[Air-l] Identiy and Internet

John White john.white at wku.edu
Sun Mar 17 14:42:48 PST 2002


The recent threads regarding moderation, posting, etc., started with a
post by Susan about Lachlan's intervention.  The part that struck me
was the bit about going "to the Goldsmiths College" website to find
information about Lachlan.  This triggered something else we had
talked about before, namely identity and online realities.  This was a
very practical example, imho, of not separate existence, but existence
at all, being challenged because of a lack of documentation online.

I know this specific example is somewhat out of context, but I find
the issue intriguing as there are numerous bits of science fiction
where individuals "hide" by having no electronic documentation.  I
confess that I've used the internet to search for individuals whose
names are associated with topics or papers I'm researching and I'm
wondering how many of us do the same thing?  We routinely include
e-mails, home pages, links to articles available online, all of which
constitute our bodies of work.  My cv, which is out of date, is online
so if someone wants, they can find out about my professional self, as
well as information on contacting me via e-mail or voice.  Do these
electronic records, incomplete as they are, constitute my professional
identity?  And how does this differ from professional identities
constructed thirty years ago?  Further, what does this mean for
identifies thirty years from now?

Just a few thoughts that have been on my mind since the recent posts
first began.


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