Monday, November 10, 2003

Too close for comfort
Sometimes, words come too close for comfort. Especially words written and spoken by people who know too much. They become threatening, and remind us of how we have exposed ourselves, made us vulnerable to the ones who happen to be close.

Information is power, and we wish to control it ourselves. This is why it is so hard for humans to open up, and why it is so important for some, like us, the bloggers, to control the information about ourselves. And so we write it out carefully, veiled hints, unspoken comments, little pointers to what we may wish to indicate, but not release to the world.

How much of this information can we really control? Nothing, really. Once our words are in the public domain, they can be linked to, quoted, used and combined without our consent and control. To write and publish is exposure, even if it all we expose is fiction or academic articles. An inventive reader can find anything they like in any text. We know that, it is how many of us make a living! We read, cross-check, hyperlink, quote and refer, and find traces of love-stories in a novel, but also unhappy break-ups in academic texts, or personal obsession in a career.

When we do this to others, we get scholarships for our work. When others do it to us, we feel violated.

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