Monday, January 28, 2008

Barne's and the "New Body"

In chapter 14 of Communication and Cyberspace, Barnes focuses on the changing perception of self as it relates to cyberspace and the new environment of the internet. With the advent of web 2.0, social networks and also the new fourth estate of bloggers, the virtual self is as real as ever. I watched a youtube video that provides an imaginative extrapolation of the growth of google and amazon as they grow and become more involved in personal identity. As this video shows, blogs, news, social networks, music, email and buying preferences are being melted down and becoming the personalized internet. The internet machine now has the capabilities to understand who the user is, what the user wants and what they want to know. Digital news becomes more real than ever. I argue that this, not the "replicas" hunted by Decker in the sweet ass science fiction movie Bladerunner, are the future of digitalized identity. In this way, people now have two separate selves: the real self and the digital self. But if this digital self controls life choices, understands deep desires, provides the users with real news and dictates how someone's identity is viewed by the whole world...what's the difference?

Anyway, check this clip of the origin of EPIC, the fictional "super site"

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

Thanks for adding this video to the site, I was going to bring it in at later in the semester, but it is worth viewing now. Consider, though, that this is meant to be a cautionary tale, and we're meant to be disturbed by the corporate consolidation and the decline of traditional journalism, which at least had certain professional standards in mind if not always in practice.