Human beings seek out order in a world of chaos. Modern civilization is an accumulation of all the ways in which the human race has attempted to order and structure society. We have a system for everything: education, financial transactions, transportation, etc. There are so many aspects of our lives that are regulated and ordered. Why? Because organization, repetition, and predictability create a sense of security while alleviating a bit of the chaos that ultimately is life. This “Bag of Gold” that Gardner Campbell speaks of – it’s not part of the current plan.
I believe it is the fear of the unknown that makes individuals reluctant to accept the Bag. How do we know that this is the right move for society to make next? Where are the guarantees? Where is the evidence that this is all going to work out well? How do we put our lives online without giving up our privacy? How do we create personal cyber infrastructures that truly reflect our personalities without becoming jaded or fake or cyber-robots? These are the questions that make me question how much I want to buy into the idea of creating a personal cyber infrastructure of my own.
Setting up my own website this semester has made me realize how much I rely on third parties when it comes to how I employ the internet. It scares me to think of just how much information I have knowingly (and unknowingly) given to sites like Facebook and Blogger. So I must admit, one of the best advantages of creating a personal cyber infrastructure is that I am in control. What goes up online and what doesn’t is up to me.
It’s a double-edged sword though. Why would I post or publish things that don’t reflect myself in a positive light? And if I only show the best part of myself online, are you really seeing who I am? I don’t think so, I don’t think so at all. That is the problem I have with personal cyber infrastructures. While they may feed creativity and stimulate productivity, I also feel that they may feed our egos as well.
I am intrigued by this whole personal cyber infrastructure idea; I’m just not ready to dive headfirst into anything just yet. Maybe that is what we all need to do though, proceed with caution. Fear of the unknown is not a bad thing, we just can’t let it prevent us from advancing and growing, as individuals and as a whole society.
These are just a few of the thoughts I have on this topic. I am excited to read what my classmates have to say about Gardner Campbell’s lecture and essay. I also predict future posts about how I feel about my own cyber infrastructure.