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05/21/2006: "Fight The Future: athenaverse vs. myspace"

I got a myspace account last fall because I wanted to know what it was all about. It's like live journal except totally corporatized. With live journal, there is no advertising, no sponsorship except by the people who actually subscribe. I have had a free account for 5 years and they have never bugged me to upgrade. With myspace, it seems to be a horrible combination of super-targeted corporate marketing
provided by a shadowy arm of News Corp. that is ready to turn over you in at the drop of the hat to the authorities. In fact, myspace seems to be a lot like the live journal straw man that vealpen railed against. Unfortunately, since there are so many myspace users and it is such an effective tool for consumers who want to consume and the producers that are gleefully harvesting the consumer information users dangle so they can attract the attention of other myspace users who might want to have sex with them.

I have been thinking about the athenaverse in the light of recent internet developments. The athenaverse has served many purposes over the years, but I have always considered it as a safe data haven that provides services to a select group of users. In the future, encryption and the right to privacy on the internet will become a serious issue. The athenaverse has been around since the "internet gold rush" era when there was hardly any internet regulations or taxes or codes of conduct. Between the internet restiction laws that they are considering in Washington and the internet police in China, it is not looking good for the future. Millions of my generation are busy trolling for booty online and watching "American Idol," pacific consumers who willingly trade in their freedom in the name of fighting terrorism.

I am faced with a choice: do I continue to waste my time online or will I spend it fighting the good fight? I do have a lot to say, and this is my place where I can say it. I was never really interested in talking about my personal life in front of the world. I'd rather fight the future like Locke and Demosthenes.


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