e-Portfolios and Big Brother

This is by no means meant to be alarmist. If anything, it’s the result of reading In 2010, every citizen (Ed: Europe) will have an ePortfolio (dead link) combined with my current interest in trying to write for a subgenre of science fiction.

Science fiction comes in a few different varieties, but the one I’m trying to write for is one where large corporations run the world and the government knows your every thought or move through computers. I’ve been gathering notes from all types of sources that I think would be interesting to incorporate into such a setting, and this quote was just one more victim.

Again, I’m not looking to be an alarmist, because I think that this might actually be a good move in the society that currently exists. The thought of people being able to glance at each other’s portfolio and see what they know or how they view what they know…the potentials are great for collaboration, for networking, for just building interpersonal relationships in general.

Then, a thought occurred to me as I thought about the potential for incorporating this kind of open knowledge repository into my dark, unfriendly world: What would happen, though, if that wonderful wealth of knowledge, if that introspective nature, was suddenly turned around and used against us? What if open awareness of what a person knows becomes reason to persecute him?

I don’t believe for a moment that e-portfolios will ever become, or lead to, that. I suspect that by supporting this level of open awareness, it would actually keep the kind of world I’m trying to write for from becoming a reality. It really was just this incredibly odd tangent that my mind raced down in the timespan of maybe a minute as I read and processed that line.


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