Sunday, December 5, 2010
You're Already Out.
Every now and then I have remind myself that the internet is a data stream that I am already in. Even if I tried to keep myself anonymous, I could not actually be anonymous. You can't be hidden. There is nowhere that you can have no register of yourself. The stores you use have data in which you are listed. You're on the reports of sales registers, card-swipe readers. Security cameras contain recordings of you, both audio and visual. So where is there to try to hide? Where can one be anonymous?
I have railed at the injustice of using the "Sacred Anonymous" in the service of political backbiting. One of the most revered authors in the western monastic tradition is Anonymous. Being anonymous is having humility.
Anonymity should be reserved for those who would be persecuted for exposing crimes of their superiors who are actually in a position to retaliate. I'm totally for protecting the anonymity of whistle-blowers. And inside sources. But that really isn't the case with much of the blog-splotter being thrown around. With so much casual anonymity, it's too easy to speak so much "for" and "against" people, regular common people who are known. But, the speakers are unknown.
Also, our computers are like our fingerprints, we have so many interchanges with other computers giving our URL's to sites we don't even know. So we can only be anonymous to our peers, while those with power can identify us at will.
And finally, it's just sad that so many smart, literate people are afraid to just be themselves. To actually own the words coming from their minds. In the new-millennium, all of us have been "outed" on the internet.