RAPID responses

rati

ration gap

[Re: We have no obligations to future generations: They’ll be better-off than us, Wednesday]
This is the first Jamie Whyte column with which I disagree. Just because a distant ancestor has performed some task that benefits me, centuries on, I owe nothing to him or her. If, for my own benefit, I resurfaced the street where Whyte now lives, years before he moved in, could I now go round to his house and demand money for it? A libertarian should reject any economic relationship that is not based on free agreement between parties. Further, if we borrow any amount and bill future generations, assuming they could pay, it’s possible our assumption will be wrong.

Edward Harris

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Intelligent product

[Re: Should we trust social networking companies to protect online privacy, Friday]
Nick Pickles should worry less about company intrusion and more about interference by the government. Private companies appeal to us through the value they offer us – social interaction in this case – but governments coerce us through fear of force. In exchange for the value of their products, I’m happy that my bank knows my address and date of birth, that Facebook knows my relationship status, and that my mobile phone provider can work out where I am. This information allows them to make their products better for me. Pickles should stop telling us we’re not informed enough to decide this for ourselves.

Andrew Bates

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