Thursday, January 12, 2006

Losing one´s identity + Zittrain article

With my move to Spain, I lost three aspects of my identity, and which I then needed to grapple with in an effort to find and define again. For instance, aspect 1 - going from being lecturer to student. I´ve never been exclusively the one nor the other, so adapting my self to a notion of "student" still feels strange and does not fit. I am always somehow more than just one role. I guess many people have this sense, yet we are frequently expected to only don one hat.

I recall attending my first, no second, Linguistics conference in 2000, and in chatting to a noted and lauded Linguistics professor from Stanford University on our way to dinner. He´d asked me who I was, what I do etc. At the time I was working for an NGO, studying Linguistics, etc. So, after giving this guy the overview on my professional life, he turns to me and in a very serious tone asks: "Yes, but are you a Linguist?. ...Rather pregnant pause on both sides ensues. I look at him and reply "Is that a trick question?", as if to say "would life be that simple".

Aspect 2 - my old jad at sun e-mail address which I´ve had for the past 7 years or so. Aspect 3 - my mobile number which I´d had ever since I´ve had a mobile (1995). My e-mail address, and mobile number, had become part of my identity, much like identity numbers. I don´t think many of my friends and colleagues understood this. For many of them these were disposable aspects of myself.


Zittrain article on the way forward for law and technology, titled "Without a Net" see


Post a Comment

<< Home