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April 19, 2007

Posted by K in contemporary.

I’ve been tending towards the morbid recently. I blame exams. HOWEVER, now that the subsies are done…I shall be HAPPY *forces self to forget that the MAINS are what matter,lol*

I received a forward today about the dangers of internet interaction. How easy it is to stalk, and how easy it is to unintentionally give away information about yourself. The age of the internet is strange- and I don’t know if our generation will be able to graft it into our system, like another limb. We will always be aware that the ‘net is a virtual world, we will always be assailed by paradoxes- how much of ourselves is actually on the net. Is one to be a liar on the internet? Where does one draw the line?

Subsequent generations will not know these irritants, if you will. Little children of 5 will be net savvy. They already are, I believe. The older ones will be doing fantastically briiliant impossibilities on it. The virtual world will become so complex that the real and the virtual will become equal opposites.

The question of identity is an integral one; an individual will have grappled with with it at some point or the other in his/her life. The internet merely extends the boundaries, teases you to question if the boundaries are really there. We had an interesting paper last year in Philosophy…Nihilism on the Information Highway. I don’t remember it now, but I remember it raised pertinent questions, and it forced us to think about a lot of issues; the use of aliases on the internet, the anonymity, the easy access to information and what it translated into in our lives.

The email forward scared me. It tempts me to shut down my blog, get off orkut, facebook, the two forums I frequent, because I’m sure I’ve given some part of me away on the internet. It is impossible to not reveal a part of yourself when you interact-even in the virtual world; for at the end of the day, those are people you write to.

But then I think, that doesn’t make much sense. The blog is now a part of me. Orkut and facebook has allowed me to get in touch with old school friends who I never thought I’d locate again. There are four or five people who i don’t personally know that I enjoy interacting with over orkut, and most of them are from the maiden forums that I like to visit.

The internet is the medium that allowed me to contact Maiden’s management(that nothing came of it is another matter, hehe), the internet is what allowed me to go to the Maiden concert, and the internet is what allows me to find out what happens in distant Baghdad,Β  and the internet is what gives me a glimpse into peoplehood of ordinary people.

I feel safe. I may be living in a fool’s paradise, but I’m not convinced.



1. Indrani - April 20, 2007

Yeah, I know what you mean πŸ˜€
The paper’s made me re-think a few things too, and I decided that I AM committing myself in many ways; it’s not merely a virtual experiment whose consequences I can easily avoid. Kierkegaard said that you hafta implement them in your actual life, and take risks. I think the urge is opposite to the urge which brought me to the net in the first place, like he said. But the opposing urge only came after I thought about it, before risking it. So “my work isn’t over” once I’ve mused about it on the net, in the virtual world πŸ˜‰
Cheers !! And DONT ever delete your blog πŸ™‚ It is too nice πŸ˜€

2. Keshav - April 20, 2007

what would we do without MFU?

3. Vasudha - April 20, 2007

Yeah,totally agree.
Blogging isn’t giving away a part of myself anymore.Its simply an extension of myself now.

Sheesh.No wonder my blog looks lame πŸ˜‰

4. Vasudha - April 20, 2007

Yeah,totally agree.
Blogging isn’t giving away a part of myself anymore.Its simply an extension of myself now.

Sheesh.No wonder my blog looks that lame πŸ˜‰

5. Vasudha - April 20, 2007

uh oh.

6. sporadicblogger - April 20, 2007

@ Keshav- probably get a life! *snigger snigger* πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

7. Hanedin - April 22, 2007

Heylo random person.
I know what you mean. I have been trying to ensure anonymity while blogging but I have realized it’s next to impossible, not because of some insatiable demon that rests within the internet itself but because of the skewered nature of anonymity.
And as far as giving a part of yourself away, or exposing a part of it to others…it’s probably as daunting a task to avoid especially ’cause it’s so tempting.
I am just blabbering now, I have been visiting your blog for quite a bit. Did not realized that your are the sporadicblogger…

Oh and best of luck for the mains. Reminds me, I need to study.

8. anonymouse - April 24, 2007

There are basically two ways to look at this:

1) Try and keep your privacy as it was.
2) Realise that the genie has flown out of the bottle, and live publicly instead. There is no privacy any longer, so we must expose everyone equally.

The point isn’t to ensure anonymity, but to ensure trustworthy pseudonomity (did I just coin that word?).

You do need a reliable identity to communicate with other people. There isn’t a reason to tie it to your real world identity (those who _ARE_ interested in knowing that can always find out.).

This is a fairly important distinction, which a lot of people fail to make.

The question isn’t whether I trust $REALPERSON behind this blog, it’s whether I can trust what sporadicblogger has written to be able to reference it elsewhere as a trustworthy data source. (I know your name, since I did come over via a blog reference who used it, but in this context, it makes sense not to use it.).

9. anonymouse - April 24, 2007

Oh, and the Internet is NOT safe. It’s like the real world, it has it’s safe areas and dark alleys.

One network to bring them together …

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