July 19, 2010
Work is picking up and it will be a heavy month or so, so expect shorter articles for the time being.
That being said, I’ve had some time to look through the interwebs and found a story that’s a bit on the weird side.
Yes, it looks like the internet, that bastion of anonymity and baseless, emotional attacks based on nothing more than screen names and misspelled postings is embracing the concept of responsibility for one’s comments. Starting later this month, Blizzard will make posters use their real names in its forums. You can have the option of putting your character name beside it so people can know who you are.
Did I miss something? Granted, I’m a tabletop player, but isn’t half the fun of these online communities the ability to disappear and become a new person?
I was there at the dawn of the internet generation, in the Long, Long Ago Time…
I remember when chat rooms were still fairly new. I remember when computers made that sound like electricity itself was choking on its own vomit while a modem dialed and hooked up to the internet. The ability to meet and interact with new people was so new, so exciting, especially considering the ability to meet people with nothing more than a name and a brief, perhaps fake description.
It was like the Wild West, only with a lot more penis jokes.
Years passed and now the ability to sign up for an online service, game, or just talk with people who know you as Aleena, elven priestess of the Dark Sisters, instead of, say, Earl, has become common-place.
And is that a good thing?
I’m really torn on this whole issue. On the one hand, I want the ability to explore, comment, and otherwise go about my business without giving people too much information about myself. On the other hand, I understand why these measures may be necessary. Think back to the last forum you went to. Even better, check out Youtube comments. The amount of idiocy, bigotry, and downright nastiness is enough to make anyone long for Orwellian control sometimes, but only for a moment.
Holding people accountable of their actions on the internet, or anywhere really, is a noble endeavor, but do we loose something in the process?
It’s tricky. I want people held accountable for their actions, but I don’t want people giving out information that could be used to find them in real life at some point. Having moderators on these boards is just a temporary solution and prone to favoritism.
I guess like any technology, it’s going to take a while to find a way to really live with this kind of thing.
And now on to the links!
- South Korea has developed a robot sentry armed to the nines. Now all we have to do is develop some really good Artificial Intelligence and we’ve got us a Robot Apocalypse, folks!
- Speaking of the olden days… they’re bringing back Beavis and Butthead? Apparently, MTV wants to air more music videos and thinks bringing back this think-tank will give them that opportunity. But, uhm… isn’t this MUSIC Television?! Isn’t it supposed to be their job already?! It’s like a cop trying to find a good excuse to carry a gun.
- My hatred of all things Twilight is well-known among regular readers, but the rumor that Taylor Lautner may play a young Wolverine in a future film fills me with a range unknown to me since the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.
- The P90X workout has been selling like condoms on Spring Break. I use it, and apparently some members of the government are also using it. And it looks like this could also include Obama. Nice!
- And speaking of the internet, it looks like reading real books makes you smarter. Intern3tz makez you the dumb. Who would have thought?
- Do you want an organic weed wacker? Oddly enough, we have scores of them down here and across the country: goats. Do you have a goat? You could start your own lawn service!
- Tired of co-workers stealing your lunch? Get this genius anti-theft sandwich bag!
- Finally, the Old Spice commercials have really blown up, but leave it to my fellow academics to make perhaps the best parody I’ve ever seen on this meme. I’ve never wanted to go to a library so much.