The Humem State: The Emergence and Establishment of our Extended Presence

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Our extended lives, beyond personal interactions, leaves traces, especially now in the digital age. We leave comments, status updates, write stories, and more. This information helps create our digital profile or our Extended Presence (EP). And this EP existed well before the digital age–consider any pre-digital personality that you have an impression of based on the writings by and about them. This public image is not only related and connected to its origin, but also can take on a life of its own.

Brook’s The Humem State takes this concept and postulates that these EPs should be given recognition beyond how they belong to the original subject, but have their own independent legal recognition. He compares this not only to the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, but also the same trend to give legal protections to non-human yet highly intelligent animals like orangutans and gorillas. While the idea of giving your social media profile its own legal status may be odd to most at this point, data mining takes those same social profiles to create an identity that marketers use to target you with the car, politician, cheese, and more that they think you’re likely to purchase. It isn’t that far of a step from being a marketing profile to being a defined identity used legally to protect itself.

The Humem State is a big step forward in the concept of identity. How much of the concept of “you” is independent of yourself? Fan fiction is being written about popular real people that provides the readers a perception of the subject independent of their real personality and life, yet the readers take that new perspective with them. Creating legal protections both with political states and corporate entities for EPs is only a more structured privacy policy that everyone already clicks through without reading. Being able to direct how you want the world to interact with your Humem identity, while you are alive and after, is going to become more of an issue as technology expands its ability to use it. Would Tupac have wanted his image used as a hologram on stage after his death? Would you?


Reviewed By:

Author Alan Brook
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 312 pages
Publisher humemity
Publish Date 11-Sep-2014
ISBN 9780692251621
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2014
Category Technology
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