Monday, September 14, 2015

Metasocial by the numbers

I recently realized that I didn't have someone's phone number. Which, as I pondered the realization, made me think about the interplay of change and inertia. Of how as things change, they yet somehow remain themselves.

On the one hand, it would be a trivial thing to simply conjure it up using search engines. I have enough circumstantial information to narrow down the results enough to glean the signal from the noise (probably to such an accuracy that there will only be one search result). This, however, would be slightly stalky, and should I proceed along this course and send a text down the line, it might well be perceived as such.

On the other hand, simply asking them (or any of our mutual friends) about it might be construed and misconstrued in any number of ways. As you might well imagine.

This is interesting, as it shows that information is not socially neutral. Moreover, the way information is acquired is anything but socially neutral. It never was, to be sure, but it is even less so now. Even though information wants to be free, acting on it is not.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

In thinking about this, I also realized that this line of inquiry is more interesting than actually, you know, getting a hold of that number. Which only goes to show that attention is socially awkward. -

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