In this interesting debate from the iai.tv the “outspoken philosopher of science” Steve Fuller (also SI blogger and Warwick sociologist) debates Cory Doctorow and Kate Russell on the meaning of privacy in contemporary society. I’m pretty hostile to Fuller’s argument here but there’s some wonderful points in it (e.g. “transparency is just a euphemism for surveillance opportunities”, a general tendency towards privacy as a domain of litigation needing to be understood against the background of a weakened state) that I found extremely thought-provoking. The highlight though was Doctorow’s dismissal of big data evangelicalism: “The idea that bigger haystacks have more needles on them is dumb on its face”. Though I’ve read some of his blog posts, I’d never heard him speak before and hadn’t realised quite how interesting a thinker he is. His fiction seems to be informed by his information activism and online work – this sounds very interesting for instance.