the full implications of this latest app and its claims re anonymity are somewhat lost on me, but the full horrors of the video sales-pitch are not…
a recent NYT article by Stanley Fish fails to distinguish between several apsects of anonymity online (and off) and the notion of privacy, and explores the trail that leads from an assumption that all anonymity is necessarily in the service of no-good.
there are nods in the direction of ‘fair & balanced’ in the piece, but most of it seems to find the idea of anyone’s anonymity as pretty well tantamount to their declaration of evil intent. some of the comments in response seem to support fish’s report – and after all, he does couch it as a report into several new books and ‘studies’ – but there are also some comments that point out that one’s first amendment rights respect the notion of free speech, even when that free speech may contain untruths.
yes, untruths are one thing, is the implication, but anonymous posters are intent on not only untruthing, but slandering at will, shaming others, and spreading exhortations to rape and violence. dearie me! of course, this doesn’t apply to us over here in australia just yet, as we thankfully do not have a constitution that sets it all down in black and white to argue over…otoh, laws and regulations get to be passed under tables that certainly limit our privacy, fueled by similar claims that the government needs to keep an eye on suspicious emails, websites, blogs and so on that might be detrimental to our… er…security.
pardon me while i cough at the irony of being spied on for my own security by an unknown untrusted other…
and what happens to your online self after you cark it? the topic is starting to excite the interest of researchers and commentators alike, reports this other NYT article [thanks to steve fr the links].
in this lengthy and fascinating piece, several stories of what has happened to the digital remains of bloggers and online presences in general illustrate the notion of the digital afterlife. as usual, there are several sides to every notion, and one side that is considered relates to the actual resource that digital archives provide the anthropologists and social researchers of the future. some researchers point out that digital files are if anything, less reliable archives than the more material. and of course, there’s the issue of whether one cares about, or wants to leave digital trails of oneself hanging about after death. even if relatives and friends wish to save or delete what is there, if one leaves no passwords to various accounts, this renders it nigh on impossible for them to do – unless they are willing to engage with google, yahoo and so on, by fowarding to them their own personal details and copies of one’s death certificate.
hence, it seems, companies have recently sprung up designed to make it easier for you to determine what happens to all your online memorabilia after you die. the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well, at least.
[David Eagleman’s] speculative afterlives end up offering provocative takes on what mortality and legacy really mean. One story posits that there are three deaths, the last coming when your name is spoken for the final time. In another, there is a hell in which you see yourself as others saw you; and in yet another, we sit in the afterlife looking back at life for evidence of our influence, as long as it lingers. “Death Switch,” the story, suggests that there is no afterlife as we think of it but that “a version of us” lives on in the endlessly sophisticated last notes we each send out, creating a strange network of “transactions with no one to read them.” The afterlife isn’t some other place or state of being. “Instead an afterlife occurs for that which exists between us.”
check the article for further links and some interesting reading….
here’s a well-researched and lengthy article examining the issue of privacy, and the legalities surrounding the matter of ‘identity’ in the digital age – starting with instances of employers using online searches to determine whether or not employees should keep their jobs, or even be employed in the first place. alerted to this on the email list by one of our old hands, and well worth the read.
the discussion in the article is based on the fact that we have the ability now to keep permanent records of everything everyone has ever posted or written on the internet. the article also deals with the potential of web3.0 to search and find almost anything anyone might wish to track…using new technologies such as face recognition for example….
recent article in “information week” plays right into my cassandra-like fears, and anxieties about the coming world-order of 1984-type double-speak. the writer, stephen saunders, apparently has some cache somehwre, although i admit having never heard of him.
todays’ UK Guardian tells that the UK govt will allow companies to track your internet usage to supply you with ‘better’ targetted ads. the EU doesn’t like it. whither civil liberties in the UK? adsense anyone?
see article on “government faces legal action over online snooping”
hey frank – web 3.0 anyone?