Virtual Being

The phenomenon of creating groups in Facebook fascinates me. One aspect of web 2.0, as I struggle to come to terms with it, is the dichotomy of public and private, individual and group and the feature of creating and joining groups. It seems that ‘the web’ has incorporated in an essntial way the tendency that Alexis De Tocqueville noted in his tour of America in 1831, namely the tendency to form associations. Viewed in a slightly more abstract way, you could say that it is desire for indviduals to join in larger sympathetic orders, like to like, groups that one has an affinity for. Perhaps a flocking or herd gene morphing from the cellular memories of our Jurassic past. The rapid creation, quick joining, and even quicker irrelevancy of these groups points to a vital yearning–obviously not limited to Facebook–for meaningful associations. Borrowing from the biological metaphor, an organism evolving itself into greater (larger) orders of complexity and consciousness.
Okay, evolution now “quantumized”—for our species as ‘humanus creativus’, (forgive my pig latin) literally creating ourselves. Contributing to our own evolution through creativity. This concept parallels James Lovelock’s Ages of Gaia
especially in terms of the role of technology, ie., the web.

So getting back to Facebook, the aspect of your public persona on the web, is a volitile topic. My students revel in their digital nativeness, ah naivete. Their pages full of whatever, some not so flattering. Pedagogically I’m learning to swing this energy into the idea of an eportfolio. (we are learning together) They (we) are creating their virtual personas in an increasingly digitalized environment. And this brings me to Second Life.

Well, it took me all morning to get here.(Now I know what Barbara Ganley means about slow blogging!) The region I called “Ontos’ and the Isle–Turtle Island.