Techno Truancy… Emerging patterns

Among “Tech refugees” (at least in my circle) the discussion is more frequent – How to unplug?

Concerns range from getting away to go Bone Fishing on Andros Island to the more permanent. Hanging up one’s cleats brings an unforeseen concern of it’s own. Such as: How does one supervise and influence one’s digital legacy. What is that, anyway?

Is the time when each Human manages their own Wikipedia page far off? Or will we rely on an interpretive account like the personal video montages in the Robin Williams 2004 movie “The Final Cut.

More recently, a broad spectrum of Technical Objectors or “Techno Skeptics” (see this article in the Washington Post) have arrived on the scene.

Truancy
“Truancy” (noun) use has diminished … we’re all more conforming to cultural expectations these days?

tru·an·cy
ˈtro͞oənsē’
noun
The action of staying away from school (or avoiding tech in the context of this post) without good reason; absenteeism.
“he had a history of truancy and expulsion from school”
synonyms: absenteeism, nonattendance, playing truant, truanting;

This Truancy Graph at books.google.com indicates that right around Y2K we really began to get onboard with being online — truancy as a word is, like, 50% less used in english now versus 100 years ago. Okay, so there are lots of problems with that linkage … but do you get what I mean?

If truancy is to avoid something “without good reason” then perhaps this isn’t the right noun to use describing the emerging trend of people diminishing or abandoning lives lived online. Bailing out on high-pressure, high-tech responsibilities is more and more prevalent.

As one who’d prefer, more or less, to be forgotten … the EU stance on how the big data collectors address this seems interesting as well. The right to be forgotten will become an ever bigger concern. (At least that’s my forecast.)

“Last month, (Astra) Taylor (36, Documentary filmmaker, musician and political activist) and more than 1,000 activists, scholars and techies gathered at the New School in New York City for a conference to talk about reinventing the Internet. They dream of a co-op model: people dealing directly with one another without having to go through a data-sucking corporate hub.” Washington Post article By Joel Achenbach December 26 at 5:40 PM

What interests us – is that a career spent laboring online results in something. At least one would like to think so. But none of the websites we built in the ’90’s still exists. The brands do. But some of that history is difficult to find.

The Way Back Machine is a precursor.  This article in the Verge (October of 2015) discusses / helps announce that a re-engineered form of this archive will launch in 2017.

The networks we built? The data centers, the server clusters, storage arrays? Replaced by higher density, lower cost, more efficient services in the “Cloud.”

I’m working from a small office in the cottage adjacent to my home on the SW Oregon Coast where I have ‘fiber to the net’ (believe it or not.) I don’t get paid as much as I used to, and I’m much more choosy about the projects I engage. Tech takes too much time away from fussing in my orchard. I’m very blessed to be able to do this and that – blending what remains of a lucrative career (that seems to have disappeared) with fostering a legacy that will grow on – My olive trees for instance, are of stock that have lived 2000 years.

Plainly there is a vein of change running through some of this.  I’m encouraged to know that activism is coalescing around taking control of “our data.”  Perhaps this also includes taking control of our legacy.  If all I’m leaving behind are records of my leasing a 3 room flat in a big city between the years of 1998 and 2012 … is that sort of sad?  Seems sort of like finding the only trace of a long lost relative in the records at Ellis Island.

It’s long overdue. We should be concerned with what remains in storage online.

Finally, perhaps I’m not alone — I find it a little disconcerting to be arriving at the realization that I’ll have to write my memoirs — whilst fact checking them against the Wayback Machine.

Happy New Year 2016.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s