Marx takes a typical professorial approach to dangers he sees inherent in phones that display the caller’s number. He approves a system for protecting the privacy of the caller by providing a mechanism to block display of the caller’s number. I vehemently disagree.
Anonymity is a precursor of breakdowns in courtesy, of which we have little left in our big cities. I had hoped the new display phones would at least permit modest retribution by letting me call back random 2 a.m. drunken hang-ups the next morning at 4 a.m. In situations where callers’ privacy properly needs to be preserved, let them hie to the nearest pay phone. That’ll rule out careless louts who haven’t the courtesy to apologize for inept dialing.