Ego and the web

Great essay from Tom Ewing of Cantar,  member of the Cloud of Knowing project who has come up with a very thoughtful piece about personal identity and the web. Since Tom is a polymath and writes extensively about music a lot of what he writes on the surface in this article is nothing to do with market research and what content we collect on the web. What he has actually written about is very relevant. He identifies the ego project – the web is all about me. Which social networks actively reinforce. And contrasts this with the other state – I seem to be a lot like everybody else. Google shows you with everyone else who shares your name. Or who has had exactly the same idea- or at least expressed it in the same way. But social networks make me feel I am special – my friends like and favourite what I post-  there isn't a "how derivative was that?" button.  Which means that the web content is a reflection of which mindset we have chosen to adopt – trying to be different in a world where I represent at best the edge of a wave where many others think the same thoughts – and I am representative of them more than myself.  Most personal web content reflects the delusion of individuality – but does it matter that I am not remotely original?

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