November 3, 2005

"Ever since 3rd period today, I now know that I have sex appeal. It rox!"

Teens and their blogs.


EddieP said...

Who knows where it's going, but it certainly sounds exciting to me. These young folks will subvert the RIAA knowingly or not. There will be no owners of information in the future. Possibly some downside to that, but I would rather trust the future to the smart young kids than Fritz Hollings.

Ron said...

Before I saw the 'Teens and their blogs' line, I thought, 'Now why would Ann say that about...herself?'

Dave said...

How long before some hack politician seizes on this story and says "the mind of our young are being hijaked by computers! It's only a matter of time before your daughter is stalked, raped, and killed by some pedophile who found her 'blog' on something called 'LiveJournal'! Sponsor my bill to thwart your kids' speech rights or you will be attending your kids funeral in the very near future!"

reader_iam said...

Aren't the implications fascinating?

Fast-forwarding a few decades, will it be possible to find anyone (young now or yet to be born) who WON'T have at least some type of public, accessible "paper(less)" trail?

For all we know, for example, apotential Supreme Court nominee or two of 2040 or so are busily disclosing all sorts of things or putting forth all sort of opinions as we speak, and may continue to do so for years. Food for thought.

What teen, after all, much less kid, and even young adult, really thinks far, far ahead in terms of the implications of current actions? Some do, but I suppose most don't (hell, many of us "olders" don't, not really). And we are living in an ever-more self-disclosing world, with ever more permanent, public modes of communication.

buffpilot said...


The implications are far greater than just what you wrote in 7th grade. With face recognition software getting better than ever it will soon be possible to do a google search on a picture. Ever thought about all those pictures on the net of crazy stuff people do on spring break? Or a boyfriend taking a compromising picture while you sleep? Or just sunbathing topless? All to be brought up 20-30 years later as you are nominated to the Supreme's, run for Congress, Mayor, or are just being attacked by a rival on the way up the corporate ladder. Can't you see tenure being denied becuase you were caught on a "Girls/guys of springbreak" video? or caught on tap at a Republican rally? :) Or in an anti-war march? :)

The public trail will be wide and deep and I am 100% sure it will be used.

Lonesome Payne said...

As reader_iam says, I also sometimes wonder if we are moving to a future of absolutely no privacy - a totally disclosed if not "self-disclosed" world.

Will it be possible to be free in that context? I think we will make it possible. Will it be real freedom or an illusion of freedom? Does it matter?

Very seriously: will someone please make me some breakfast.

reader_iam said...

buffpilot: Exactly! I was just giving a single example to point to a a real and true paradigm shift, the implications of which are far-reaching. And I also agree with you 100% about the, well, 100%!

Then again, if all is exposed and all is available, and that is true of all people at least in the more tech-using, educated, and relatively affluent 1st World (to use the term loosely), will that mean people will care less about what people did at an earlier time? Or will the climate be even more ugly and society even more fractured into opposing and paranoid camps?

I think about these things a lot, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are 1) we are deeply involved and invested in technology around here and 2)we have a young son. We talk and think about these implications all the time.

At the same time, the very day of my son's birth, his father reserved multiple domain names for him (though we haven't posted anything through those yet). And he knows our e-mail addresses, along with his own. So we're also complicit (though extremely vigilant).

reader_iam said...

paulfrommple: Sorry, I see you already you made the point about whether it will matter, and better; we must have been simulposting (did I mention my fascination with how technology is rapidly morphing our vocabulary)?

Maybe someday we will be able make cybermeals for cyber compatriots via Virtual Reality technology; fat-free and low-carb, too! ;)

Anonymous said...

Morality will change significantly when everyones foibles, fetishes and fantasies are public domain. A lot of what is taboo or embarassing now will be common-place and accepted.

Just think about what has happened in the last 100 years to the way people dress. Women didn't used to show their ankles. Now, only the most recalcitrant minority of religious zealots get in a tizzy about short pants on women. There are still religious zealots a-plenty, but they focus their restrictions on a much narrower set of modern behaviors than they did back then.

Synova said...

I think there will be less misrepresentation. Not because there isn't more odd information out there, but because the people making the choices will *also* have a huge body of juvenile rantings out there. Will they believe it when someone says "Alito hates women" without demanding context and long term pattern analysis?

I can see a lot of that being automated as well as making up a market of sorts for people who will do the analysis.

Think about it. Already photographs don't have the power they once had as evidence because everyone knows that a digital photo can be manipulated. It's likely that direct quotes, first of all... they can be manipulated like any other digital information, even when they are considered genuine will be viewed skeptically. The sheer volume combined with the unreliability of the data will work against any tendency to put a great deal of importance on that data.

Erasing services might be hot for a while, until everyone realizes that trying to get rid of a decade of anti-circumcision activism only makes matters worse... what did you have erased Mr. Jones? What are you trying to hide?

MD said...

But if everyone has this kind of information out there, it may dilute the impact.

Case study: a friend started a blog after someone stole some private papers and read them. The thought was: well, I'll hide in public.

Anyway, I'm sure thanks to plenty of other non-blog things, I cannot run for office. What kind of person wants to be a politican, anyway :)

buffpilot said...

md, It may dilute the impact. It may not. Can you see a 2016 female VP hopeful, making it past vetting (Or worse found out afterwards), if in a picture from Cancun 23 years earlier standing naked with her best female friend? As the Pres hopeful would you take the risk? Or how about going up for partner at a law firm and having a rival 'find' pictures shot a decade earlier of her posing nude with a guy(that isn't her current husband)? And don't get me started on security clearences.

Yes, stupidity of youth will cost you! And erasers will never get it all and I agree, "What do you have to hide?" says the Senator to the aspiring Supreme court justice...

Lorem Ipsum said...


It seems to me that the threat of retaliation in kind will to some extent serve as a restraint on this sort of muckraking. In all of the examples you mention, somebody from the opposition has to come forward with the evidence. Can that person be so sure that he doesn't have a few digital skeletons in his closet? Even if a faction arranges to release damaging information on their enemies through obfuscated sources, the victims will likely assume that the ultimate source was the opposing faction, and they will retaliate as they deem fit. Thus, as long as everybody's information is equally transparent, that very transparency provides a check on potential abuse.


CM said...

I just hope the word "screenagers" doesn't catch on.

knox said...


Ruth Anne, is that you? If not, you've got some competition!