About My New Header

Personas sifts through references and through a natural language process, characterizes netizens with your name.

I pulled it out of a Twitter message that linked to Personas, a project of the MIT Media Lab.

Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

The header is, in a sense, the DNA of my network foot print.  It’s not foolproof, by any means.  When I type in “David Warlick,” it sniffs out all reachable references to any David Warlick.  So I had to take a little time to digitally delete all indications of outstanding felony warrants and references to that black sheep branch of the family who were loyalists during that unpleasantness between the colony of North Carolina and Great Britain.

As Personas reports…

In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.

Added on April 8, 2010

I recomputed my persona today, copied it as an image, replaced “david warlick” with “david warlick” in a font I could replicated, added in “2¢ Worth” in the same font, and then installed it as the new header of my blog, with absolutely no other refinements or deletions.  This is my digital networked foot print combined with everyone else out there who used “david warlick” as their name.  The networked world is messy, because we are messy — because we like it that way…

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