четверг, 17 марта 2011 г.

Getting paranoid in an open world

Ok here I am, sitting at my desk at 6PM, and being quite confident that if I would have to do a test on paranoia right now, it going to be a Bingo! - top score!

Yes, I am now sure that "people are talking about me behind my back". And yes, I have a documented evidence of that on my Facebook page. People are indeed talking about me behind my back. To whom they talk? To THEM. To the Badoo.

Connected to this, I start wondering about many things. I need to learn to distinguish MY information (something I decide to tell or not to tell) from information ABOUT ME (which is out of my control, now more than ever). How much these two sources overlap? How can one use this "about me" information? How THEY will use it? Would THEY sell information THEY collected about me to anyone who is willing to pay? If not, does it matter, cause any system can be hacked? Is anyone going to use this data to study self-image vs. public image (sounds like a cool scientific question)? Should I have subscribed to the Facebook? Should I seek a contact (and contract) with paranoia test manufacturers with suggested changes to the tests? Etc.

It occurs to me that most likely THEY are going to make my personality profile and then can use that for e.g. targeted advertisement. It can also be used, in theory, for many different purposes. I think security services well realize the potential of this. Information is a tool, and one can use that for good or for bad.

This is now looking more and more like an open world, where anyone can learn almost anything about anyone. Which may work just fine: one can argue that only "hidden" information can be used for black-mailing, etc. The question is -- will this require ME to change ("DO behave otherwise the whole world will know!") or this will change the world (e.g. it will become more tolerant)?

I am hoping for the latter, but given my born-in-the-USSR background I am suspicious. I can see how dangerous some basic information could be in certain circumstances. For example, in the Soviet time you were rather to hide your religious views (if you got any); otherwise, you were quite limited in your career. So, information as simple as the fact that you are Christian (or Muslim, or Buddist, or...) was dangerous stuff you had to hide, or at least to be not quite open about it. One can come up with many examples.

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