Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo

Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo


Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast All right, so let’s take four subjects that obviously go together: big data, tattoos, immortality and the Greeks. Right? Now, the issue about tattoos is that, without a word, tattoos really do shout. [Beautiful] [Intriguing] So you don’t have to say a lot. [Allegiance] [Very intimate] [Serious mistakes] (Laughter) And tattoos tell you a lot of stories. If I can ask an indiscreet question, how many of you have tattoos? A few, but not most. What happens if Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, cell phones, GPS, Foursquare, Yelp, Travel Advisor, all these things you deal with every day turn out to be electronic tattoos? And what if they provide as much information about who and what you are as any tattoo ever would? What’s ended up happening over the past few decades is the kind of coverage that you had as a head of state or as a great celebrity is now being applied to you every day by all these people who are Tweeting, blogging, following you, watching your credit scores and what you do to yourself. And electronic tattoos also shout. And as you’re thinking of the consequences of that, it’s getting really hard to hide from this stuff, among other things, because it’s not just the electronic tattoos, it’s facial recognition that’s getting really good. So you can take a picture with an iPhone and get all the names, although, again, sometimes it does make mistakes. (Laughter) But that means you can take a typical bar scene like this, take a picture, say, of this guy right here, get the name, and download all the records before you utter a word or speak to somebody, because everybody turns out to be absolutely plastered by electronic tattoos. And so there’s companies like face.com that now have about 18 billion faces online. Here’s what happened to this company. [Company sold to Facebook, June 18, 2012…] There are other companies that will place a camera like this — this has nothing to do with Facebook — they take your picture, they tie it to the social media, they figure out you really like to wear black dresses, so maybe the person in the store comes up and says, “Hey, we’ve got five black dresses that would just look great on you.” So what if Andy was wrong? Here’s Andy’s theory. [In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.] What if we flip this? What if you’re only going to be anonymous for 15 minutes? (Laughter) Well, then, because of electronic tattoos, maybe all of you and all of us are very close to immortality, because these tattoos will live far longer than our bodies will. And if that’s true, then what we want to do is we want to go through four lessons from the Greeks and one lesson from a Latin American. Why the Greeks? Well, the Greeks thought about what happens when gods and humans and immortality mix for a long time. So lesson number one: Sisyphus. Remember? He did a horrible thing, condemned for all time to roll this rock up, it would roll back down, roll back up, roll back down. It’s a little like your reputation. Once you get that electronic tattoo, you’re going to be rolling up and down for a long time, so as you go through this stuff, just be careful what you post. Myth number two: Orpheus, wonderful guy, charming to be around, great partier, great singer, loses his beloved, charms his way into the underworld, only person to charm his way into the underworld, charms the gods of the underworld, they release his beauty on the condition he never look at her until they’re out. So he’s walking out and walking out and walking out and he just can’t resist. He looks at her, loses her forever. With all this data out here, it might be a good idea not to look too far into the past of those you love. Lesson number three: Atalanta. Greatest runner. She would challenge anybody. If you won, she would marry you. If you lost, you died. How did Hippomenes beat her? Well, he had all these wonderful little golden apples, and she’d run ahead, and he’d roll a little golden apple. She’d run ahead, and he’d roll a little golden apple. She kept getting distracted. He eventually won the race. Just remember the purpose as all these little golden apples come and reach you and you want to post about them or tweet about them or send a late-night message. And then, of course, there’s Narcissus. Nobody here would ever be accused or be familiar with Narcissus. (Laughter) But as you’re thinking about Narcissus, just don’t fall in love with your own reflection. Last lesson, from a Latin American: This is the great poet Jorge Luis Borges. When he was threatened by the thugs of the Argentine military junta, he came back and said, “Oh, come on, how else can you threaten, other than with death?” The interesting thing, the original thing, would be to threaten somebody with immortality. And that, of course, is what we are all now threatened with today because of electronic tattoos. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo”

  1. I sort of hate this idea. I have said stuff on youtube that will stay there for as long as YT is around.

  2. I'm not worried about the people around me knowing how I think and feel and what I do and buy. I'm a peaceful, honest person. I'm worried about governments and the large corporations which are in bed with them knowing how I think and feel and what I do and buy. I'm worried because I do not trust their intentions to be peaceful and honest.

  3. All part of the establishment's campaign to get us to shut up and stay in line. What if we just decide not to give a * about what we said, what we did, who we were and are?

  4. But when everyone else is revealed to have said equally "bad" things no one will be able to criticise you and we'll all learn to mind our own business.

  5. Back in the early 80s, My Dad was driving his old car through my home town in England, when he saw yet another camera going up in the high street. He turned to the 12 year old me and with a look of disgust predicted that within my lifetime I would see them everywhere! That I wouldn't be out of sight from one or more of these things until I got close to home. Now I live in a residential area and there's a new police surveillance camera in the street less than 20 meters away.

  6. It isn't. He was done. TED talks seem to be one of three lengths: six minutes, ten minutes, or eighteen minutes. I don't know exactly how it's decided who gets what, but it seems that first-time speakers usually only get six minutes.

  7. Am really not that interesting. Bore yourselves to death with the story of my life, really go ahead.

  8. All is energy. Therefore, all is code.

    Duh on the obviousness of this video. Of course it's permanent. Life, of course, started inside of a computer, are you all really just not 'getting' it that we're in a loop that keeps on trying to expand variety by making consumers of all of us?

    Stupid. really. There needs to be a point where we all discuss our findings and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Instead, it's more useless vids like this.

    I aint goin nowhere, folks. I'm stuck here for good.

  9. Something that is funny about me is that the way I am portrayed on the internet is almost in no sense at all how I am in real life. I am cautious of what I post and mostly use the internet to read. I would be very disappointed in someone if they pre-judged me because of my "internet tattoo". There are many ways this can be negative, all of which were mentioned by the speaker Juan Enriquez and I absolutely LOVED how he incorporated the Greek myths, since I love the Greek myths. But

  10. But seriously, I wouldn't feel so free about myself if I would use full name. But maybe it would be better, less idiotic trolls.

  11. But you do realize that if you use your Google account for anything other than youtube, THEY will have you're real name right… Don't forget that…

  12. Great, so now everyone knows I am sick of the cops and the robber baron politicians looting the national treasury? Big deal. Fuck 'em all. I'll write it twice, Fuck 'em all.

  13. First of all, it's not required so you don't have to do anything. Secondly, linking YouTube and Google+ provide an increasing number of benefits in terms of unifying and controlling my online identity.
    But beyond that… your name is still essentially linked to those comments. If anyone ever discovers that your YouTube account name is "KiloSierraAlpha" that security is in their hands; if they post it on the Internet, that security is gone forever.

  14. Nope. I do love Google, but that's because I think they're the opposite of evil. This data aggregation is going to happen whether you want it to or not; at least Google is making products which let you benefit personally from that exchange and give you some level of control over that.
    Google's called "evil" because they expose these kinds of technologies to the general public – people think they're somehow inventing it. In reality, they're just the first ones to tell you clearly.

  15. People judge you for using words like "communist nazi jew" in the same sentence? Don't hang out with folks who pass judgement.

    It really violates the golden rule: no one wants to be called names or told how they should or shouldn't speak, so don't do it and don't hang out with people who do.

  16. If Google is really so evil then their monopoly still wouldn't justify your making an account. You don't end corporate domination by joining it.

    To think that somehow users aren't paying Google by looking at ads all over their products doesn't make a lot of sense. Besides, I don't think I'm good enough for Google to want to sell me as a product. Thanks for the compliment though!

  17. Yes, I am completely aware of all the information Google is getting about me and that is precisely why I have no problem giving it to them. What is wrong about Canon knowing I live in Montana and like cameras? I'd gladly give my demographics and interests to a secure network if that meant getting ads that might actually be relevant to me.

    I integrate all of Google's products because they inform and enhance one another. I'm designing my own digital tattoo and so far I'm enjoying the benefits.

  18. Keep in mind that the only thing that "knows" this information is a massive, high-security mega-data center. It's not like people can just peek at all of my private information on a whim.
    And so far, my name, phone number, address, email, and interests are all things I'm comfortable with other people knowing. As long as no one is trying to kill me, or I'm not some kind of convict that doesn't exist in government records, this information can be found anyways.

  19. yes, and don't forget that your youtube comments will also live forever and they can eventually come back to haunt you…

  20. Am I supposed to be surprised? I mean, the U.S. government already has half of my information to begin with. If they want information, they're going to use whatever means necessary to obtain it.

    I'm not selling drugs or planning a terrorist attack via Gmail or something. That would be stupid. Middle school mistakes aside, everything I put on the internet is not something I'm too ashamed about, and as far I know none of it is illegal.

  21. It is far more cool then it is terrifying, but I have forced myself to be a dork, simple because I am one. I think our future could be a more understanding and tolerant place, because we understand people better, because we share who we are more fully. IMHO

  22. Alex, I agree with a lot of what you say, but it actually makes more sense to think of the advertisers' audience as the product. Advertisement works in that way, as far as I can tell.

  23. Advertisement is about connecting people and products. So, Google isn't "selling" people; it's up to the product, and the ad itself, to convince people to click on it. Buying ads from Google allows them to appear everywhere, but there's no 100% guarantee how many people will click on it, let alone buy the product.

    Ideally, mainstream advertising will be completely tailored to only show you things you might be interested in. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Game of Thrones ad on YouTube.

  24. Might be fun for a couple of million years, maybe even until the sun expands and swallows the earth. You'll be in a nice hot environement for another couple million years before the sun actually explodes. Maybe you'll be sitting on a black hole then for the rest of your life or get thrown into space. There you can float around watching star after star die, the universe expand until everything is so spread out, that nothing prevails. Nothing but you. Trapped in your head, filled with insanity.

  25. Is it? By a simple click of your profile I can see A. your face. and B. all the other nonsense you spew on other people's videos.

    I also see that you're an avid DotA player.

  26. Short story for you if you're interested, recently in the U.K police have been trying to connect more with young people, they started a new young commissioner role (or something along those lines), with a salary of 15k per year, a 17 year old girl got the job and a short while after some media outlets scoured through her social media sites and found some offensive tweets she had from a long while ago and it cost her a job she hadn't even started. This opened my eyes.

  27. Everyone is wiser than the rest…virtue and vice doesnt come by mere words..its about repeated action .dear , immortal is our soul not body .sorry if annoyed you.

  28. Many computers and sites already know your YouTube identity unless the email you used to create your YouTube account was created with a generic browser with no addons or stored cookies going through several trusted proxies and your YouTube account was created and only ever accessed with the same level of anonymity. Most likely though, you created that email and YouTube account with your regular browser and access it from one or more devices that can be directly or indirectly tied to you.

  29. Please see:

    When creative machines overtake man: Jürgen Schmidhuber at TEDxLausanne

    youtube[dot]com/watch?v=KQ35zNlyG-o&list=PLFFZ_3hm5dZcgN7noug53sAQj4oSDEEfp

  30. Well then at least I will have all the time in the universe to find a way to reverse entropy. And when I do… "Let there be light!"

  31. Google is one of the great fighters for free speech. On the OTHER hand, they are also very active in stretching privacy laws as far as they can and are not CLEAR about how they use the information they gather at all.

    They may not be inventing it, but they are certainly not honest about it either.
    As usual, the truth is in the middle.

  32. I agree with you completely. I love what they've done for the most part, but you have to be extremely well-versed in their products and ideas to get a good idea of what they're doing with your information and even then you can't know for sure.
    I don't think they're trying to directly exploit us (yet) but they don't make much room for people who would rather remain anonymous.

  33. One's online life (Unlike tattoos), may also result in RELIEF.

    For example, the Despicable have formerly felt safe carrying out COVERT SLANDER, due to the TYRANNY of DISTANCE.

    But now, the Despicable are likely to suffer from embarrassing OVERT EXPOSURE, due to the OPENNESS of INSTANT INFO'; eg, YouTube etc, thus, a welcome RELIEF from MALICIOUS GOSSIP for the Long-suffering!

  34. We need to make a PERSONAL YELP. Every time someone cuts me off or gives me lip in the grocery store I could give them a dislike on their PERSONAL YELP score.

  35. Guess what : you already are immortal. You will live forever in 1 of 2 places : Heaven or Hell. We all deserve Hell because we are sinners before a Holy God. But this Holy God is also Love and He sent His Son to take the penalty for your sin so you do not have to go to Hell. It's now up to you : Do you repent of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life with Him, with God or not ?

  36. You have ears yet you cannot hear, you have tongue yet you cannot speak for yourself, you have mind yet you cannot think for yourself. Therefor there is no point to further talk to someone who is not himself.

  37. Mind control at it's finest. Homogenization of expression inevitably leads to homogenization of beliefs. The rest is history.

  38. What lessons did the 4 Greek stories indicate? I can't link them with the consequences of immortality that the presenter talked about.

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