How can we know the dancer from the dance?

 In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories…

Personas asks the question, how does the internet see you?  A vast question and one with complexities we are only just beginning to understand. The impact on our lives, especially those who have never known a time without ubiquitous hyperconnections, is particularly interesting to parents and educators.

Colleagues at school had some good insights about the nature of digital citizenship and the challenges of online identity provoked by this site. Data mining is a new, yet to be explored concept for many. Most people have ‘googled’ their own name at some stage to check out their online representation but this site attempts to summarise the data available to challenge us.

My own name produces 9 results and 6 of them are related to ‘me’.

‘Julia Gillard’ produces 29.

The issue of the many Darcy Moores’ has always existed, of course. By this I mean not just the many people with that name on our planet but the various notions of self one has and the challenges of representing (shifting) identit(ies) coherently.

I feel that the representation (the 6 that are mine) is basically as I want it to be and as it is. What really interests me deeply is how my two young daughters will manage their digital selves as they grow, learn and change.

It is going to be a fascinating journey.

The journey ahead...

I do wonder how you feel about the results ‘your name’ produces? Would you post and tell us?

BTW I have had no problems at ‘customs’.

Thanks to @pipcleaves for sharing this site and here’s the poem that inspired the title.

UPDATE: @zecool sent me, The Web Means the End of Forgetting

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The views expressed at this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

1 Comment

  1. Russell Darnley:

    When I search my name, there are 13 pages with links that involve my name and if I click the link “repeat the search with the omitted results included.” there are 86 pages.

    I’m not entirely comfortable with the exposure we have on the Internet but I’m resigned to live with it. The relative anonymity and privacy my parents generation had is now very much a thing of the past. If I look back another generation into the last decade of the 19th century, and my grandparent’s childhood, I see that at times people didn’t even register births.

    How public our lives have become. I wasn’t really happy with the iris and finger print scanning that was a routine feature of entering the USA a few years ago, or the extensive CCTV surveillance I encountered in the UK last year but this is the nature of the world now.

    The question of data mining does worry me, in so far as it might contribute to more an more believable oportunities for identity theft, but the fact that a multi faceted impression of me might be rendered from the references to my name on the Internet isn’t of itself a problem. I remain conscious that every post I make is a public statement.

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