How WE create I - Heather Schlegel - H+ Summit @ Harvard

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Heather Schlegel
VP of Product Management, Debtmarket
How WE create I:
Post-Human Identity, Privacy and Self-Value

Science and technology let you to create the person you want to be. How does the technology we create today enable future selves? What is the impact on identity creation, individual privacy and self-value?

Heather Schlegel is a futurist, technologist, and cacophonist. For more than 12 years she has helped build innovative Internet products in Silicon Valley and has more than 50 product launches to her name. Schlegel is currently the head of product development at DebtMarket, a financial start-up in Los Angeles. Her research projects include disruptive technology in financial markets: lending, alternate/virtual currencies and transactions; long-term product adoption for innovative technologies and positive wildcards. Schlegel is primarily known by her online moniker, heathervescent, where she explores the intersection of technology, culture and identity.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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How WE create I - Heather Schlegel - H+ Summit @ Harvard

  1. 1. How WE create I H+ Summit * June 2010 Heather Schlegel * heathervescent
  2. 2. My Interest • We don’t pro-actively create identities • Structures encourage behaviors • Exploration of my personal brand June 2010 | Humanity Plus 2
  3. 3. The Mass Age • Marshall McLuhan • Douglas Hofstadter • Jaron Lanier • NY Times June 2010 | Humanity Plus 3
  4. 4. How I think about this • The way we create, experience and respond to technology • Value-sets: And the underlying values encoded in a system June 2010 | Humanity Plus 4 Photo Credit: Machine Project
  5. 5. Who are you? Always the same person? I’m not. June 2010 | Humanity Plus 5
  6. 6. Fragmented (Online) Identities • Anonymity • Pseudonyms • When your Identity takes on a life of it’s own? – Success as stagnation – Pigeon-holed – Strange Loops: Living in another’s mind June 2010 | Humanity Plus 6 Photo Credit: Viss
  7. 7. Extending our Identities • Identify Externally – Brands, Cars, Devices, Objects – Groups: Institutions, Communities, Movements – Music • Multiple Identities – Private – Anonymous – Alternates: Avatars, Game Role-playing • Physical modifications – Plastic surgery – Tattooing, Beauty enhancements • Cognitive enhancers – Attention, focus, “energy” – Research, Training and Drugs June 2010 | Humanity Plus 7 Photo Credit: Brazil
  8. 8. The Doors of Expression • Second Life • Gaming Worlds • Blogging, Twitter & MySpace • Personal Brands • Facebook ID Lockdown • ID Theft: Single White Female June 2010 | Humanity Plus 8
  9. 9. June 2010 | Humanity Plus Photo Credit: Evonne Amoration
  10. 10. Do we get lost? (I get lost) • Avatars: Embodiment = Immersion • Caught in streams of influence • The Audience Effect • Participation & Motivation • Privacy June 2010 | Humanity Plus 10
  11. 11. June 2010 | Humanity Plus 11 Photo Credit: Evonne Amoration
  12. 12. Self-Value • What do we end up valuing? • What types of identities are valued? • How does one value self? June 2010 | Humanity Plus 12
  13. 13. Ownership of our Souls • Who owns your identity? – Projected – Perception – Remembered • Which parts are (truly) ours? • Betrayal “I don’t even see you, I see the mental image of you in my mind.” “I have conversations with the person you are in my mind.” June 2010 | Humanity Plus 13 Photo Credit: Evonne Amoration
  14. 14. The Truth is Easier • Real time life tracking & Public Diaries – Blogging (& Life Streaming) – Twitter – Flickr • Physically – 23 & me – Zeo • Collective History June 2010 | Humanity Plus 14
  15. 15. And the point… • Identity is not created in a vacuum • Iterative, Evolves • The medium is the mæssage is the distraction. • In the end, I may create WE June 2010 | Humanity Plus 15
  16. 16. Finally: Who are you? I – I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then. - Lewis Carroll m June 2010 | Humanity Plus 16 Photo Credit: Jeff Christiansen
  17. 17. Thank You Heather Schlegel aka heathervescent, The Purple Tornado puissant@heathervescent.com www.heathervescent.com June 2010 | Humanity Plus 17

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