Privacy is a modern problem of the online world. At least so it would seem if you read today’s many newspaper, magazine, and online articles about the topic. Some people believe that this is a modern problem. Not so! Our ancestors had similar fears about protecting their privacy from encroaching modern technology
Glenn Fleishman wrote an article several years ago at http://goo.gl/d9YKm6 entitled The Killer App of 1900, pointing out that the privacy fears and phobias of more than 100 years ago were little different from today. The following words were spoken in court by attorney Henry Anderson in 1905 A.D.:
“Unless we adopt the principles of socialism, It can hardly be contended that It is the province of government, either state or municipal, to undertake the manufacture or supply of the ordinary subjects of trade and commerce, or to impose burdens upon the whole community for the supposed benefit of a few….
“The ownership and operation of municipal light plants stands upon a different basis from that of the ownership of water works, with which it is so often compared. Water is a necessity to the health and life of every individual member of a community…It must be supplied in order to preserve the public health, whether it can be done profitably or not, and must be furnished, not to a few individuals, but to every individual.
“Electric lights are different. Electricity is not in any sense a necessity, and under no conditions is it universally used by the people of a community. It is but a luxury enjoyed by a small proportion of the members of any municipality, and yet if the plant be owned and operated by the city, the burden of such ownership and operation must be borne by all the people through taxation.
“Now, electric light is not a necessity for every member of the community. It is not the business of any one to see that I use electricity, or gas, or oil in my house, or even that I use any form of artificial light at all.”
Interesting reading. It does sound familiar, however. You can read Fleishman’s full article at http://goo.gl/d9YKm6.
I wonder what our descendants in the year 2114 will think of OUR fears and phobias?