As more people give credence to online spaces, it is naive to say that certain features of third places can’t be brought online and potentially work even better than in the real world. For instance, anonymity on the Internet encourages genuine self-expression and is a true leveler. Relationships can be formed on deeper non-superficial bases by helping people with shared values and interests meet, and these great relationships started online are oftentimes brought into the real world¹. Spots that offer a “home away from home” that have been designed for informal and spontaneous interactions can be successfully built online⁹. It seems the biggest problem lies in simulating the realness of face to face interaction, the complex nonverbal social cues, the feeling of being there in physical space, and the unmistakable authenticity of talking to someone across from you. That experience just cannot be replicated with current technology. And maybe it never will be.
'Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world'
-- A Cypherpunk's Manifesto, 1993
“This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”
honeymoon objectivity: the incitement to fall in love with each new technology just as we break it off with the previous one