My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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digital mirrors

My favorite quote from the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium appeared in the backchannel on the last day:

Scott Golder: “We build digital mirrors. And when you see a digital mirror, what do you do? Fix your hair, and straighten your tie.”

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2 comments to digital mirrors

  • This reminds me of Wilde’s preface to Dorian Gray

    The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.

    The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. […]

    Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

    All art is quite useless.

    More on this from me and Weinberger

  • I thought that Ballmer’s quote that “There’s no innovation that we’ve seen come out of at least Linux,” was quite… uh… stirring.