February 16, 2007
“A suit was filed in a real US state court on behalf of a man whose avatar was ousted and his Second Life land confiscated after Linden Labs concluded he got the property via rigged online auctions. Hackers broke into Second Life computers last year and stole membership data, raising concerns that the avatars could be stripped of the anonymity that frees them to express their inner selves in the fantasy world.”
This loss of privacy is an important change to society. It means that we will leave an even wider audit trail through our lives than we do now. And it’s not only a matter of making sure this audit trail is accessed only by “legitimate” parties: an employer, the government, etc. Once data is collected, it can be compiled, cross-indexed, and sold; it can be used for all sorts of purposes. It can be accessed both legitimately and illegitimately. And it can persist for your entire life.
Paul Virillio paints a morbid picture in his book, ‘The Information Bomb’, about the loss of privacy in our lives. He warns against the long-term physiological, psychological, and cultural impacts of an environment suffused and fueled by digital information. “A digitally dominated environment is one in which the capacity to distinguish between reality and virtual reality atrophies because people no longer possess the mental ability necessary to actually know the world—or even themselves. The power of information technology to penetrate, stupefy, de-fuse the human mind, and wreak havoc on information infrastructures is akin to the power of radioactivity to penetrate matter—to destroy, mutate, and contaminate for centuries. An information bomb ticking away in those short nose-to-screen distances between mind and machine, tethering what is “known” to what is selected/presented/transmitted/packaged/advertised/highlighted.”
February 16, 2007
Writing and chunking …
Research and design …
Full time job or Ph.D