Gardening in the Dark
July 20, 2015
I spoke with someone whom I’d hardly known, and now will not, because they’ve moved. We shared so many interests, I wanted to show them videos from the last cannon event. Oh but they don’t Facebook. This… was a problem for me? Really? Infosec, you know, they explained. I smile, nod. I know. They don’t know how deeply I know, and never will. Infosec, you know. I say “public face,” while thinking “personal brand,” while thinking “I’m screwed,” because this is exactly the kind of branding moment in which the choice to participate in a garden reveals its walls. The world of people visible to me automatically excludes those I seek so long as I am not like them. So long as I am (solely? primarily?) within the walls.
I can spend weeks, years even, training the automated algorithms to give me what I want to see. Out of the subset of things those algorithms are willing to show at all. From the set of items within the garden. But if I do that, I will never see the wilderness, let alone be it. You cannot walk out of the wilderness if you never walked in.
Those gardens offer a tempting ease, and the ease is not the problem. Faust is. The walls are not the problem; if they were, there would be no problem in gardens without them. But as soon as those gardens are planted, sure as rain, the walls start to rise. Gardens are the problem. I’m going for a walk.