The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Hard To Remember The Last Time I Was Excited By A Privacy Policy

Posted on | January 24, 2014 | 23 Comments

by Smitty

The colonoscopy went well enough today, which you may not care about too much. After the week of intestinal issues around Thanksgiving time, it seemed prudent. Especially given that you never know where the ObamaCare wrecking ball will swing next.

Typically, reading a software license or a privacy policy is right up there with a colonoscopy on the “Thanks, no thanks” scale. The advent of the word processor seems to have given us the idea of chaining ourselves up, rather than liberating ourselves.

So, when you see something like this, if you’re me, you’re genuinely cheered:

Your browser also gives us your IP address, which could identify you, but we don’t use it to do that. For real. When you use the network, we also collect potentially personally identifying information in the form of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. But we don’t use that information to identify you, and we handle and disclose these addresses in the same way we handle other potentially personally identifying information as described below.

The notion of using communication to reveal, rather than hide, is stunning these days. The idea that all those hellish legal requirements are met in the right column, while something humanly legible is there in the left, is just. . .sane.

It’s like putting C code in the left column, with the bare assembly code in the right. StackExchange is probably violating some law in communicating directly with users like that, rather than burying them in gibberish.

What if the American people were to return to a day when a reasonably educated, non-specialist could read and comprehend our laws? Have I snorted too much Drano, or not enough?

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Comments

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Did you go “twilight” or without anesthesia? I have friends who have done the later and said they liked it better.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Congrats, Chris – glad to hear the good news.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    I was totally out.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I would rather have no memories of it. Sort of like driving through Ohio.

  • Pingback: DeRP’sViews You Can Use 01.24.2014 | Dead Republican Party (DeRP)

  • http://deadrepublicanparty.wordpress.com/ rmnixondeceased

    But less distressing …

  • Pingback: Hard To Remember The Last Time I Was Excited By A Privacy Policy : The Other McCain | Dead Citizen's Rights Society

  • DaveO

    Early in our history, the argument was made that Lawyers should write law, because lawyers are trained in the law and know the structure of the law and can therefore write good (good = sound, not a moral metric) law. Which is why so many lawyers are politicians, instead of ordinary folks.
    Then the argument became that only Lawyers should judge the law because judges-as-lawyers were trained in the law and understood the structure and moreso the emanating penumbras of the law. Which is why you don’t see any judges who are not also lawyers.
    Lawyers argue wiith other Lawyers in front of robed lawyers about laws written by lawyers. This is the definition of a self-licking ice cream cone and the answer to Smitty’s question: no. Not until the law is taken away from all lawyers and returned to the people.

  • DaveO

    Early in our history, the argument was made that Lawyers should write law, because lawyers are trained in the law and know the structure of the law and can therefore write good (good = sound, not a moral metric) law. Which is why so many lawyers are politicians, instead of ordinary folks.
    Then the argument became that only Lawyers should judge the law because judges-as-lawyers were trained in the law and understood the structure and moreso the emanating penumbras of the law. Which is why you don’t see any judges who are not also lawyers.
    Lawyers argue wiith other Lawyers in front of robed lawyers about laws written by lawyers. This is the definition of a self-licking ice cream cone and the answer to Smitty’s question: no. Not until the law is taken away from all lawyers and returned to the people.

  • DaveO

    Early in our history, the argument was made that Lawyers should write law, because lawyers are trained in the law and know the structure of the law and can therefore write good (good = sound, not a moral metric) law. Which is why so many lawyers are politicians, instead of ordinary folks.
    Then the argument became that only Lawyers should judge the law because judges-as-lawyers were trained in the law and understood the structure and moreso the emanating penumbras of the law. Which is why you don’t see any judges who are not also lawyers.
    Lawyers argue wiith other Lawyers in front of robed lawyers about laws written by lawyers. This is the definition of a self-licking ice cream cone and the answer to Smitty’s question: no. Not until the law is taken away from all lawyers and returned to the people.

  • DaveO

    DC VAMC? I was told I’d be totally out, but the anesthesia failed again.

  • Zohydro

    “Twilight” anesthesia—truly a tool of Ol’ Nick!

    I freaked out… Struggled with the staff… They gave me more… Hours in recovery waiting for my blood pressure to come up… Hallucinating… It was horrible!

    I later read the otherwise boring procedure report which closed dryly with, “procedure performed with difficulty due to the patient’s anxiety”!

    By the will of Allah The Merciful, no more fentanyl for “Zohydro”!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • Rosalie

    Yes, we do care. Glad it went well.

  • Zohydro

    +1 for the sole on-topic comment…

  • La Pucelle

    Upvote for Billy Connelly alone.

  • La Pucelle

    Glad to hear the procedure went well.

    It’s sort of a chicken-and-egg question, isn’t it? Turgid legalese CYAs are mostly a response to the labyrinthine laws in existence, which are probably redundant at points but can’t be pared down without a lot of work and even more lawyers, the only ones who can navigate the mess, but end up just adding more mess.

    It’s like a Jenga puzzle that hasn’t fallen over yet. Move the wrong one and Game Over, Man!

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    C is just barely better than reading assembler.

    Maybe something more like Pascal?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Probably smells better, too.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Jefferson wrote (paraphrasing by memory) that a reasonable law was one that reasonable men could be expected to obey in normal circumstances. Part of that formula has to be comprehension: how can one be expected to obey a law only a specialist can understand?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Good to hear you got the “all clear.”

    I’ve always wondered what leads a person in medical school to decide to specialize in scoping out colons. Maybe it’s a high-paid specialty? Should be, I guess.

    Or maybe they just figure if they had a general practice they would spend the day conversing with a bunch of assholes anyway.

  • Veteran Coder

    I’d argue for something even more heretical: COBOL!
    It’s procedural with clean and clear syntax, and if data names are chosen to reflect their actual usage – it’s self documenting. Reading well written code out loud sounds like you’re describing what it does – in layman’s terms! ;-)

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I never liked COBOL. It was too “fiddly” for me.
    FORTRAN was good. Just terrible at business math (until they added the ability to link in libraries of stuff).

    Just my own preference, though. I miss the power of assembly language coding, though. Those days were fun.