be allowed to practice secret diplomacy? Would we rather live in a world with guaranteed privacy or a world in which there are no secrets? If the answer is somewhere in between, how do we draw the line?”
You might also try answering this question for yourself. Maybe you’d also like to think about some of the annual questions that have been asked in the past.
2005 “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?”
2006 “What is your dangerous idea”?
2007 “What are you optimistic about? Why?”
2008 “What have you changed your mind about?”
2009 “What will change everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?”
2010 “How has the Internet changed the way you think?”