I guess Socrates had a good point when he revolted against the printed word.

Today's Case-in-Point:

Slashdot | AIM's New Terms Of Service: ....
[ link "AOL has posted new terms of service for AIM, that include the right for AOL to use anything and everything you send through AIM in any way they see fit, without informing you. A sample passage: '...by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy.'"
(Via Blogpulse Top Links)

My personal favorite is the part where they say, "You waive any right to privacy." Well I guess I can say I'm not too surprised. Maybe MTV and Viacom are partnering with AOL/Time Warner to use our instant message conversations to start some weird new reality TV show.

What's next? Mobile phone terms of service agreements that grant companies like Verizon the ability to do whatever they want with their customer's conversations, voice-mails, pictures, and text messages?

To me, this situation also begs certain questions about our concepts of public and private space in relation to our current technological and social interactions occurring under the umbrella of capitalism.

It also makes me wonder about our contemporary understanding of time and our concepts of what a contract is or isn't. Most often both of these characteristics are merely relegated to scrolling down the page as fast as we can and clicking the "I Agree" box. But did you really agree?