Sunday, 8 May 2011

A Thin Veil Of Ignorance

On the internet, we have relative anonymity. While perhaps we're giving away much more personal information than we would care to, at the same time in any given interaction there's not much known about personal details on one's life. This also has the added advantage of being able to hide those things that normally form part of our social interactions. For a large extent, unless one divulges otherwise, there's no age, no gender, no sexual preference, no ethnicity, no socioeconomic background, beyond what is present in the use of language itself that is.

Yet hiding behind the walls of text, we are still people who have those qualities. At the end of the day my writings are that of me, of my thoughts and experiences with all the contingencies that form my existence.

I wonder if it's a good thing that we're hiding behind the veil. On the one hand, we have that anonymity that enables us to treat people without respect to those contingent qualities. Yet on the other, those qualities are very much a part of who we are as people making the posts. Is the veil of ignorance a means to get past those cultural factors and treat each other equally, or does it hide the problem just out of sight that a flicker of wind will bring out?

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