Posts tagged ‘Metalife’

  • Who’s Watching?

    by Barry Chudakov on November 19th, 2010

    “I like to watch,” says Chance the Gardener in Jerzy Kosiński’s biting 1971 media fable, Being There. Chance cannot read or write (satirically presaging the stereotype of today’s digital natives) but he knows what he likes. When he first rides in a car he observes, “This is just like television, only you can see much further.” We now have many more tools just like TV: our phones, gadgets and apps enable us to see further (and know more about) what anyone else is doing.

    We are all becoming Chance the gardener. We all like to watch—and we are watching each other.

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  • Secret Life

    by Barry Chudakov on September 15th, 2010

    Bees have a secret life. As do numbers. Trees apparently have one, American teenagers always have had one. Secrets are immensely important to us, both in their keeping and in their discovery. We might even say, riffing Socratically, the unsecreted life is not worth living. But what happens to our secret life in the era of publicy and Public Parts? Hive mind and tribal display turn our privacy garments inside out: we wear our inner lining to the outer world. Our secret life is going public with more frequency, more intensity, more reality than ever before; at the same time it is also a target, a tracking and marketing tool for someone we likely do not know or know about. Our secret life is becoming a Metalife.

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  • Sexting, Texting and Metalife

    by Barry Chudakov on August 19th, 2010

    Phillip Alpert, an 18-year-old from Orlando, took a sleeping pill late one night in 2008 after fighting with his former girlfriend. Perhaps it was the fog of the sedative, perhaps a stab of dark emotion coupled with anger over the way she had talked to him. But when he awoke a few hours later, Phillip thought of the nude photos his girlfriend had sent him when they were dating. He went to his computer and e-mailed those photos of the girl, who was then 16, to her ‘contact list,’ which included her parents, grandparents, and teachers.

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  • The Mind That Thinks About Itself

    by Barry Chudakov on July 28th, 2010

    “… many scientists now argue that the best predictor of good judgment isn’t intuition or intelligence or even experience. Rather, it’s the willingness to engage in introspection, to cultivate what Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, calls ‘the art of self-overhearing.’ The mind that thinks about itself thinks better.”

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  • Avatar

    by Barry Chudakov on June 17th, 2010

    As everybody knows, Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash coined the modern sense of the word avatar, from the Sanskrit word avatāra, meaning something similar to incarnation. Before James Cameron’s runaway hit movie, an avatar was considered a three-dimensional model representing you or an alter ego in computer games; or a two-dimensional icon on Internet forums and other communities.

    That was so five minutes ago.

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  • Cyber Bullying

    by Barry Chudakov on May 29th, 2010

    Two dogs are sitting in their master’s office, one next to a desk chair looking up, the other perched on the chair looking down. The dog on the chair has a paw on a keyboard in front of a computer monitor and says knowingly to his canine companion: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

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  • Metalife of a Terrorist

    by Barry Chudakov on May 7th, 2010

    A failed car bombing took place in the heart of Manhattan late Saturday evening May 1st. This is more than the story of a terrorist whose efforts were thwarted due to superior police work; it is also a case history of the rapid building, deployment, and capture of a Metalife.

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  • Heartbeats

    by Barry Chudakov on May 3rd, 2010

    “Everybody’s got a hungry heart,” Springsteen told us. Everyone also has, it turns out, a unique heartbeat. IDesia, an Israel-based biometrics company, is capitalizing on this phenomenon, taking it to consumer healthcare and the emerging field of bio-identification.

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  • Designer Privacy

    by Barry Chudakov on April 14th, 2010

    How does anyone know who you are? On the surface this may seem like a question too abstract (or obvious) to consider. Yet it is a question government officials are facing every day. In fact, governments around the world are presenting an intriguing new narrative that may come soon to a plastic card or digital device near you. With ID cards, at long last citizenry will have something as important as suffrage—an established identity.

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