Why Names Matter: How Online Identity is Defining the Future of the Internet

Presented at HOPE Number Nine (2012), July 15, 2012, 2 p.m. (60 minutes)

As the Internet becomes more public and universal, the world is beginning to have an identity crisis. Some big questions are coming up: who are we, and how should we be represented online? Originally inspired by having his Google Plus account suspended twice during the nymwars fiasco, aestetix will explore the deeper nature of how we identify ourselves and each other. The talk will look at issues both from a technology and social perspective, asking questions like why hacker handles are important, and how our notions of privacy have changed in the greater scheme. It will also cover the ways in which current online social networks try to build upon existing social relationships and discuss suggestions for improvement in the future.


  • aestetix
    aestetix used to think he was influenced by the wise words of sages like Joseph Campbell and Robert Heinlein, which led him to work on identity-related projects like OpenAMD at previous HOPE conferences. But then, he met the Big Bad Google Plus, which taught him that he didn’t even exist.


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