Monday, September 26, 2005

Crying in the wilderness, again.

Even Esther Dyson, it seems, fails to grasp the distinction between "identity" and "persona." In an otherwise marvelously thoughtful piece on the loss of anonymity, she says:

"I think many people will move pretty rapidly from no identity to multiple identities. Whether you're simply an individual attempting to remain fluid and not get caught in a single identity (only a studious geek, or only a fun-loving mom or a talented musician)..."

It's a jarring note, to me, and I hope to you. We - as individuals - can have only a single identity. We're born with it, we die with it. In between, we developed multiple persons. In between, we may even attempt to convince others that our "identity" is different than it really is.

Read Esther's piece, because it is thought provoking, but remember that you cannot (even if you're schizophrenic) have multiple identities.

Hmmmm, not a jarring note to me. I think that, perhaps, your concept of persona and the much-over-used term of Identity have collided here. While you are right, there is only one ME, a day does not go by but that I represent myself differently in different situations. Not that I'm trying to subvert something, but that I'm just not interested in everyone knowing just exactly who I am at every juncture. For example, my "Identity," the way people know me on the fractal list is much different than in other places. There I have a very focused context in which to portray myself and conduct my affairs as a fractal enthusiast. And I've never taken the time, nor do I think I want to, to help those wonderful people know ME. This, to ME, is what multiple identities are, the way that I'm known in many, many contexts--some of which will be very disparate.
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