When Theory Doesn’t Match Reality

20 08 2007

Anne Zelenka at Web Worker Daily has a really good post about the social graph problem, questioning the whole idea that we even need or want a unified social network and personal profile. I really like this perspective. I can appreciate a great unified theory as much as anyone, but history is obviously wrought with unrealistic and possibly dangerous theories that do not match reality.

Anne asks:

Do you want a unified representation of your social life on the web? Why or why not?

The unified social graph sounds great in theory, but I’ve got to answer an emphatic NO. In reality, I do like life to be scattered about, just like it really is, you know, in REAL LIFE.

Rod at TechFold says Spock, the people search engine, is downright idiocy. There’s a big element of truth that “creepy” is the only way to describe some of these social initiatives.

But we sometimes do need to put the conspiracy theories aside. The potential of a universal, accessible health care data repository improving health care systems trumps concerns of security, so long as privacy implications are clear, both policies and contingencies.

Furthermore, it’s always a great question to ask: are our grandiose theories something we really need, really want or can even afford as a society to exist?

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