Before the Modern Map of the World was a given truth, when a nation crossed into the unknown they would simply claim the land and inhabitants as theirs. The age of colonialism resulted in our modern world eventually, it just took a few centuries of wars, revolutions, civil wars, famines, genocides, ideological debates and edgy Vice articles.
Now we are here, and despite the “build the wall” and Brexit bluster, despite the Ukraine annexation and the sabre rattling, the Map stands. The wars of the next centuries may be to claim land, but it will be known land. There is no unknown.
Now compare this to the state of our own identities. The Twentieth Century was a rush to colonize and claim the identities of the people of the first world via brand and corporate affiliations. We were unknowns, fuzzy Nielson DMAs, dollar signs.
But in the 21st, the Map of Human Identity is beginning to form. And the early colonies formed by Facebook, Twitter et al. are undergoing the first stages of revolution.
I believe that drawing and defining the Map of Human Identity is the path toward maximizing our lives and freedom. That means forgoing the myth that we are protected and anonymous in the crowd. We are not. It also means protecting what matters – our privacy in our private lives and homes. Against companies, and deepfakes, and anyone or thing who tries to violate it.
When we drew the lines on the world map, we gave something up: the ability to cross borders without being recorded and indexed. What we got back was a way to preserve our cultures somewhat, and also have some control of economic forces like human migration. Overall, lines on a map are good thing for humans, compared to the horrors of colonization and slavery.
When we put our identity into the public space, and write blogs or simply have a public linkedin page, we are claiming our copyright for the future. This is a better thing than hoping some entity is going to protect your rights by enforcing the GDPR. Please.
Become fervent about your identity. Fly your flag.
You own you.
And when someone comes to tread on you, by reselling or remixing your identity or metadata, don’t hide in your basement with your useless boomsticks. Get a lawyer and sue for infringement of your copyright.
Image poached here.