Recently in the Identity Category
Europeans seem to be taking their real-world battles online with different views on domain names.
Wrote on it today: Cyberspace Unity Eludes Europeans
The EU wants people to use the newly launched .eu, while the national domain registries want people to use country domain names.
The second largest domain suffix after .com is .de for Germany, according to Verisign.
Do domain names matter? Hasn't Google killed the need for them?
The blogs have created another Dave. Now don't get me wrong. Some of my best friends are Daves, but we definitely have too many Daves.
Dr. SeussDid I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons, and she named them all Dave?
Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one, and calls out "Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!
This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn.
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate...
But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.
danah's always talking about privilege and I've started to think about this more consciously than before. Just about everyone here in Davos is privileged. Some have been born into privilege and some have gained it through their work. Some people carry their privilege well, others don't. There are people who seem to gloat in and flaunt their privilege, constantly bragging and doing the nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Others carry it naturally. Others seem to feel bad or strange having been chosen to be among the privileged. Some seem to guiltily enjoy the privilege.
Some seem to believe that the privilege they have comes with the responsibility to use it to help others, while others seem to think that privilege is something they deserve to use for their own personal gain.
It's interesting to watch. I wish I could do a survey of all of the people here and ask questions like, "Do you think you deserve the privilege you have, and why?" "What do you intend to do with the privilege and do you think you owe it to the world to focus your energies on helping those without privilege?" Then there are deeper questions about whether people are helping underprivileged people to gain more recognition, out of guilt, out of love, out of a sense of responsibility or some other reason.
I haven't attended any of the philanthropy sessions, but maybe that's what they talk about.
I personally think I deserve some of the privilege that I've gained, but that there are many who don't have as much privilege as I do who deserve it more. I think I owe a lot of my privilege to where I was born, the way my mother raised me, the people I've met and an odd combination of networking skills. I do feel extremely responsible for using the privilege that I currently have to solve as many of the world's problems as possible. I continue to remind myself that the particular serious of events that have put me in the position that I am in has more to do with the people around me than anything else and I owe it to them to carry this privilege well.
I remember when everyone shouted into their cell phones and thought that their batteries drained faster when they made long distance phones. I remember when people (who now have cell phones) swore to me that they'd never have a cell phone. I remember when cell phones looked more like military radios. I think it's fine to gripe about technology, but I would warn those people who swear they'll never use a technology. Technology evolves and so do social norms.
We've been having a dialog recently about the relationship between social norms and technology. I think this is part of the same dialog. New technologies disrupt our habits and our norms and what we feel comfortable with. I am an early adopter type who uses every technology possible and I try to wrap my life around it all. Some people try the technology and point out the tensions. Some people ignore the technology. Technology evolves along with the social norms. When it works well, we end up with a technology that contributes to society in some way and becomes a seamless part of our social norms. When it doesn't work well it either damages society or does not integrate and is discarded.
Being the techno-utopian optimist that I am, I think that writing off Skype and IM as annoying is a big mistake. They are what military radios were to the cell phones of today. I think it's important to take what David Weinberger and danah have to say about the tensions they create and thinking about how to make presence more granular, how to make it easier to manage the emission of your presence information and control access to you. What DOES free VoIP really mean? Can it be a background thing that allows us to continue to focus on our work instead of being an interruption? I am very excited by IM and VoIP and think that the tensions and the annoyances they are creating is a good a reason as any to dive into the privacy, identity, presence and interop issues that we've been talking about for so long. The more annoying it becomes, the more people will care about these issues.
I'm giving a speech about the future of the Internet tomorrow afternoon from 2:30pm-3:30pm JST. The speech will be at the Rakuten New Year party. (Rakuten acquired Infoseek Japan and I am now on the Portal Group advisory committee.) I'll try to stream it, but it will be in Japanese. My slides are in English and I've put my outline on my wiki. Please feel free to add comments or links to examples on the wiki. The outline just lists the topics I will cover, but not what I'm going to say. ;-)
I'll be giving live demos of #joiito and IM so if you're around, I might ping you.
I'll be using keynote exported to QT inside of Safari with my examples loaded in tabs.
The latest version of the Keynote QT is here.
GRIPE : Keynote doesn't let you put hyperlinks in presentations. They should either figure out some way to embed Safari inside of a Keynote presentation or allow hyperlinks. Apple Computer presentations use two machines, one for browsing and one for Keynote. Doh. Not very user-friendly.
I will be streaming this if I have enough bandwidth. Copy and paste this URL into QuickTime rtsp://stream.joi.ito.com/joitv.sdp. (Warning. Japanese.)
UPDATE: Sorry folks. Didn't have a Net connection so couldn't connect to IRC or get Hecklebot working.
I'll be at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference February 9-12 in San Diego. It looks like I'll be doing a session with Ethan Zuckerman on the Emergent Democracy Forum day February 9th and a session with danah, Mimi, Howard, Scott and others on the 10th about mobility, identity and culture. Hope to see you there.
The panel members are not "final-final" so they are not on the web yet. I'll post the description of the sessions and the final-final members here when we get everything confirmed.
Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropoitan and "die puny humans", asked some of us to do something for his blog on thinking about the coming year. I took the opportunity to expose the "die puny humans" facet of my identity. It's a slightly different persona than the one I use here so it was fun to write. Warren's got quite an interesting roundup of people.
Read more of Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" thinking about how I consciously and sub-consciously show or hide facets of my identity depending on the context. Today, Marko introduced me to his mother and father. His father is Martti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland and a very well known global diplomat famous for his skill in crisis management. I had heard a lot about his father and was looking forward to meeting him in person. As I was taking my morning shower, I was watching myself thinking about what I was going to talk about with him, trying to imagine what things would be interesting and how those things would affect his opinion of me. It was an odd thing. I consciously watched a lot of the things that I do sub-consciously and realized how much I was actually managing and presenting my identity. What might we have in common? Do I want to talk more or listen more? Do I need to impress him? A lot of things were going through my mind.
Having said that, the shower rehearsal wasn't really necessary and we had a very comfortable breakfast. I found Mr. Ahtisaari to be a down-to-earth and receptive person with an extremely positive global outlook. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Ahtisaari. I can see where Marko gets that "Mr. Diplomat" style. ;-)
This relates to my last post. In an email exchange, someone mentioned that their friend switched to broken English when speaking to their foreign friends. When asked why, she replied that otherwise they would think she was elitist.
I find that my English language accent is SO affected by who I'm talking to that it's embarrassing and I'm self-conscious about it. I sometimes try to resist it, but it happens. I see other people doing this too, but I find mine particularly bad. It is obviously happening in my sub-conscious, but it might have something to do with the "girls playing dumb" thing.
Goffman wrote this in 1959. Is this true today?
According to the marketing talk on bowling alleys that I heard the other day, there is a funny behavior that is quite common. The guys try very hard to impress girls at the bowling alley and they start out OK, usually doing better than the girls at the beginning. These guys start to get tense and begin to perform more poorly towards the end. The girls, on the other hand, start to get the hang of it, remain relaxed (which is important for bowling) and usually win at the end, leaving the guy grumpy. Many bowling alleys have ping-pong tables which allow the guy to try to regain their pride and allow the girls to give it back.GoffmanAmerican college girls did, and no doubt do, play down their intelligence, skills, and determinativeness when in the presence of datable boys, thereby manifesting a profound psychic discipline in spite of their international reputation for flightiness. These performers are reported to allow their boy friends to explain things to them tediously that they already know; they conceal proficiency in mathematics from their less able consorts; they lose ping-pong games just before the ending.Mirra KomarovskyOne of the nicest techniques is to spell long words incorrectly once in a while. My boy friend seems to get a great kick out of it and writes back, 'Honey, you certainly don't know how to spell.'
A Meta Note: reading a book while thinking about what to blog is a slow, but interesting way to read a book. I hope you don't mind if I continue to share short passages that trigger weird musings...
This TOTALLY reminded me of Dvorak. He always as a gleeful look when he talks about his performances.GoffmanIt should be understood that the cynic, with all of his professional disinvolvement, may obtain unprofessional pleasures from his masquerade, experiencing a kind of gleeful spiritual aggression from the fact that he can toy at will with something his audience must take seriously.
Dvorak again. By the way, I love Dvorak and think he's hilarious, but it's watching the performance that I love.GoffmanIt is not assumed, of course, that all cynical performers are interested in deluding their audiences for purposes of what is called "self-interest" or private gain. A cynical individual may delude his audience for what he considers to be their own good, or for the good of the community, etc.
This reminded me of something that I've always wondered if anyone had studied academically. In Japan, we have many pronouns for "I". I personally use several of them. I use ore when I want to be casual and assertive. I use boku when I am casual and humble. I use watakushi when I am formal and assertive, and I use watashi when I am formal but less assertive. There are others. Each one has a different set of memories and social situations where I assert myself. It's a different "I" even though the "me" may be different. My theory is that Japanese can more easily navigate and deal with the multi-faceted identity that danah talks about in her paper because we have so many names for ourselves. Does this make sense? Are there other languages that have a plethora of "I" pronouns? Does anyone know of any academic work in this area?danah boydAdam Smith (1976/1790) separates identity into the object versus acting self, while Mead (1934) refers to me versus I.