Identity Reset

A few days ago we noted the conflicting opinions of Jeffrey Rosen and David Dylan Thomas on how much the Internet will or will not remember.  In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins, Jr., Google CEO Eric Schmidt appears to think the Internet will in fact have a very long memory:

“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” he says.

A possible response?

He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.

Among the other things Schmidt said, also apparently seriously:

“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” he elaborates. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”


3 thoughts on “Identity Reset

    1. The story focuses on how Google is preparing to remain profitable as the Internet and its world evolve. Anticipating (creating?) interests in an “augmented reality” setting appears to be the next wave. At one level this will strike some as being very cool. But it should also raise some concerns. The identity reset suggestion, if we grant its plausibility and assumptions, appears almost merciful. But again obliterating the past seems to be the least healthy way of dealing with it.

  1. See, in contrast the hellish possibilities of Nietzsche’s (The Genealogy of Morals) law of eternal recurrence: living our lives over again and again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s