Thursday, October 02, 2008

Random thoughts on old videos of Palin

Okay, I'm laughing my ass off at Palin's "Ms. Alaska" videos--her in the swimsuit, and her "playing" the flute.

But then I got to thinking. It's the '00s. Everything is being recorded. All my friends have digital cameras, pocket sized ones that we take everywhere. There are pictures of me doing all sorts of things posted all over the internet--parties, events, dinners, sporting things.

And it's not really all that fair to judge Palin for being a terrible flutist or looking ridiculous in a bathing suit and big hair. Because, lord knows, if I every run for office, all someone will have to do is pull out one of my Hallowe'en albums and I'm toast. Like the one Hallowe'en where a group of us wore football pants and shoulder pads and that was it? Or our impending costume this year . . .?

It reminds me a little of the book by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Light of Other Days." There, a device is invented that basically creates little wormholes the user can look through--to see anyone, anywhere, at any time in the past or present. The point of the story is "what happens when all privacy is taken away, completely." Some respond by not caring--by being naked all the time, having sex in public, having no secrets at all. Others respond by finding cloaking devices and trying to escape.

I guess my point is that we're going to have to face this question in the future: Everone has a myspace or facebook page. Everyone that's not a boring Christian in North Dakota has embarassing pictures posted somewhere, or in someone else's possession. I hope we get to a place where all that stops mattering--that we accept that, as a price of living in an interconnected world, we lose some of our privacy. We all have stuff that will make us look bad, but maybe that will help us start judging people on substance and not on whether they got drunk at a party 20 years previously.


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