Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Open Architecture is Insidious

That implies that I think it's bad, which it isn't, but I wonder whether it is changing us or whether it's just something I like.  I have had several conversations recently in which the discussion wandered around the extent to which the things that we write or think or whatever as personal reflections belong in an open place where anyone can see them.

Well, obviously, if you don't want something to be public, don't put it out there.  The question that is more interesting is whether something you create for a limited purpose should be made available for a larger public purpose.  And also how much of your own identity should be public.  I don't like to be paranoid, and though we all know data mining is going on all around us, I am not afraid of a world in which a smart artificial intelligence is sending stuff my way that I might be interested in reading or viewing or seeing or -- horrors -- buying.  Having said that I am not suggesting that everything should be public all the time and life hasn't changed completely, but on the other hand there does seem to be some movement in the direction of full disclosure that has to be having some impact on how we see each other in relation to one another.

How many profiles do you have?  I just noticed today that my profile for this blog is pretty limited.  There are lots of boxes I could fill with information about my likes and dislikes.  I filled a lot of those boxes out for seemed like an amusing task...but I don't really want to do it again as that seems like a colossal waste of time.  Maybe they'll add a button so I can pull my Facebook profile into my blogger profile...maybe they already have -- one of the difficulties of technology is that it is filled with procedures about which you are unaware so you are unable to utilize them.  The world has not gotten any easier to navigate, really, just more connected.

Anywho, why wouldn't I want my profile out there?  Ignoring the isolated serial killer for whom my profile is just the ticket...which I would assume is statistically less likely than winning the lottery several weeks in a row...I'm not really hiding from anyone, hopefully.

I like a more open world.  I think that if I know who you are, and what you do, and how much you earn, and how much you spend, we will both be more likely to be more thoughtful about all of those things, which is likely to be a good thing.  Well, maybe not the earning and spending part.  There are limits.  :)  That's my bias.  I don't have any evidence. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's interesting, people get in a lot of arguments over this issue. I agree with you on most points, though I do feel it is important for there to be an easy way to opt-out and still get the services that the web provides. On a side note, the data mining you're referring to as "Artificial Intelligence" doesn't actually qualify for that title. It's a smart algorithm, but there's a difference.