: This season brings us another dollop of wisdom (read: half obviously obvious and half utterly out-of-thin-air-made up predictions) from Faith Popcorn. She says that, on the one hand, that fundamentalism will be mainstreamed. Oh, sure, after centuries, this will happen to be the year when the fundies take over? This, the time when fundamentalists of many stripes are also defined as terrorists. Bull. On the other hand, she says that porn will become the norm. Now that’s a consistent worldview. And on online she predicts:
Persona Propaganda — Google has created the concept of the “Public Resume” — a new kind of pervasive, email-able DigiTruth. Now that everybody can know everything about almost anyone, an industry will soon evolve to help you manage that public persona-creating the perfect online profile, optimizing your own Google search, giving us control over our digitized public identities.
Identity Terrorism — The most extreme from of “Persona Propaganda,” in which the Internet is used as a tool to malign a reputation, either of an individual or a corporation. This new kind of terrorism is bound to be an increasing problem in the years to come.
Profiling Paranoia — As our personal choices become part of the digital ether (iPod playlists, TiVo configurations, Amazon choices) we will become increasingly worried about how this data can be used. The upside: EGOnomical technology could match us to exciting content, information, even people. The downside: a new digital Gestapo could dictate all the content you see.
That’s all true today. I started the year as the 27th Jeff; I am now the third. Smears happen now: One guy complains about Nick Denton and before Nick can answer with the transcripts that prove him wrong, the snark spreads like flu. Paranoia? Plenty of that to go around.