Two years ago, I wrote this in my year-end message to the LIRNEasia team: The first thing that comes to mind is the book club. Not something that LIRNEasia management initiated, but something that spontaneously emerged. Having learned more from the books that I hid under my desk in school than from formal education, I strongly believe the value of reading. And I happen to also believe that fiction and poetry are perhaps the best vehicles for communicating the most abstract of truths. The business gurus and even the foundations are now going on about the power of stories, another thing LIRNEasia was ahead of the curve on.
My work on privacy in the 1990s greatly benefited from my teaching. My classes were like laboratories where we tested out scenarios and concepts. I (and my students) also engaged with science fiction. I still talk about the extraordinarily powerful, low-tech surveillance techniques described by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid’s Tale. That was brought to me by a student.