Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nowhere to hide

Ewan has picked another example of augmented reality up:
"Point your mobile phone at the person speaking at the lectern, the cute person in the bar or that potential recruit and see, hovering around their head, all their social networks, tastes in music and books, and dodgy photos from last night."
The potential is quite interesting, but it's also a bit scary, innit? The interesting bit for me is how far this puts pressure on people to be interactive - particularly public figures. There will always be those who either are genuinely open about their life - I know plenty of people who like sharing every detail of their lives.

I think that Westminster may start filling up with people who are ostentatiously open about their lives in a 'look at me I'm a pretty straight guy with nothing to hide' sort of way.

It reminds me of the origins of the word 'Candidate' - from the latin Candidatus - derived in turn from the white robes that Senators wore to signify their purity of mind. It also said 'look at me, I have the wealth and slaves needed to sustain a huge length of clean white linen every day.'

The Man in The White Suit. I would say that 360 degree transparency is something that would be quite expensive to sustain - especially given the huge array of different snobberies that you'd have to be sensitive to.

I wrote a probably-too-long post on things that touch on this question here some time ago if you've got an age to waste.


Chris said...

It's incredibly scary given that I have little control over what it's going to turn up and little desire to spend time fixing it.

I read this on the 'new' privacy just the other day. Choice quotes

"Let's take this scenario for a moment. Bob trust Alice. Bob tells Alice something that he doesn't want anyone else to know and he tells her not to tell anyone. Alice tells everyone at school because she believes she can gain social stature from it. Bob is hurt and embarrassed. His trust in Alice diminishes. Bob now has two choices. He can break up with Alice, tell the world that Alice is evil, and be perpetually horribly hurt. Or he can take what he learned and manipulate Alice. Next time something bugs him, he'll tell Alice precisely because he wants everyone to know. And if he wants to guarantee that it'll spread, he'll tell her not to tell anyone."


"Public-ness has always been a privilege. For a long time, only a few chosen few got to be public figures. Now we've changed the equation and anyone can theoretically be public, can theoretically be seen by millions. So it mustn't be a privilege anymore, eh? Not quite. There are still huge social costs to being public, social costs that geeks in Silicon Valley don't have to account for. Not everyone gets to show up to work whenever they feel like it wearing whatever they'd like and expect a phatty paycheck. Not everyone has the opportunity to be whoever they want in public and demand that everyone else just cope. I know there are lots of folks out there who think that we should force everyone into the public so that we can create a culture where that IS the norm. Not only do I think that this is unreasonable, but I don't think that this is truly what we want. The same Silicon Valley tycoons who want to push everyone into the public don't want their kids to know that their teachers are sexual beings, even when their sexuality is as vanilla as it gets. Should we even begin to talk about the marginalized populations out there?"

I guess there will be a role for an anti-private eye (anti-public eye?) - someone who, for a small fee, does his best to hide information.

Paulie said...

It certainly means that people may need to 'manage their brand' a good deal more carefully.

Brand management doesn't come that cheap, does it?