Do augmented social skills make me worse than a politician?

[Note I wrote this draft at 2:30am from bed on my iPhone, I had intended to edit but I think it is more interesting as is]

How will you feel when, next we meet, I ask how you enjoyed the last movie you saw, referring to it by name? About your partner? Your kids? Pets?

Does that depend on our relationship? If we aren’t close, but I have good ‘people skills’ (read an exellent memory for personal details) is it creepy or does it engender perhaps a closer bond than before?

Now if my recall is augmented by notes in my address book swotted before we meet, is that different?

What about a politician’s handlers prompting these tidbits?

What if these details writhe ghostly about your person when I see, or even hear you? Only to me of course, apparitions conjoured inside my glasses by my digital djinn. Divining your recent personal history by re-tracing your digital footprints upon need. My very own internet 6th sense, a social prosthesis if you will.

This is the world being summoned right now by the technomancers, the wunderkind, the hackers of our futures.

There are many philosophical questions to be answered, let alone new social customs to be discovered. Or perhaps merely unearthed? Restored from a time not so long ago when social graces really did make the world go around.


  1. Mark Pesce: This, That, and The Other
  2. Wired: TED: MIT Students Turn Internet Into a Sixth Human Sense

2 Responses to Do augmented social skills make me worse than a politician?

  1. Froosh says:

    Another issue I’ve been having is centred on privacy. Some social tools are clear about a contact’s privacy preferences (Twitter, Brightkite) while others do not make it clear what information I have about ‘you’ is public and what is only available to me (Facebook).

    I find it makes it hard when in a mixed/public environment to know what to speak of and what to shut-the-hell-up about 🙂

  2. Matthew says:

    Yes for sure the privacy options are a nest of vipers! Do you publicly mention / retweet Twitter users who are set to private? How do you even keep up?

    This is why a social prosthesis would be handy – it could keep track of who’s requested to be private for you. That system would never fail 🙂

    Is there a difference between private information stored in someone’s brain vs. on your social prosthesis?

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