When i first read the cyberculture literature from the late 80s and early 90s, i was left with an impression that early social technology was all based on the assumption that everyone had multiple personality disorder. Worse: if you didn’t have it, it was going to give you MPD. There were even references to the idea that everyone was partially MPD. This was all wrapped up in the rhetoric of be whoever you want to be – race, sex, sexuality does not matter. I found it horrifying and my repulsion grounded my demand to separate between digital fragmented identity and the process of maintaining a faceted identity.
I have a funny feeling that social technology is back to developing software based on disorders and instigating new ones in people. Only, we’ve move away from schizophrenia and onto autism. Did you ever get the sneaking suspicion that this new wave of “social software” is not really making social life easier, but permitting the kind of social awkwardness that is recognized in Asperger’s?
I wonder if this is intentional or a by-product of the tech culture. I’ve been fascinated to see a strong increase in the publicity of autism and Asberger’s lately and an even more noticeable increase in the number of people mocking others’ autistic tendencies with respect to the lack of social appropriateness.
[also posted to many-to-many]
Update: followups from Weinberger and jluster
In London, i went to the Dali exhibit. At the entrance, they had hundreds of “wacky” quotes by Dali about sex, his philosophy (and his belief that philosophy doesn’t exist), art and everything you could imagine. I came across one that made me immediately think of a few of the copyright crusaders that i know, so i thought i’d share:
Ideas are made to be copied. I have enough ideas to sell them on. I prefer that they are stolen so that i don’t have to actually use them myself.
It’s from an interview where he’s being asked about his art, copies and the public.
Apparently, i was in the SF Chronicle last week. Sadly, i missed this fact, being offline and all. (Does anyone have a copy??)
I think that there’s something very karmic about how i attend conferences, meet interesting people and end up saying silly things in the press right before finals every semester… when i’m unable to respond to any of the email.
Anyhow, what a silly looking picture of me. What on earth is happening to my lips? Ah, fuzz…
Ah, it’s so good to be home. There’s internet and a kitty cat and loving roommates. I will say that there’s nothing like traveling abroad to make me appreciate all of the goodness in my life. I even found myself singing Grand Canyon on the way home.
i love my country
by which i mean
i am indebted joyfully
to all the people throughout its history
who have fought the government to make right
Running away for a bit makes me turn back and see all of the myopia and screwups of this country from a different perspective. I get to remember that i love the land, that i love (many of) the people… i could do without the government and without a certain self-centered element. But, by and large, going away lets me remember the good parts. I’ve been on the road for a month – three different countries, many different cities.
Oh, and CHI was … interesting. So many good people and that it was definitely worth the adventure. It just took me a day without Internet to remember that nothing mattered but the people. And i got to see a few museums and go shopping in London. This kind of reprieve always does feel good even if the guilt of work hangs over my head. I did make up for it all by meeting with another blogging researcher in London and then managing to attend a “dinner” (where dinner==pub) of all bloggers – that was a hoot.
Anyhow, i’m back to the internet. Just in time for finals and extended chaos. Must make it to summer… must make it to summer…